Had we arrived in the UK last week, we would have understood very little of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. With a clever plot, and pithy dialogue, class and regional nuances set this film apart. Filmed in London's east end, with ex-gangster playing minor parts, the main characters speak a mix of Cockney and modern English slang.
Four good friends decide to go for the big one, a poker game with a minimum entry requirement of £100,000. Their money all rests with one of the four, probably the best poker player in London. What he doesn't know is that he's about to be taken to town by a cheat. He ends up £500,000 in debt with one week to pay, otherwise fingers start getting cut off.
There are all kinds of sub-plots to do with various scams and illegal businesses in east London and the ending is the culmination of all these plots into a hilarious set of encounters that seem so odd they are actually believable. The movie is funny and very entertaining and refreshingly non-violent. Unusual camera angles and a great soundtrack add to the slightly off the wall humour of this great film.
P.S. To work out what "have a butcher's, it's robin" means visit this excellent cockney slang web site.