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Can everyone stop getting shot?
A very cool British movie by Guy Ritchie featuring a gang of amateur hoodlums who repeatedly end up on the wrong side of much nastier London gangsters.
This film provides examples of;
- Accidental Kidnapping: The Traffic Warden in the van.
- Affably Evil: For a Loan Shark's enforcer, Big Chris doesn't seem like that bad of a guy. Just lay off the kid. No, REALLY, lay off his kid...
- Asshole Victim: Most of the deaths after the first three or four are experienced by people who really had it coming sooner or later, though there are a couple of exceptions.
- Awesome but Impractical: Lampshaded for the Bren gun, the shotguns, and according to Soap, guns in general.
- An Axe to Grind: Hatchet Harry and Barry the Baptist both use them.
- Bad Boss: Dog and Barry.
- Badass Grandpa: Harry and Barry are both pretty long in the tooth, but no less badass for it.
- Berserk Button: Big Chris is a very cool customer as long as you don't threaten his son.
- BFG - The Bren light machine gun.
- Big Bad: Hatchet Harry.
- Binge Montage
- Black and Grey Morality: The main characters are a bunch of petty grifters, but they run against some of London's most brutal gangs.
- ~Chekhov's Gunman~: The traffic warden, who gets the protagonist group off the hook as he only remembers Dog's gang as the ones who stole the drugs and beat him up.
- ~Chekhov's Lecture~: Dog misses out on two of these, to his cost. He wasn't present to hear either Harry telling Barry that your days are numbered should you dare threaten Little Chris, or Big Chris telling Little Chris about the importance of fastening your seatbelt.
- Brick Joke: The Man On Fire in an early scene is actually the punchline from a scene we won't get to see until later.
- The Chew Toy: The traffic warden.
- Cluster F-Bomb: There's barely a scene without one. Or many.
- Contrived Coincidence
- Country Matters: A few times.
- Creator Cameo: Producer Mathew Vaughn is the yuppie whose car is stolen by Dog.
- Description Cut:
Harry: "I don't care who you use, as long as they're not complete muppets."
Scouser: "Shotguns? You mean, like, guns that fire shot?"
- Doesn't Like Guns: Harry offers Big Chris a gun, but Chris says that they're "not his thing."
- The Dragon: Barry the Baptist, to Harry.
- Dramatic Irony: In a lot of the scenes, the humor/tension comes from the fact that the characters are oblivious to something that the audience knows is happening.
- Establishing Character Moment: Much of the cast are given one, Nick the Greek, Dog, and Barry being the most memorable.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Dog's men are visibly disgusted by his Establishing Character Moment.
- Evil Counterpart: Dog's gang to Ed's. They live right next door to each other and are both engaged in low scale criminal activities, but Ed's friends are only a little worse than anyone in Only Fools and Horses when it comes to street hustling, whereas Dog is a disgusting brute of a man.
- Friendship Moment: The big Scouser's reaction to his partner's death is actually kind of touching.
- Fun with Subtitles: For (semi-fictional) Cockney Rhyming Slang.
- Gambit Pileup
- Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: Nick "The Greek" is, well, a Greek gangster.
- Improvised Weapon: In a flashback, "Hatchet" Harry kills a man with a sex toy, specifically a 15-inch black rubber penis.
- Informed Ability: Ed's ability to read people's reactions is never in evidence, especially in the big card game.
- Insufferable Genius: Winston. He's right about pretty much everything he voices an opinion about, but he does it in such an obnoxious way that no one bothers to listen to him.
- Ironic Echo Cut:
Narrator: "Ed would hate to admit it, but he could have kissed the old bastard for that. If he said he'd wanted to settle the debt on his own, it would have been a lie."
Eddie: "...and I wish to Christ he would have let me settle the debt on my own."
- There's also the scousers and Barry repeating a simple question whose significance really is not matched by what is going on: "What the fuck are you doing here?!" To which Barry responds "What the fuck are you doing here?!"
- Karma Houdini: Justified, since despite planning a robbery the main characters never actually get around to doing anything seriously
illegalbad. They get let off the rest On A Technicality, and as for revenge from the proper gangsters...
