The film begins with Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell) swaying back and forth while in a crack den. Archie (Mark Strong) narrates about what a RocknRolla is, which is a person who wants everything (money, drugs, sex, fame, glamour, e.t.c…). Johnny takes out the pistol lighter from the back of his pants to light up a big bong. During the opening credits, Archie introduces himself as the second-in-command to Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson), a criminal who owns most of London. Property value is on the rise, and so it is wise to invest in it. One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) want in, and meet with lawyers and planners to do so. In order to buy a building, they need money. Since they are both criminals and no bank will give them a loan, they decide to borrow the money from Lenny, with the idea being that they’ll pay him back once the planning goes ahead and the building’s value goes up. However, once they get the money, the planning on the deal falls through. Lenny, pissed, takes their shares of the building and tells them that they still owe him two million dollars. Since Lenny controls most of the city, the planning is approved for him. Archie is not too enthusiastic about Lenny ripping off One Two and Mumbles.
Lenny goes to meet Uri (Karel Roden), a Russian billionaire that wants Lenny’s property contacts so that he can get planning permission where the law won’t let him. Victor (Dragan Micanovic), Uri’s right-hand man, allows Lenny to meet Uri after he’s done with a meeting. Lenny tells Uri that it will cost him seven million dollars for him to share his contacts. Uri agrees to the price, and he shows Lenny his lucky painting. Lenny is impressed with it and Uri, wanting to make a good impression, allows Lenny to borrow the painting until the deal is done. After the deal, Archie is hasty about trusting the Russians, since times are changing and there’s no more respect for the old school. It turns out that Archie is right. Uri really doesn’t respect Lenny, and just gave him the painting to make him feel important. To get the seven million dollars, Uri contacts his personal accountant Stella (Thandie Newton). Stella is married to gay lawyer Bertie (David Bark-Jones) out of convenience, and likes to stay professional. Stella, however, is bored of the safe-life and keeps in contact with various criminals. We then meet Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy), Cookie (Matt King), and Fred the Head (Geoff Bell) playing cards with Mumbles at their local hang-out. One Two gets a call from Stella, who wants them for a robbery. Normally One Two would decline on her offer for heavy work, but since he and Mumbles owe Lenny two million, they decide to take the job. One Two meets Stella at an art gallery, where she tells him that two unarmed accountants will be taking out seven million dollars from a bank she knows. She wants One Two to rob them and give them a black eye for good measure.
Elsewhere, at a country club, Archie reads in a newspaper that rocker Johnny Quid has fallen off a yacht and is dead. Lenny, Johnny’s step-father, could care less about him and tells Archie never to talk about him again. At the country club, Lenny meets with a councilor (Jimi Mistry) and bribes him with an expensive lighter and a woman to have sex with. Later on, while sitting in his office and talking to Archie over the phone, he realizes that Uri’s lucky painting has been stolen. He tells Archie to come over immediately and to bring the troops with him. Lenny is nervous, since he doesn’t want to rock the boat with Uri. He tells his men to find the painting and bring him the dead body of whoever stole it. Elsewhere, One Two and Mumbles wait outside a bank wearing police uniforms. The two accountants carry the money to their car, and are promptly robbed (though it takes a while, since One Two has trouble with the car). One Two gives Stella her 20% of the money, and she is disappointed that he didn’t hurt the accountants. None the less, she flirts with him and walks off. While at a construction site, Victor informs Uri that their money has been stolen. Uri tells Victor to call Stella and arrange for another seven million, while also telling him to guarantee no more mistakes. Victor recruits some Chechens to guard the next money transfer. Somewhere along here, Archie visits Tank (Nonso Anozie), who knows the most about the streets than any other person. Archie recruits him to help find the painting. Also, One Two calls Archie and tells him that they have the money owed to Lenny.
