Matthew Lee ranks Guy Ritchie’s films from worst to best…
To coincide with the release Guy Ritchie’s latest comedy spy caper The Man from U.N.C.L.E., we’re looking back on his prior films to see how they stand today. Let’s see if time has been either kind, or harsh, towards his back catalogue. Sometimes retrospect can add further appreciation to a film once met with critical derision, sometimes nostalgia can blur one’s opinion, and retrospect in a neutral light can allow a clearer and a more honest opinion of a film to come forward.
For a more optimistic ranking approach of Ritchie’s films, it is only appropriate to start with the worst and to make our way to his best.
7 – Swept Away
Is this really the worst film Guy Ritchie ever committed to? Is this where we begin this list? Yes and yes.
This remake of the classic Italian 1974 has Amber (Madonna) and Giuseppe (Adriano Giannini) stranded on an exotic island as they slowly understand each other’s social standings, political views, and, consequently, fall in love. A film that tackles capitalist driven contemporary bourgeois society against the resourceful communist working class could produce interesting results. It’s pitiful when this is forced into hollow romantic situation.
Amber is such an unlikely character, a wealthy socialite who belittles everyone, behaves abhorrently, and expects everything to go her way, that when the character turn-around is supposed to occur, it’s too sudden to accept as audience members. Furthermore, the chemistry between her and Giuseppe is, frankly, not there; their disdain towards one another on the boat and the role reversal of the master-slave dichotomy is simply offensive, morally questionable, and, above all, dull. When their ‘love’ begins to ‘flourish’ it’s only serviceable for the plot and negates any natural behavior from their characters.
The anti-capitalist rhetoric is unnaturally forced into the dialogue, and when it is sidelined, it’s simply a series of Amber and Giuseppe bitchin’ about one another – well, more him than her, but you get the idea. The discussions here are terribly repetitive, and it becomes very boring, very quickly.
Ritchie’s directorial and screenwriting flare is practically nonexistent here. One would only have known it was a Ritchie film by his name appearing in the opening credits. We’ve begun very low here, and one is grateful that the only way from here is up.