Aug 13, 2015

My Ongoing Frustration with Guy Ritchie and "The Real RockNRolla"

Gerard Butler
I'm not going to lie. Director Guy Ritchie's RockNRolla was among my favorite films of the previous decade. With its stylized action, witty script, and excellent take on English gangs, it continued Ritchie's winning streak of great films focusing on the subject alongside Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and his magnum opus Snatch. He was a director that may have stumbled here or there, but was so full of promise with a rich future ahead of him. There was, of course, two solid Sherlock Holmes movies to his credit that gave Robert Downey Jr. a non-Marvel franchise to gloat about. However, there is one thought that remains in the back of my head as his latest movie, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. comes out: when are we getting a sequel to RockNRolla?
To those that haven't seen the movie, that is likely a baffling question. With exception to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Ritchie hasn't done sequels. Why not just accept the condensed story of the 2008 film and call it a day? Well, I do hold the film to a certain reverence and will recommend it to anyone looking for a good time. However, I do feel like Ritchie brought this on himself. You see, the film had the nerve to end with a title card gimmick that promised a sequel, one to be called The Real RockNRolla. It was a move that immediately raised curiosity, even making fans plead for immediacy. Ritchie has stated that the script is done and that it will be a trilogy. That was 2011. He has only made one film since, and that wasn't The Real RockNRolla.
It is fascinating to look at Ritchie's films and notice the trends. It seems like each one has been cast according to who the next big things are at a time when they're nobodies. It is likely why his three English gang films aren't necessarily the most profitable of his stable. Still, if one wants to know just how much time has passed since RockNRolla, consider that we went through several years of Gerard Butler attempting to be the next big thing in romantic comedies, Idris Elba having major roles in Marvel movies, and Tom Hardy is now likely the most popular name on the cast. It is insane how the dynamic has twisted in the 7 years since the film. 
In general, I am not in favor of a sequel. I find most of them gratuitous and pointless. While there have been plenty of gems, I do not find the need to go on with every character. Yet, I do feel like there has to be something there when the creator proposes within the context of the film. Not with alluded dialogue, but with a title card that promises that something is coming. Consider this for Superman II or Kung Pow: Enter the Fist; the latter of which has only begun reporting on a potential sequel again. What does it do? It fills you with anticipation and hope that the high that you just experienced will be coming back around shortly, possibly in a year or so. 
That is what I have been hoping from Ritchie since RockNRolla. Mind you, I do not hate Sherlock Holmes. It is a fine and adequate adaptation. I may be a little distraught that the film feels watered down and lacking of the Ritchie passion, but it is still the fourth best Ritchie film. Since RockNRolla was largely absent from the box office, it makes sense that not too many people have complained about the sequel. However, it is something that is on my mind now whenever I see a new Ritchie film. I hear of him signing on to various projects, feeling a certain desire to shout. I almost feel like this is intentionally distracting him from his goals. 
It could just be that this is all a paradox that amounts to me wanting the old Ritchie back. I want the one with bite that made foul language into art. I don't want to see him adapt other people's stories because they don't have the bite that he specifically has. Even his somewhat protege Matthew Vaughn pales in comparison. Part of me is concerned that he won't be able to thrust the grit back into the project and that Sherlock Holmes is the best he could do. Even if The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ends up being really good, I will scream from the heavens "Bring us The Real RockNRolla!" You know why? Because he promised it and has only gotten more clout that would make it, even as a dream project, more plausible.
I get that maybe the cast is too popular and busy now. That's all understood. It is why I only ceremoniously trot my anger out when Ritchie has a new film. Yet now that Hardy is a star and a sequel may better be seen as a Butler comeback (which was quite the opposite before), I think that the audience is there. Maybe the R-rating and nature may be off putting compared to his franchise movies, but it hasn't stopped other directors from tackling edgy work. I do worry that he has softened a bit, but there hasn't been much to counterpoint that dismay. Part of me just wants to see the sequel as to put these blasted rumors to bed.
My main point of this piece is to please, don't promise something that you don't deliver on. While The Real RockNRolla title card was a fantastic way to end the first film, it feels underwhelming not to do it. Had you left it off, Ritchie's life would probably a lot more quaint. I wouldn't be hounding everyone about a sequel that I frankly might hate. I just think that it is bad practice and looks foolish if you don't ante up at some point. There's still a chance because, well, Ritchie is not dead. It is also like obnoxious on my part because his next film, scheduled for next year, is a King Arthur story - and I will likely be trodding out these complaints again. 
I know that I sound like a ravaging fanboy here, but I am more supportive of principles. I believe that you shouldn't wish something that is plausible but you won't do. If you don't do it, then fess up. I wouldn't talk about blog posts that I will never share. I know that the film world is all about scheduling and finances, but it's been 7 years. What is stopping you? By the time that he gets around to it, Hardy will have gone through his own arc of popularity. That isn't something I'm looking forward to. So please, don't kid yourself. And to those wanting to put promotion for your next movie at the end of your current one, please don't. It is just going to make me yell at you, too.

26 comments:

  1. I would also like to see the sequel(s) be made.

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  2. I think it would be a bigger hit than what he believes. Such a good movie a definitely miss old guy.. new movies are great but their missing that special touch!!