At The Wild Bunch’s bar, everyone is playing cards when junkies Paul (Bronson Webb) and Malcolm (David Leon) walk in. No one likes the junkies, but they make themselves at home and try to sell some fur coats, even though it’s the middle of the summer. They are kicked out, and Archie arrives. The money is kicked around to Archie, who is pleased that the debt is paid. During this time, it’s revealed that tonight is Bob’s last night before he is sent to prison for five years. In fact, everyone at the bar has been sent to prison for various amounts of time because of an informer in their midst. Uri meets Stella on his yacht and tries to hit on her. Stella is adamant that their relationship stays professional, which impresses him. He then tells her that he needs another seven million dollars. She agrees to set it up while Victor is visibly suspicious of her. Later on, One Two drives Bob to his going-away party and tells Bob on what a big bash it’s going to be. He even arranged for the most expensive escort girls to pleasure him. Bob, however, seems unenthusiastic about it. One Two asks him what’s wrong, and he says that he wouldn’t understand. Eventually, he tells One Two that all he wants is him. One Two thinks he’s joking, but when he sees that he’s dead serious he slams on the brakes and gets out of the car. One Two is shocked that Bob is gay, and Bob is embarrassed over his reaction. One Two gets back in the car and apologizes for freaking out. Since they’re best friends and Bob is going away for five years, One Two asks Bob what exactly he wants to do with him.
Tank tells Archie about two men who might know where the painting is. Lenny has the men kidnapped and tied to chairs. He tells them that he’s going to submerge them in water and feed them to crayfish unless they tell him who has the painting. He submerges one of the men, enjoys some tea, and then lifts the man out of the water. Lenny’s henchmen hose the crayfish off and he says that Johnny Quid stole the painting. Lenny can’t believe it, and so he has the man lowered into the water again and eaten. Archie realizes that Johnny has faked his death, and he used his house keys to steal the painting. Lenny orders him to find Johnny’s managers, Roman and Mickey, because if anyone knows where he is it’s them. At their club, Roman (Chris Bridges) gets lip from a rocker who requests dry ice for his show and Mickey (Jeremy Piven) reads in a newspaper that Johnny is dead. Their secretary, June (Gemma Arterton), says that this is the third time this year that Johnny has been reported dead. Meanwhile, Johnny spins some guns around and sings to a song playing on his stereo in his crack den with his friend Pete (Michael Ryan). A flashback sequence shows Johnny as a boy blasting the same song in his room and singing along when Lenny (with a full head of hair) walks in and turns it off. Lenny tells Johnny that he’s worthless and since his mother killed herself, he’s now stuck with him. Lenny plans on sending Johnny to a prestigious school and tells him to keep the music down. Johnny blasts the music as soon as he leaves the room, and so Lenny comes back to beat him with his belt. Back at the crack den, Pete turns off the music and says that they can sell the painting for drugs. Johnny, however, has become mesmerized by it and refuses to sell it. They go to a bar to have some drinks, and Johnny steals a drink from another bar patron. The man gets pissed and confronts Johnny, who pulls out a pencil and dares him to try to attack him. The man backs down and leaves. Back at the club, Lenny and Archie pay Roman and Mickey a visit. Lenny says that if they don’t find Johnny, he’ll shut down all their clubs since he owns their licenses.
The next day, One Two shows up at the bar, disgusted with what he did last night with Bob. The others tell him that they all saw Bob off that morning, and One Two was the only one who wasn’t there. Bob sneaks up behind One Two and surprises him. It turns out that some paperwork got lost, and so Bob is not going to prison after all. Everyone is happy except for One Two, who’s still fazed by last night’s activities. He gets a phone call from Stella, who tells him that Bertie is throwing a party tonight. She invites him and all his friends to come, while also mentioning that she has another job for them. Lenny meets with Uri on his yacht, and Uri tells him that ever since he gave him his lucky painting, his world has been falling apart. He requests to have it back, and Lenny is forced to tell him that it’s been stolen. Uri of course is furious about it. Later on One Two, Mumbles, Cookie, and Fred the Head arrive at Bertie’s party. A man wearing a tuxedo jacket with no pants opens the door and welcomes them inside. Mumbles, Cookie, and Fred the Head make their way to the dance floor. One Two sees that Bob is at the party and confronts him. Bob says that he didn’t have any plans, and so he decided to come as well. One Two makes him promise not to tell anyone about what they did the previous night. One Two grabs a drink and asks Stella to dance. He shows off some dance moves and Stella is unimpressed. While they humorously dance, Stella tells One Two about the job she has for him. It’ll be the same as before seven million dollars, but this time it’ll be protected by armed guards. Bertie introduces himself to Mumbles, who could care less about him. However, Bertie mentions that he knows who the informer is and can prove it with some documents. The price is for Mumbles to introduce him to Bob. Mumbles goes over to Bob and tells him to flirt with Bertie in exchange for the information. Bob does, and gets a date with Bertie.
At night, Johnny and Pete go to Roman and Mickey’s club. They wait in line to get in, but the bouncer denies them entrance. Mickey talks to Archie on the phone and tells him that he can’t shut down their club, since they have a band playing that night and it’s filled to the brim with people. Archie tells him to find Johnny, but Mickey says that he has no idea where he is, oblivious to the fact that he’s outside. Johnny and Pete try to get in again, but the bouncer pushes them away and punches Pete in the face. Furious, Johnny approaches the bouncer with his pencil and stabs him in the throat. He then repeatedly stabs him all over his body and kicks the crap out of him. Johnny then bashes his head with a trash can lid and walks off with Pete. Roman and Mickey see too late that their bouncer has been viciously beaten outside, and then the power for the club is shut down. During this time, June tells Roman and Mickey that if they want to find Johnny, they have to speak with Cookie.
One Two and Mumbles plan the second robbery. Mumbles says that they need Bob to be their driver, but One Two is against it. Having had enough of One Two’s weirdness towards Bob, he asks him what’s wrong. One Two tells him that Bob is gay, but Mumbles already knew that. In fact, everyone knew that except for One Two. Mumbles realizes that One Two and Bob did something the night before he was supposed to go to prison. It turns out that all One Two did was take Bob to a gay bar and slow dance in front of a big neon heart. One Two still remains uncomfortable around Bob, and refuses to use him for the robbery. Mumbles reveals that when One Two was sent to prison, it broke his mother’s heart. Bob visited her every day to check in on her and took care of her until she died while One Two was away. The Wild Bunch is not complete without Bob. Roman and Mickey visit Cookie and Fred the Head. Cookie, as it turns out, used to be a junkie and used to be best pals with Johnny. Cookie got clean, but still respects Johnny. He tells them that Johnny is class, since he keeps on faking his death so that his managers will make more money (a rocker is worth more dead than alive). Cookie promises to give them a call if he finds him.
While driving, the two Chechens have cases filled with Uri’s money handcuffed to their hands and are wearing bullet-proof vests. They discuss all the various kinds of injuries they have had and show off their scars to each other. As they do so, a garbage truck suddenly rams into them, causing their car to flip over and land on its side. While Uri meets with Archie and Lenny, Victor interrupts them and tells Uri that they got robbed again. One Two limps into a restaurant and hands Stella her money. Since she doesn’t seem to care what happened to him, he proceeds to tell her. After Bob drove the garbage truck into the Chechens’ car, Mumbles smashed the window of their car with an axe. Mumbles and One Two cut the chains off of the cases to retrieve them. Before they could get away, the skinny Chechen grabbed One Two and pulled him into the car. Mumbles accidentally sprayed them both with mace. After getting free, One Two tripped over a tire and the Wild Bunch all got into the getaway car. The skinny Chechen jumped into the driver’s side window, causing them to crash into a sporting goods store. The big Chechen followed with a machine gun and proceeded to pump the store full of bullets. Mumbles beat him with a baseball bat. Before they could leave, the big Chechen threw a baseball at One Two’s face and then tried to strangle him. Bob had to beat him with a golf club to get him off of One Two. The skinny Chechen pulled out some extremely big knives and was about to attack when One Two sprayed his chest full of bullets.
