Rated 2.0

In our five-point system, director Guy Ritchie’s long-awaited return deserves a score of either 1 or 4, depending on which half of the film we’re talking about. The interminable first half is an exceedingly boring character intro and setup for a he-stole-from-them-and-then-they-stole-from-the-others kind of storyline that Ritchie plays to dizzying near-perfection in the likes of Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The main gripe here is that the characters are introduced so mundanely—it’s all just a bunch of cool names and British accents with no danger. It’s not until the mid-point, when Ritchie’s trademark creative (and exciting and hilarious) violence kicks in, that the roster of creative nicknames (Mumbles, One Two, etc.) comes to life. When the most compelling personality, title character and fearless, doped-out rock star Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell) is finally brought into the fray, it’s so late in the game that even the director seems to know he’s missed the boat when, in the closing credits, he invites us to come back for the sequel that will feature Johnny and the rest of the gang. Tinseltown. Rated R