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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Critics savage Ritchie's new film
Madonna and Guy Ritchie at Revolver premiere
Madonna wore a sling to the premiere of her husband's film
Director Guy Ritchie's latest gangster film Revolver has received stinging criticism in its first reviews.

His wife Madonna wore a sling as she accompanied him to the world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday.

But Screen International declared it a "convoluted, risibly overwrought muddle" that would leave audiences "bewildered and disappointed".

And the Hollywood Reporter laid into its "pretentious style and fractured storytelling".

It is Ritchie's first film since Swept Away, which won five Razzie Awards - for Hollywood's worst offerings - in 2003.

The Hollywood Reporter said box office takings would be "modest"
Revolver features a criminal who revives a feud with a gangland boss and stars Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and Andre 3000 of hip-hop group OutKast.

Screen International's critic Allan Hunter wrote it was unlikely to revive Ritchie's fortunes.

Fans of Ritchie's first film, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, would see it, Screen International said - but "word of mouth will be a killer".

And some twists and turns "merely provoked derisive laughter among the preview audience", it added.

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, predicted Revolver's box office business would be "modest at best".

"The movie spins wildly in circles, continually doubling back on itself, repeating scenes - once even backward - and lines of dialogue until a viewer loses a grip on what is supposed to be real," critic Kirk Honeycutt wrote.

The idea was really to put five films in one
Guy Ritchie

"The film's pretentious style and fractured storytelling preclude any audience involvement in the coy melodrama," he added.

Ritchie said the film was designed to make viewers think.

"I think I got fed up with films that don't make you think," he said. "I liked the idea of one that you have to be dancing around with.

"I like my mind to be engaged when I watch a film. So, the idea was really to put five films in one."

Liotta described making the film with Ritchie as "definitely one of my better experiences as an actor".

Disaster discussion

Madonna travelled to the premiere less than a month after suffering three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in a horse riding accident.

"You would have had to broken both my arms and both my legs for me to not come here," she told reporters.

On the fourth anniversary of the attacks in New York and Washington, she also discussed 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

"We have had another natural disaster that's kind of making that look like nothing in comparison," she said. "Well not nothing, but it's worse in a lot of ways."

The Toronto Film Festival has also hosted premieres of Steve Martin's romantic comedy Shopgirl and Sir Anthony Hopkins' adventure movie The World's Fastest Indian.

Sir Anthony plays Burt Munro, a New Zealander who set speed records on a motorcycle in his 60s in the 1960s, and the film received a standing ovation in Toronto on Saturday.

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