Saturday, August 14, 2021

Movie Reviews: Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man
directed by Guy Ritchie 
How do you review a film in which almost any plot description is something that could veer into spoiler territory. 
Very carefully, succinctly and without discussing much of the plot that's how. Let's first review what you might expect from a Guy Ritchie movie. 
You might, if you had watched previous Ritchie films such Snatch, ,Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or even The Gentlemen, expect a Ritchie film to be about a motley crew of lovable rogues who get themselves into some over the top trouble through misplaced ambition or simple bad luck, cross paths with more dangerous or less moral people, and through the power of being cool, good luck, guts, and some carefully planned double or triple crosses mostly manage to come out ok. 
You might also expect a Ritchie directed movie to feature a tremendous number of sudden close ups, freeze frames, occasionally incomprehensible British accents and slang, a few good natured ethnic or racial jokes, intersecting plot lines, law enforcement who appear at exactly the wrong time for the bad guys, and a general sense of somewhat warped glee at being alive and getting away with it. 
This movie is not like that. It's a remake of a French film.
Wrath of Man
does feature Ritchie regular Jason Statham in a lead role in which looking cool is a key demand. 
And there are some flashbacks, storylines that weave in and out of each other, and views of the same event from different perspectives. 
But there's not much humor to be found in Wrath of Man. The quips are fewer and almost never played for laughs. Wrath of Man is a serious movie. I mean serious in an action way, not a dramatic one. And there is a lot of action in this movie. 
Statham never fails to convince as a well dressed bada$$. Statham says little but his actions speak volumes. Stylistically and visually, this film reminded me of some bleak seventies or even sixties movies which starred Clint Eastwood or Steve McQueen. 
So it's fitting that Clint's son Scott Eastwood has an important role here.
The British born Patrick "H" Hill (Statham) takes a job at an Los Angeles based armored car company. Although the company has some employees who like to think of themselves as tough guys, morale is actually pretty low. 
There have been a number of recent armed robberies, including one about five months prior that resulted in the deaths of two company employees. 
Although H scores in the average to mediocre range on most of the company aptitude tests, it's apparent to his new co-workers that H is not exactly what he claims to be. H doesn't talk much and doesn't start any trouble but his stare, standoffish nature, and body language intimidate his co-workers. They won't be hazing H. H doesn't do small talk, doesn't care to fit in, and apparently isn't interested in making friends.
When H accomplishes something that is seemingly beyond his capacities, more people wonder just who H is and what he wants. There's a wolf in the dog park. The tension rises throughout the film as plans are made and crash against each other. There are a number of misdirections and dead ends that Ritchie uses to keep the viewer guessing about character motivations and plans until the very end even as he judiciously uses the aforementioned flashbacks to slowly give the viewer more information.
This was a very entertaining movie that goes to very dark places. Don't watch if you are sensitive to violence. Jeffrey Donovan, Andy Garcia, Niamh Algar, Laz Alonso, Eddie MarsanPost Malone, Josh Harnett, and Holt McCallany also appear.
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