Life Lessons We Can Learn from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

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03 Oct 21

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What are the life lessons that we can learn from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels? We will start by looking at what the movie is about and then move into its central themes.

Lock, Stock is a crime comedy film set in London’s underworld directed by Guy Richie.

The film is one of the earliest Jason Statham movies, but it’s not just about people getting beaten with blunt instruments. It captured the essence of excitement about being an adult – gambling, sex, drinking in grotty pubs, drug use, all made better by a splash of rancid black market aftershave.

There are nightclubs to visit as well as boxing rings and poker tournaments to participate in! In terms of filming, the movie had suave editing and fast-paced dialogue, adding a sophisticated feel for viewers who enjoy underworld shenanigans.

Morals – There are no morals here!

The film follows four friends trying to make some money by playing cards at pool halls. The small-time criminals, Eddie, Tom, Soap, and Bacon, put together £100k so that Eddie can buy into one of “Hatchet” Harry Lonsdale’s high stakes poker games.

Harry Lonsdale is the main antagonist in the film. He enters and exits scenes with smoke billowing out of his different weapons, which he carries at all times. The four friends split into teams to play poker, attempting to rob Harry of his cash, and more importantly – his priceless antique shotgun.

Throughout the movie, Lock Stock treats us to an onslaught of foul language and fighting, precisely what you would expect from Guy Richie in this mockney version of the Tarantino film The Reservoir of Dogs. The accents are questionable, and the script is convoluted.

Ultimately, it’s a watchable film. But what do we learn? The answer is nothing new. We know that crime does not pay; those who try to make money illegally usually end up dead or in jail. This movie teaches us values such as friendship, teamwork, family – in this case, close relationships. Also, courage and bravery – to help your friends when they need it. Loyalty, not only through friendships. Or it doesn’t, depending on your view of violent crime.

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Modern Dilemmas

We learn a lot about dilemmas from this film. Three specific ones are unearthing hidden truths, making the best choice for your loved ones, and doing what’s right even when you know that it will impact people negatively if you do.

In the film, the gangs share a large sum of money. Everyone involved has done something wrong in some way or another, be it stealing drugs from a dealer, gambling debts owed to a bookie or ripping off the bad guys in a robbery.

All the gang have their hidden secrets that they desperately try to keep, and one thing’s for sure none of them wants to go straight. Let’s look at the second dilemma, making good choices.

The fact is if we don’t make good choices, there are consequences. Every choice we make can reflect on one thing or another. Think about the butterfly effect, for example.

The butterfly effect is the theory that tiny things impact a complex system. The concept illustrates this with an imagined scene where a single act like flapping wings could start typhoon-like weather patterns, though it’s unlikely to happen in real life and certainly won’t in this film.

The third dilemma. Lock Stock offers us is about making the most of our time by following a path that will lead us down a life full of happiness and joy – one thing is for sure, the film might be saying that, but the characters aren’t living their best lives, looking for pleasure as most people recognise it.

Finally, let’s look at the Lock Stock business model, where the bottom line is always to keep the right type of merchandise.

Stock The Right Type of Merchandise

The Lock, Stocks gang were always watching out for new ways to make money. They were “petty criminals” but became involved in significant criminal dealings later on in the movie.

They went from buying and selling stolen horses to diamonds to ecstasy pills, all with a short time frame. To grow as an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to think quickly about where you can get your next customer or how you can generate that extra revenue stream.

You might not end up fighting off mafia gangs if that’s the direction your business takes, but there are still life lessons to be learned here!

Lock, Stock teaches us about planning which is one of the essential things for any growing business.

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Resilience Against all Odds

Remember, criminals are criminals for a reason. Talk is cheap and lives are short, so don’t disrespect them if you want to continue breathing. People lie, but the numbers don’t. Take a lesson from Lock Stock and learn that if your business is running at a loss, you better sell it or fix it before time runs out.

Know when the writing’s on the wall. When trying to get rid of problems, the simplest thing that works is often the best solution. Never underestimate an angry drunk man with face tattoos and a gun for hire!

Do you know what they say? If life gives you lemons, make that horrible sweet drink called lemonade; in other words, adapt yourself to your current situation because you never know how long the good times or bad will last.

Sometimes in life, the best you can do is let go and hope for the best even when things are beyond repair – keep fighting if there’s still some fight left in you or find another career.


The conclusion of this story is you don’t necessarily have to be a lovable rogue with a heart of gold to make it in business. Just being smart and ambitious will do.

Couple more things. While it’s tempting, kidnapping traffic wardens and killing people won’t do much for your corporate reputation, but if you’re planning to be the next underworld version of Mr Big, what do you care?