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  3. I've just watched RocknRolla on Sky, and it's only from reading this that I discovered that it wasn't that popular. Weird, because it's a great film, and one of the few that it may be possible to do a decent sequel to. Since this article was posted, the Man From Uncle has been released and that to is a cracking film. I wouldn't mind so much, but he did promise a sequel at the end, and I would like to find out how Archie got his hands on the painting....

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    1. "As it happens, it did cost a very wealthy Russian an arm and a leg."

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    2. "As it happens, it did cost a very wealthy Russian an arm and a leg."

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  4. bring back the wild bunch. tom hardy is busy but still makes time for tv shows and his friends' projects, idris elba is making one movie this year, and every few years gerard butler makes a movie about something/somewhere falling so he should have plenty of time. guy ritchie is doing king arthur, but the rrnr would only take 2 maybe 3 months to make. so make the movie guy.

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  5. Not sure i get the point about new/old guy. As you say yourself the newer films have been adaptations or part of large franchises. Meaning he wont have had the creative freedom he had in his own films. I see no evidence that he wont be just as sharp, once he has the freedom to do so.
    Having said that, i agree he should hurry up and get it made.

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  6. ...I...WANT...A...SEQUEL!...NOW!.......DAMN YOU GUY RITCHIE! AAAAHHHHHHHH!

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  7. I thought Rocknrolla was Great!
    Excellent cast/Acting & have been waiting for the sequel.
    It's the fact that The Real Rocknrolla was meant to come out as said at the end.
    Also by leaving it so long, most of the actors have done well since & will now command a huge paycheck. But will now draw more viewers so should balance out.
    Comon Richie you said it so do it.
    We're waiting...
    films wouldn't be nothing if it weren't for the viewers. But I guess that does matter anymore. Seems like the money rolls in, and does matter what film brings the money in.

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  8. we want a Sequel !! the movie was great

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  9. i just saw it and searched "The real rocknrolla" and came up with this page. I hope Guy makes it, i really enjoyed his original work, and found them to be much better than his remakes of others stories.

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  10. just watched Rocknrolla, then came looking for the The real Rocknrolla. Come on Guy Ritchie, do us all a favour , & get it done.

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  11. In the same boat as the 2 previous commenters.

    GIVE US THE REAL ROCKNROLLA!!!

    Now that he has a couple more commercial/mainstream films out, it could only do him good to produce another Guy Ritchie original.

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  12. Definitely worth making. Work with the original cast willing to do it for the right price. Most of the cast would want to be in it.

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  13. The Real Rock 'n Rolla, still waiting here. Huge G. Ritchie fan, love almost every movie he's done. Maybe fans should crowd fund this movie to get his attention.

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  14. agreed with every thing said. brilliant first film. deserves a sequel.
    hurry up I am 71years now; my time may be getting short. I agree that the actors have moved on in their career's but do not leave it to late before they age to much for their respective parts. In other words get a move on!

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  15. Sick movie one of my favorites......so mad the real rocknroller hasnt been made:( you figure if you are promising something like that the cast would have had contracts that included making a second film so y hasnt it been done? Who knows just thought I would put my 2 cents in

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  16. The potential for a sequel would be through the roof!! All the main characters are now huge but not above themselves to turn it down. It's a shame that I think Mr Ritchie keeps getting his head turned by new projects rather than finishing off the story of such well established characters.
    Come on guys get it done!!! PLEASE!!

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  17. Just watched the movie for the 5th time and I still love it. Would absoloutely love to see a sequel but perhaps it's because numbers don't lie...I read that the budget was 18 million USD and only made 24.74 million USD at the box office. Now 8 years later and Tom hardy alone would demand quite a high salary I imagine considering his stardom not to mention Gerard Butler and the rest of the crew.

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  18. Just watched the movie for the 5th time and I still love it. Would absoloutely love to see a sequel but perhaps it's because numbers don't lie...I read that the budget was 18 million USD and only made 24.74 million USD at the box office. Now 8 years later and Tom hardy alone would demand quite a high salary I imagine considering his stardom not to mention Gerard Butler and the rest of the crew.

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  19. We LOVE Rocknrolla!! Must have watched at least 10 times. Just finished watching for the 2nd time this week. Just googled to see if the sequel ecer made, but sadly No. We want Real Rocknrolla too!! NOW!!!

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  20. This movie will never get made now, the cast would cost to much for a movie that only had limited success in the US market. I got this direct from one of the stars of the movie.

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  21. What the fuck is guy doing... bring back mumbles, one two and handsome bob... bring back the Archie slap... bring back the Real Rock n Rolla!!! He promised it to us... Gerard Butler is laying on a beach doing nothing... Tom Hardy is probably the hardest get a this point... make the movie!!!

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  22. RocknRolla is a beautifully violent comedy and is my third favorite Ritchie film. If the sequel does get made, I believe the studio fat cats will destroy the soul of the film. But I have hopes that it will be made,just with a different and cheaper cast.

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  23. RocknRolla is a beautifully violent comedy and is my third favorite Ritchie film. If the sequel does get made, I believe the studio fat cats will destroy the soul of the film. But I have hopes that it will be made,just with a different and cheaper cast.

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  24. I won't be watching anymore Guy Ritchie films. "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." was just okay. It wasn't a great movie. RocknRolla was a great movie. Ritchie promised something and didn't follow through. Typical of the movie business. If it isn't a remake of something, they don't want to make it.

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