‘Wrath of Man’ unveils Ritchie’s darkest work to this point | Leisure

Guy Ritchie’s new film “Wrath of Man” begins similarly to Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”, which was inspired by Michael Mann’s “Heat”.

If you’ve followed Ritchie’s work through the action genre and you see Jason Statham in the appendix, expect something like “The Gentlemen” (2019) or “RocknRolla” (2008). “Wrath of Man” is grumpier; It’s subtly reserved for Ritchie’s flair and sarcasm.

Ritchie continues to borrow elements from Nolan, Mann, and his own previous work as cinematographer Alan Stewart (“Aladdin”, “The Gentlemen”) hovers over buildings and keeps the camera moving during the action. The first 10 minutes of “Wrath of Man” is better than the entirety of “The Gentlemen”.

“He’s overqualified,” notes a Fortico Security Company driver (think of a Brinks armored truck). His assessment of the company’s latest hiring, simply called H (Statham), is not wrong. Calm, relaxed, with little to say when a Fortico Security Truck with over 2 million cash is held up at gunpoint for just one week.

When H takes care of business, his colleagues are stunned. How can the guy who barely passed the rigorous gun, drive, and endurance tests take out a bunch of armed thugs in minutes without a scratch? The company calls H a hero; his new comrades now all want to ride by his side. H’s presence at Fortico has nothing to do with the robbery they suffered a month ago when two veterans and a bystander were killed.

The work of the composer Christopher Benstead on this film did not go unheard. Its deep base also comes from the Dark Knight series. It’s the kind of music that not only helps what’s going on, but creates much of the tension on the screen and requires your full, undivided attention.

Part of Ritchie withdrawing part of its signature style means discovering a new style. There’s a real embrace from the dark, from the cloakroom, the lighting, even the silence. Here “Wrath of Man” moves into the area of ​​John Wick.

You’ve never heard of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” being used the way Ritchie uses it here. