Sticking to the lower budget roots that got him a start in a big way thanks to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Guy Ritchie has followed up his minor but well-received The Gentleman with Wrath of Man, a crime thriller that sees the divisive but entertaining director get his favorite lad Jason Statham back on leading man duties.
The last time these two long term friends teamed up was for the near forgotten about Revolver, a film that is actually a lot better than you may remember it being, and Wrath of Man is far more straight forward than that affair, with Ritchie remaking European film Cash Truck to deliver a hard-boiled and gritty 90’s like action/thriller that gives Statham some of his best material in years.
It may surprise many that this reforming of Ritchie and Statham see’s the usually flamboyant director dial things back a notch or two with his hyperkinetic visuals and edits few and far between here and his cockney tinged humor reigned right in as we instead get a mostly humorous free affair following Statham’s mysterious H in a new job for a cash truck company that has recently been hit by a deadly heist and seems destined to be targeted once more by a group of elite robbers looking to make a quick buck.
With some bleak but atmospheric cinematography from Alan Stewart, some moody and effective scoring from composer Christopher Benstead and some grizzled performances from co-stars Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood and for what feels like the first appearance in eons from Josh Hartnett, Wrath of Man is a solid all round package that benefits from Ritchie’s experience hands as he delivers a non-linear examination of what lead H down this new employment path and who exactly is behind a string of well-oiled robberies taking place across Los Angeles.
There’s certainly nothing new or unique about Wrath of Man’s central plot or the moments that litter its runtime, in many ways this the definition of a vengeance/crime thriller rulebook in action but there’s a sheen and professionalism on display throughout the film and with Statham having an absolute blast (figuratively and at times literally) being back with one of his longest serving collaborators and with some genuinely great set-pieces that ramp up to a pulse-pounding finale, Wrath of Man may not be top-shelf Ritchie, but its top-class crime thriller fare that will please all genre diehards.
Final Say –
Refrained Ritchie with just enough pizazz and flair to make you remember whose behind the camera, Wrath of Man is a throwback crime thriller with a killer lead character and some great set-ups, making this a consistently fun and impressively filmed watch without ever doing anything of a true noteworthy nature.
3 1/2 burritos out of 5.
Review by eddie_baggins