The last two years kept writer, producer and director Guy Ritchie busy. Running his own beer brewery company called Gritchie Brewery and releasing two films only months apart from each other. The first was Disney’s live action adaptation of “Aladdin” (Ritchie’s biggest success yet, having grossed over $1 billion in theaters) to then bringing us back to his roots with the ensemble gangster flick “The Gentlemen”, with Matthew McConaughey.
After a tough year and a half of uncertainty for movie theaters. More theater chains have finally begun to start re-opening this weekend. To celebrate the comeback of multiplexes, Guy Ritchie rolls out his newest film “Wrath Of Man”. A dark, tense, kinetic heist film that reunites Ritchie with star Jason Statham after “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998), “Snatch” (2000) and “Revolver” (2005). “Wrath Of Man” is their first of two movies they have coming up together, the next is a spy film called “Five Eyes” (currently filming).
Once again playing triple duty as the producer, director and co-writer. Guy Richie successfully adapts the French crime flick “Le Convoyeur” (aka: “Cash Truck”) into “Wrath Of Man”. Bringing his own mixture, of his trademark gruff crime films and the most killer action that we didn’t expect from the helmer. If you’re a fan of Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham, then “Wrath Of Man” is the perfect reason to head back to the theaters.
Shot in a vintage style reminiscent of heist films of the 80’s and 90’s. “Wrath of Man” introduces us to Patrick Hill or known as “H” (Statham), a mysterious new hire at a private security firm that transports hundreds of millions of dollars a week in cash with armored trucks. Paired up with the chatty veteran Bullet (Holt McCallany), H must go through some rigorous training process since the company had one of their trucks robbed.
H gets partnered up with the young and tough guy wannabe nicknamed, Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett, making his big screen return). The film also takes significant time to explore a group who are destined to cross H’s path, a team of disgruntled soldiers led by the highly-intelligent mastermind Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan) and loose cannon Jan (Scott Eastwood).
Now I’m trying to be as vague as possible when it comes to the movies plot, to save you from any spoilers. While it may be way too late by now, but if you so happen to have not seen the trailer (Green Band or Red Band) for “Wrath Of Man”. Then by all means I highly suggest you keep a six feet distance from clicking that play button on YouTube or Facebook. Seeing the trailer before hand will ruin your experience of Ritchie’s “piece it together” story, that keeps in tradition of his twist laden crime films that intend to be adrenaline fueled fun and “Wrath of Man” is no exception.
Ritchie establishes a brooding tone for “Wrath of Man”, offering a James Bond style title sequence to open the film. Ritchie delivers something more than just the typical crime thriller. He gives us two separate storylines that come to intersect, as the film jumps back and forth in time to fill in the pieces of the puzzle to who H is.
“Wrath Of Man” does take a bit more of an investment than your typical Statham vehicle, but trust me when I say that the payoff is worth it. Meanwhile Statham isn’t doing anything new with his role as H and just does good ole’ Statham. But it works to his advantage as it’s exactly what the movie demands, playing the quiet and enigmatic killer that he’s so good at. The supporting cast is tremendous that includes Eddie Marsan, Scott Eastwood, Josh Hartnett, Rob Delaney, Jeffrey Donovan and Andy Garcia.
“Wrath of Man” achieves to stay in line with Ritchie’s previous films, in his love of playing games with his audience, that leads up to the moment when he’s ready to raise some hell. Ritchie has never raised this much hell before and he unleashes it all on the audience for the films final act. In a brilliant move, Ritchie changes the perspective of the third act on us and gives us an explosive climax featuring a cash grab heist on Black Friday.
It’s a nearly thirty minute sequence that editor James Herbert (“Edge of Tomorrow”), pivots seamlessly between the elaborate planning of the heist and it’s final execution. Guy Ritchie gives us one of the most intense and best heist movie action scenes, with a closing gunfight that is as intense as any firefight I’ve seen on screen, since Ben Affleck’s “The Town” and Al Pacino’s “Heat”. The choreography of the gun fight and sound design deserves attention.
Ritchie is at his darkest here and i’d love to see what he does next in the action genre. He keeps everything moving, by keeping his camera work clean, fast and accurate. “Wrath of Man” delivers the fury that it’s title suggests to become a satisfying crime thriller that confirms Guy Ritchie to be a multifaceted filmmaker. You can’t get more versatile than going from “Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels” to “Sherlock Holmes” to “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword” to “Aladdin”. Now “Wrath Of Man” proves again that he can do no wrong. Make your way back to theaters and feel the wrath of Guy Ritchie.
GRADE: ★★★1/2☆☆ (3.5 out of 5)