• Publication date: November 21, 2011

For Every Problem, There is a Solution Revolver: Redefining 'Head Games'

Professional criminal Jake Green (Jason Statham) had amassed millions before gangster and casino owner Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta) sent him to prison. Green spent seven years locked in solitary confinement, where his only companions were the faceless voices of two inmates adjacent to his cell. They played rounds of chess to pass time, but not solely for recreational purposes: the game served as a metaphor for an elaborate, foolproof gambling technique.

Professional criminal Jake Green (Jason Statham) had amassed millions before gangster and casino owner Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta) sent him to prison. Green spent seven years locked in solitary confinement, where his only companions were the faceless voices of two inmates adjacent to his cell. They played rounds of chess to pass time, but not solely for recreational purposes: the game served as a metaphor for an elaborate, foolproof gambling technique.

This system dubbed 'the formula' was not just applicable to games, but a philosophical approach to conqueror one's greatest fears and shortcomings. Before an individual can play a game successfully, he or she must learn its rules, practice, and eventually battle against its most skillful competitors. A player must accept failure as an unavoidable component of eventual success; the rules cannot be devoured at once, but must unfold sequentially as a lesson.

Before Jake could utilize the formula himself however, he was inevitably outwitted by his teachers. Together the three prisoners conceived an elaborate escape plan; unfortunately Green was left behind to complete his sentence. Even more devastating, he later discovers that both men had emptied his secret stockpile of cash. Strangely, neither action was committed maliciously.

Upon release Green joins his senior brother and accountant, Billy (Andrew Howard). Together the brothers speedily accumulate a fortune. Throughout his renascent Jake refuses to forget Macha's earlier misdeed, and eventually seizes an opportunity to humiliate the casino tycoon. This marks the beginning of yet another lesson. Like before Jake must start from scratch, an unavoidable step before mastering the formula. The rules and opponents increase in complexity, and success is never guaranteed -- nor are second chances.

Year: 2005

Duration: 115 minutes

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Starring:

Jason Statham

Ray Liotta

Vincent Pastore

Andre Benjamin

Francesca Annis

Director: Guy Ritchie

Rating: Rated R for violence, explicit language and some nudity.