Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: The plot follows H, a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week.
Review: This one is gonna require a second viewing. At least for me it will, as this is a Guy Ritchie (director of films like The Gentlemen, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Sherlock Holmes) I haven’t seen in a LONG time!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a Guy Ritchie fan for life! Good, bad or middle-of-the-road, I love his movies (except for Swept Away. Even I can’t defend that mess) but of late, his films have been lots of style and not that much of the gritty substance that made Ritchie the star director he is. Wrath of Man is a return to form, bringing to mind his older films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Speaking of which, Lock, Stock was action man Jason Statham’s film debut and, while he may not have played the lead, it was the movie that put him on the map (well, that and Snatch). So it’s fitting to see one of his best performances to date showing up in a movie helmed by the man who gave him his big break.
I went off track a bit there; history lesson over! Let’s get back to the meat of it all, and that’s the gritty, old school heist movie called Wrath of Man. If you go into this expecting a straightforward action flick, you may be a bit disappointed. Wrath is more along the lines of movies like Heat, or an old 60’s action movie that would’ve starred Michael Caine or Steve McQueen. Statham isn’t just a badass here, the man is brutal and unforgiving in his search for vengeance. His approach to the role is one of quiet intensity and it works well in creating the character of H, a man who has a single-minded goal that brought to mind films like Death Wish….or Jaws.
The action takes a while to get off the ground, but when it finally does, Ritchie takes the subdued approach and delivers intensity without all the usual flair he’s known for. It honestly threw me for a minute. The tone wasn’t what I was expecting, but the solid “whodunit” aspect, the dramatic moments, and the expertly shot and grounded action sequences were more than enough to keep me in my seat, waiting to see how this all played out.
If the film has a weak spot (or two) it’s in the way the story plays out. This is something Ritchie is known to do—he’ll start at the middle, show you the beginning, jump back to the middle, and somewhere along the way he’ll take you to the end. It causes some pacing issues here, but overall it worked and it helped keep the mystery elements tight. The other players also don’t get the kind of development they needed to truly take this one to the next level, but it was cool to see Jeffrey Donovan doing his thing on screen again. Any other Burn Notice fans out there?
All that’s left to say is, Wrath of Man is a fine return to form for both Statham and Ritchie, and it’s a shame it couldn’t get a larger theatrical release run (stupid pandemic). Ritchie never fails to entertain me, but this is one I think even non-fans of the man will have to give kudos to.
So are you a fan of Guy Ritchie? What’s your favourite from his filmography? For my review of The Gentlemen you can click here. Or for Editor Jules’s review of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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