The Wild Bunch got out of the store and stole a car nearby. As they drove off, the skinny Chechen jumped on the car and tried to stab them through the roof. This caused Bob to crash into a parked car, which launched the skinny Chechen away. One Two tells Mumbles and Bob to abandon ship, and they all run off into different directions. Mumbles, carrying a case, runs off and winds up stealing a moped. Bob (carrying the other case) runs right into a couple of cops, who chase him all over. He manages to get away from them and Mumbles picks him up, escaping together. The big Chechen chases One Two onto some train tracks, and both men grow tired. Eventually, the big Chechen has to stop and catch his breath. One Two uses this time to slap him in the face, which causes him to fall over. However, he then sees that the skinny Chechen has been following him the entire time. The skinny Chechen puts his knives away and continues to chase One Two on the train tracks. One Two soon grows exhausted from all the running, and so he grabs a piece of wood nearby. When the skinny Chechen runs into a dark tunnel, One Two surprises him and bashes his head with the wood. As One Two gets out of the tunnel, he sees that the skinny Chechen is surprisingly still alive and still on his feet. Bloodied, he signals to One Two that he will be watching him. One Two signals back a blowjob gesture and finally escapes. Stella still doesn’t seem to care about how the robbery went awry, and so One Two leaves the restaurant with Bob. As One Two, Mumbles, and Bob drive off, we see that the two practically indestructible Chechens are stalking them.
Uri and Victor clear a golf course to play a game with Lenny. As the trio makes their way to the ninth hole, Uri tells Lenny that he believes he is the one who has been stealing his money. Lenny insults and threatens him, which causes Victor to break his leg with a golf club. Uri tells him that he’ll be able to crawl back to his car by sunrise, and tells him to find his painting. Meanwhile, Pete tries to take the painting away from Johnny because he’s found out that loads of people on the street are looking for it. Johnny has him put it back, and then he takes Pete to a bar. While playing the piano, he talks about the ups and downs of cigarettes. They eventually get kicked out for horsing around. Bob calls Bertie and sets up a date to get drinks together soon. Bertie in return leaves an envelope with his secretary and tells Bob that he can pick it up whenever he wants (the envelope has the informer’s identity). Mumbles and Bob plan to go immediately to pick it up, and One Two tells them to drop him off at home to rest. Back at the crack den, Johnny is annoyed that Pete has invited Malcolm and Paul over. Johnny pulls Pete aside and tells him to get rid of them, since he’s supposed to be dead and dead men don’t like company. When they come back, they find that the junkies are gone and they have stolen the painting. The junkies take the painting back to the Wild Bunch’s bar, and Cookie is immediately drawn to it. He throws them a bundle of cash, and the junkies go off to get drugs. Meanwhile, Tank calls Archie and tells him that not only has he found the painting, he has found who has been ripping off Lenny.
One Two goes home and sees that the painting has wound up in his bedroom. A note from Cookie says that it will bring One Two some luck with the ladies. Immediately, Stella shows up at his house. One Two lets her in, and they have extremely quick sex. As Stella gets dressed, Mumbles calls One Two and tells him that the informer’s name is Sidney Shaw. One Two says that it’s a pseudonym, and tells him to come over so that he can have a look. Before Stella leaves, One Two gives her the painting, which pleases her. Archie visits Lenny at the hospital, and tells him that he’s found out that One Two has the painting and the Wild Bunch has been ripping him off. Lenny orders him to bring them all to him. One Two listens to his headphones in his bedroom. The two Chechens break into his house, remove his headphones, and hold him at bay with a blade. The skinny Chechen makes a blowjob gesture, letting him know that he’s going to get revenge. Meanwhile, Roman and Mickey find Johnny’s crack den and get him to cooperate with them. Archie and his guys show up at One Two’s house to find that the front door is open. They creep inside and hear music blasting from the bedroom. They quietly open the door and find that the two Chechens are dancing around drunk in their underwear. One Two is tied to the bed and is about to get violated in all sorts of ways. Lenny turns off the music and the two Chechens are shot to death. Mumbles and Bob arrive at One Two’s house, and so Archie captures them. Mickey also calls Archie and tells him that they’ve found Johnny.
