How did we live without it?
Starring the implacable, stylishly unshaven Jason Statham as an interior-monologuing ex-con bent on exacting revenge on a casino king named Macha (the aforementioned, eyeballs-bulging Liotta), Revolver presents itself as a kind of Zen riddle - a Zen riddle set in a world of high-stakes thuggery, money and drugs.
There are quotations from Machiavelli, brainiac chess stratagems, meditations on the ego and suicide, and some of the clunkiest gangland gab this side of a Martin Scorsese parody. Ritchie, who blazed onto the scene with the hip English mob pic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - and who steered his wife, Madonna, through a most-dubious remake of Swept Away - pulls out all the stops, and still manages to bore us to tears.
Here's a sample Statham voice-over to wrap your noggin' around: "In every game and con there's always an opponent, and there's always a victim. The trick is to know when you're the latter, so you can become the former."
Anyone who buys a ticket to Revolver should know that he, or she, is most definitely the latter.
- Steven Rea