Hot off 2020’s “The Gentlemen,” Guy Ritchie is back with his latest, the suave, and sophisticated “Wrath of Man.”
Jason Statham fills the definition of suave to a ‘T,’ or rather an ‘H.’ Ritchie gives us just enough to be curious about who ‘H’ is. Knowing Ritchie’s film library, anything less than explosive would be a disappointment. Neither Ritchie nor Statham disappoints.
The script by the trio behind “The Gentlemen,” Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and, Marn Davies starts with a slow brew, bringing details into the picture, like pieces of a puzzle. The humor is less front and center than was present in “The Gentlemen,” yielding a solid and dangerous drama that unfolds.
Ritchie doesn’t waste an inch of his film with details that the audience doesn’t need to know, and yet, Statham remains a chameleon; the cast he’s surrounded with are the beefy, bulky type guys you don’t want to mess with. But, as “H” begins his journey, we know he’s looking for something, that he’s able to do a whole lot more than just the basics. His relationship with Holt McCallany’s Bullet demonstrates this effort by Richie to ease us into this world. The relationship between H and Bullet is one of comradery – there’s an understanding between the two men, a code if you will.
Based on the 2004 French film, Le Convoyeur, Ritchie also keeps us on our toes, continuing with a non-linear line of storytelling, which works in making “Wrath of Man” seem like a bigger story than it actually is. By focusing on Ritchie’s character and his story, the details are layered on, giving rise to an action pic the likes I haven’t seen since 2020.
Unlike Ritchie’s other films, however, and perhaps its more to do with the supporting actors that inhabit the roles rather than the roles themselves, the secondary characters are less important. Eddie Marsan and Josh Hartnett lighten things up at the office just a bit, especially Marsan, who I like seeing on screen.
The way that Alan Stewart keeps his camera moving in a scene, a fluidity if you will, “The Wrath of Man” moves and never really loses steam making the unimportant thusly important; Scott Eastwood as Jan is very much his dad, carrying himself with a look instead of a word. Statham and Eastwood share a scene together and you’d think that Sergio Leone had risen from his grave and shot a classic moment from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” The acting, the characterizations, and the technical achievements are so refined that all we need to do is focus on Jason Statham and not much else.
“Wrath of Man” will have you tied to your seat. You’ll probably leave the theater like you were run over by the trucks used to move the cash and that’s a good thing. Guy Ritchie is in fine form and so is Jason Statham. As a matter of fact, I’m ordering up a ticket to catch the film again.