When you compare a film like LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS to a film like THE WORLD IS YOURS, well you need to tell film publicists to ease up. That is to say that LOCK, STOCK was ok but THE WORLD IS YOURS draws its inspiration from other places. Director Romain Gavras (OUR DAY WILL COME) directs a film layered with inspirations from around the cinematic landscape. Let us say the obvious, SCARFACE (both its original 1933 incarnation and its 1983 remake) but then you notice its dabbling with slapstick, British gangsterism (ala Nick Love self inflated mockney gangsters with less charm than a serial killer with a full moon.)
But this all takes away from this clever, funny and often insightful film. Insightful in its treatment of French immigrant politics (sometimes it feels like LA HAINE but with more sardonic wit). Francois (Karim Leklou from THE PROPHET fame) has a major issue. He wants out of the crime life but his mother (played with detached humour by Isabelle Adjani) has stolen €80k from him for a business venture.Now he needs money fast and the only option is to smuggle drugs from Spain to Paris. His problems are vast. An incompetent boss of course. Two idiots along for the ride and a woman he loves, not quite into his scheme as he would like. Then along come the English to really dampen the situation.
What THE WORLD IS YOURS does well, it does really well. Capturing the comedy of crime (and yes there is a lot to laugh at), reflecting the French and English clash of cultures ( the English, well we live in a brutal sense of superiority and no messing. The French see themselves as more sophisticated and demere both right.) Then finally is its discourse on the longer term issues of social cohesion and opportunity for Frances immigrant population. One restricted by internal economic policy and prejudice. These are high points, in a film with many. Make much of these things and you will not go wrong. It is not LOCK, STOCK, it is far better in all ways.