Directed by the famous Guy Ritchie, once time plaything of Madonna, this movie was unusually written by Luc Besson, who is more widely known as a reputed director in his own right and as such is an intriguing partnership of two very creative and talented individuals.
Jake Green is released from a sentence of seven years in solitary confinement which is enough to drive anyone a little bonkers. He proceeds to rebuild his life by using his talent for gambling to make a severe amount of money with which he plans to take his revenge on those who put him away, particularly one Dr Dorothy Macha, a casino owner who Jake humiliates in full view of his underlings, something that one really shouldn’t do if you want to live for more than a few days. And here comes the twist, during this attack, Jake keels over and collapses. His doctor informs him that he has only three days to live anyway. Suddenly, with a death sentence on his head imposed by the weaknesses of his own body, all of the rules go out of the widow and with two loan sharks on his side in return for all his money when he dies, Jake now plays out the final days of his life as seen through flashbacks and the events that he puts into motion to revenge himself against those who have done him wrong. After all, a dead man has no fears.
Jason Statham stars as Jack Green and makes the most of his part, dominating every scene that he is in, which is most of the movie, predictably. The supporting cast are all excellent as well but perhaps what works against the film the most is, paradoxically, the script, which vanishes into over complexity very early on and never really finds it’s way out again. It’s told in a refreshingly non linear manner which is an inventive device that has been used many times in the movie but which requires some really clever plotting so as not to confuse the viewer. It’s as if Ritchie wanted to make a film that has a lot to say and indeed the movie does, there is a great deal of depth to it and it certainly doesn’t ever leave the viewer bored.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Luc Besson (adaptation), Guy Ritchie
Stars: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and Vincent Pastore
Release Date: 22 September 2005 (UK)