" -- are missing the point: the tying up of every single loose end into a nice little bow is exactly what elevates the film into greatness.
A second distinction between "Lock, Stock.." and the average genre film lies in the inherent intelligence of the characters.
If there is a God in the world of "Lock, Stock...", then he is surely blessed (? Nearly every character's fortunes swing wildly from one extreme to another, turning, it appears, on the wildest of coincidences.
It all starts out with our four heroes managing to land themselves 500,000 pounds in debt, thanks to a poker hand gone bad.
"Run Lola Run" is one long music video, combining a wide variety of styles, including freeze frames, split screens and even a dash of animation; the techno soundtrack proves an ideal foil and, what's more, is composed entirely by the director Tom Tykwer, with vocals from star Franka Potente!
"Red" is distinguished by sedate, graceful compositions with elegant colors and a variety of visual motifs; Zbigniew Preisner's classical strains complement the film's mood perfectly.
At the end of it all, watching "Lock, Stock.." is probably not going to teach anyone anything more about humanity than they already knew. Forged in Victorian England by the working-class laborers, and appropriated by the underworld, Cockney Rhyming Slang is ideal for those who wish to talk amongst themselves: secret societies, brotherhoods, gangs and the like.
But it sure is a whole lot of fun sitting through it, and picking up such perfectly utilitarian skills as being able to speak Cockney slang. Suppose you're a Rob Roy in a read-and-write over River Ouse...
All in all, three different films in three different languages emphasizing three different facets of the same theme.
The deftly titled, sublimely plotted, cockney-crime-comedy debut of director Guy Ritchie, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is looking increasingly likely to be the high point of a directorial career which has since stumbled through the minor missteps of a competent, but inferior, imitation (Snatch before walking off the cliff with the unseen-by-me but allegedly atrocious, made-for-Madonna stinker "Swept Away".