Uri goes to Stella’s house and Victor voices his suspicion of her. Uri ignores him and tells him to remain outside. It turns out that Uri is in love with Stella, and he proposes to her. She says that she’ll think about it, which makes him happy. Uri gets a call from Victor, and walks to the other room to take it. That’s when he sees that Stella has his painting. Just like that, all the love is gone. He asks her how long she’s had it, and she says that she’s had it for years. Uri tells Victor that he was right, and asks him to come inside. Victor gets his gloves, and it’s implied that Stella is murdered. Elsewhere Archie, the Wild Bunch (who have all been hooded), Mickey, Roman, and Johnny arrive at a building to see Lenny. While in the elevator, we see another flashback to young Johnny at school. Archie picks him up and has become an uncle figure to him. Johnny snatches Archie’s pistol from his pants and shows his friends. Archie is forced to bribe the kids into not telling anyone what they saw while Johnny smiles in the car. Everyone gets out of the elevator, and Johnny insults wheelchair-bound Lenny. Johnny keeps on mouthing off, and so Lenny shoots him in the stomach with a pistol. Archie calms Lenny down and takes the gun away. Johnny tells him that if he wanted him to shut up, he should’ve aimed higher. Lenny then orders his men to take Johnny away and kill him. Johnny, Mickey, Roman, and two henchmen enter the elevator and go down.
Lenny threatens to kill the Wild Bunch if they don’t give him the painting. Suddenly, Bob shouts out for Archie and tells him to look in his jacket pocket. Archie reads the envelope from Bertie, and is shocked. The informer that has been ratting out everyone is Lenny (aka Sidney Shaw). He has been sending everyone to prison whenever he gets annoyed or threatened by them. Archie has the Wild Bunch released. Meanwhile, in the elevator, Johnny tells Mickey and Roman that they shouldn’t have taken him there. Lenny’s henchmen are going to lead them to a stolen car, murder all of them (since Mickey and Roman are witnesses), put their corpses in the trunk, and blow up the car. Roman suddenly fights with a henchman over control of his gun. The gun goes off and kills the other henchman. Roman and Mickey then point the gun at the henchman’s head and blow his brains out. Johnny has them pass him a gun and when the elevator doors open, he kills the two henchmen waiting for them downstairs. Mickey and Roman carry Johnny, but are forced to drop him by a last henchman who shows up and orders them to put their hands in the air. The Wild Bunch (having taken the stairs) knocks out the last henchman, saving them. Meanwhile, upstairs, Archie ties Lenny to a chair and reads off how many people he’s sent to prison, including Archie himself for four years. Archie then lowers Lenny into the water and feeds him to the crayfish.
Some time later, Archie picks up Johnny at a drug rehabilitation clinic. Johnny comes out, drug free except for cigarettes. While they hug, Johnny again snatches his pistol from his pants and plays around with it. Archie has a welcome-home present for him. Archie has one of his guys bring out the painting. Johnny wonders how he got it, and Archie says that it cost a rich Russian (Uri) an arm and a leg (literally). Johnny has decided to give up his music career, and he tells Archie that he wants to be just like him a real RocknRolla. The film ends with Johnny lighting up a cigarette. At the start of the end credits, text states that Johnny, Archie, and the Wild Bunch will be back in The Real RocknRolla (the sequel).
And during the end credits, we see the full scene of One Two dancing with Bob at the gay club.
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