- Karmic Thief: The crew robbing the much nastier gang of thieves who happen to live to next door to them -- the cash they plan to steal itself being stolen from a group of drug dealers.
- Kick the Dog: Dog murdering the dealer after torturing the information out of him. Also, when the big-haired Scouser lights a fire under the feet of his burglary victim, he suddenly drops several notches down the Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness.
- Kill'Em All: There are 17 deaths in this movie. Which doesn't sound like much for a movie like this but That's basically everyone other than the four main characters.
- Knife Nut: Soap.
"I think knives are a good idea. Big, fuck-off shiny ones. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile. Knives are good, because they don't make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit 'em right up. Makes it look like we're serious. Guns for show, knives for a pro."
"Soap, is there something we should know about you?"
- Late to the Party: The protagonists keep turning up minutes after a massive shootout has killed everyone off.
- Leitmotif: Ed and his friends have one, as do Dog and his gang. Ed's is kind of funky, while Dog's is more hard rock.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Loan Shark: Hatchet Harry.
- Lock and Load Montage: When Dog and Rory's respective gangs prepare to ambush the heroes.
- London Gangster: Many characters, naturally, "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale being a classic.
- London Town
- MacGuffin: The titular guns are a textbook example.
- Machete Mayhem: Soap has one.
- Man On Fire: Early in the film, a burning man suddenly and unexpectedly emerges from a pub, in what appears to be a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. However, the situation is explained later:
"Rory knows claret (bloodshed) is imminent, but he doesn't want to miss the end of the game; so, calm as a coma, he stands and picks up a fire extinguisher and he walks straight past the jam rolls (arseholes) who are ready for action, then he plonks it outside the entrance. He then orders an Aristotle (bottle) of the most ping pong tiddly (strong alcohol) in the nuclear sub (pub) and switches back to his footer (football). 'That's fucking it,' says the guy. 'That's fucking what?' says Rory. Rory gobs out a mouthful of booze covering Fatty; he then flicks a flaming match into his bird's nest (chest) and the geezer's lit up like a leaky gas pipe. Rory, unfazed, turned back to his game. His team's won too. Four-nil."
- Mister Big: Rory Breaker, somewhat, though his shortness is exaggerated. And he does do the little-boss-with-huge-henchmen part.
- No Ending: An Italian Job-style Cliff Hanger.
- Not So Stoic: When his son's life is threatened, he beats the person who did it to death with a car door, screaming abuse at him the whole time. Also counts as Hypocritical Humor, as Chris objects to swearing by or around his son, and he uses a lot of profanity during this scene.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Tom's friend voices the opinion that Rory Breaker's Bunny Ears Lawyer tendencies are an example of this.
- Orphaned Punchline: A variant. We hear the beginning of the joke, cut to elsewhere, and then cut back to the ensuing laughter.
- Papa Wolf: As Harry points out, God help anyone who dares touch Little Chris, not that the little monster needs protecting anyway.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: One of the Scousers attempts to cover his face with a fishnet stocking during the burglary.
- Precision F-Strike: Winston uses this quite artfully.
- Pinball Protagonist
- Poor Communication Kills: Quite literally with the Scousers, Harry, and Barry.
- Professional Gambler: Eddie, although arguably he's not all that good at it; he had the Idiot Ball firmly in hand when he made that call for half a million. Of course, if he hadn't, there'd be no movie.
- Punctuated Pounding: With a car door.
- Rare Guns:
- The shotguns/"smoking barrels" are worth quite a lot of money as collector's items.
- "What's that?" "It's me Bren gun."
- Running Gag: Nick, with Rory's glass table.
- Sophisticated As Hell: A lot, especially from Winston. For example, "You don't look like your average horti-fucking-culturalist!"
- Spot of Tea:
"The entire British empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I'm going to war without one, mate, you're mistaken."
- Stealth Pun: In the scene where Lenny and Dog are discussing the genja-growing yuppies, Lenny calls them a bunch of 'faggots'. Dog then smirks, holds up a joint and says "Fancy one?"
