Beautiful Creatures (2000)  from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Glamour magazine called it "Lock, Stock and Two Smokin' Broads" 

As I'm sure you know, Great Britain has now completely converted all aspects of its economy to the production of darkly comedic caper flicks about sleazy working class lowlifes and criminals with black senses of humor. Films from the South of England are required to be clones of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", while those from Northern England and Scotland have to be derived from "Trainspotting". 

In the past, churning out these films has been solely the responsibility of the private sector, but it now appears that the government is also supporting the cause. I guess this film was made with a portion of Lottery earnings which is designated for film development. The remainder of that budget is being used to train Quentin Tarantino to speak with a working class Leeds accent. (The earliest funds were also earmarked for film-related accent conversion, namely the Anglicization of Guy Richie's wife, an American pop singer of some renown.)

A pox on those who said England's contribution to the world was all in the past. God save Her Majesty, and may she turn out many more of these films about heavily accented scumbags. It makes a taxpayer proud. I, for one, having been whipped into patriotic fervor, was humming "Rule, Britannia" throughout the film, 


there is some dirty talk and nudity in a video tape watched by one of the characters
The twist in this case is that the lead scumbags are women. 

You see one woman has been roundly abused by her boyfriend, a junkie who went so far as to dye her dog pink, so she heads out into the streets, sees another woman being abused by a boyfriend, snaps, and kills the guy.

The guy has a rich brother, so they figure "why not turn the whole thing into a mock kidnapping scam".

The policeman on the case sees through the scam, but he figures he may as well let them get away with it, then get the money for himself.

The queen knows that the policeman is crooked, but she figures she can always use a few bucks, so she turns a royal eye away until she is ready to make her move. 

And the queen mum knows that QE2 is scamming the copper, but she wants her share of the take as well. I must say the sex scene between Bob Hoskins and the queen mum looked quite realistic, kinda like Rourke and Carre Otis in that scene in Rio.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

OK, I made up the bit up about the Queen and her mum, and Hoskins is nowhere to be seen,  but the rest is the real set-up for this typical recipe of mindless gore and gags.

It almost makes you long for the old days when all British movies featured lines like "I do say, my dear Nigel, that the genuine firearm is still safely in her ladyship's Boer War collection, and you 'killed' Alistair with a mere stage prop devised by the silversmith of the Third Earl of Avon, former armsmaker to the royal family."

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: less than two stars. Ebert 1.5/4, Berardinelli 2/4.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. 42% positive reviews, about the same from the inner circle.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.4 
  • With their dollars ... it played only two weeks in England, where the critics gave it the blasting it roundly deserved. It took in only about $150,000 in England, about $50,000 in the USA, about $50,000 in Spain
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this is a D. Sub-par even by the very low mass production standards of British black humor crime capers.

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