- The Stoic: Big Chris, who pretty much never raises his voice or conveys much emotion until his Berserk Button is pressed.
- Stupid Crooks: Just about every character in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels qualifies one way or another. The film's tagline is even "A Disgrace to Criminals Everywhere." However, special note has got to be given to Dean and Gary, who are instructed by Barry the Baptist to retrieve antique shotguns from an estate home and keep anything else they can carry for themselves. Even in a mansion decorated with numerous expensive antiques, they rationalize that "old" must mean "worthless" (among other boneheaded decisions).
Dean: Can't you see these people haven't got any money? They can't even afford new furniture!
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The "Can everyone stop getting shot?" scene was turned into a UK #1 for Oxide & Neutrino (set to a remix of the Casualty theme song, of all things).
- Stunt Casting: Sting as the bartender father of Eddie.
- Suspiciously Similar Tune: When Dean bursts into Hatchet Harry's office, but freezes when he sees Harry carrying a loaded shotgun, the musical chimes we hear are very similar to the musical watch chime from For a Few Dollars More.
- Tactful Translation: The subtitles that show up for the Man On Fire scene above zigzag this, as it starts out translating the story with curse words edited out, then puts one in when there wasn't one, before editing them out again.
- Tap on the Head: Works flawlessly on the traffic warden when done by one of Dog's men, but later on it takes three of the protagonists pounding on him to render him unconscious.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs:
- In the scene which introduces Big Chris, he insists that a debtor refers to Harry as "Mister Harry".
- Initially, Nick and his own mooks address Rory by his first name. After he finds he has been double-crossed, he angrily tells them, "That's Mr. Breaker. Today, MY name is Mr. Breaker!"
- Title Drop: Half way done, with Barry's "Lock, stock, the fuckin' lot". The barrels of the titular guns are actually seen smoking later on, which may qualify as a visual title drop.
- Those Two Guys: The Scousers.
- Traffic Warden: A recurring Butt Monkey played by Rob Brydon. Notably, once a Tap on the Head fails to knock him out, the whole group of protagonists decides to pummel him instead after one states his hatred for Traffic Wardens.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: debts to Hatchet Harry are the primary motivation for the plot.
- Umbrella Drink: Served at the Samoan pub to the incredulity of the protagonists. This is also the Drink Order of choice for Rory, who not only favors that pub, but drinks those at his headquarters and serves them to guests. Like one of his other food preferences (ice cream bars), it's part of his characterization as seemingly kind of goofy and ridiculous (but actually terrifyingly badass).
- Wallpaper Camouflage: The couch potato girl at the pot house blends right into the upholstery, allowing her to get the drop on people twice.
- Weapon for Intimidation: "Guns for show, knives for a pro." Plenty of working guns there, but that seems relevant.
- Oddly enough, it's the knives, not the guns, that are used for intimidation. The idea is that the other guys would be more afraid of knives than guns because they'd be more likely to use the knife(it's quiet). And they can skin a crocodile.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The only characters whose fate is left unclear are Nick the Greek and Winston and his surviving friends. Last we see of any of them, Winston is fleeing with the weed in Rory's van. Alan says that everyone "else" (i.e. not Tom or Big Chris) got arrested, but it's unclear if this refers only to the other three protagonists, or every other character. Certainly, only the former are subsequently seen in custody.
- The Yardies: Rory and co. However, they avert the typical "lower class thug" portrayal, instead dressing stylishly and having a swanky headquarters.
- Xanatos Gambit: Pulled by Hatchet Harry. When he cons Ed by cheating in three-card brag, Ed gets in deep by owing a quarter of a million quid. This is all to get vengeance on Ed's dad for beating him in cards years ago. If Ed doesn't pay up, and his dad doesn't bail him out, he gets vengeance by killing Ed, Harry wins. If Ed doesn't pay up, but his dad does bail him out, Ed's dad loses his pub, which he bought with the winnings he got off Harry. Harry wins. If Ed does pay up, he has earned a quarter of a million pounds, which wont be in the hand of Ed or his dad. Harry wins. Pity about the spanner in the works.
- ↑ tiddly-wink = drink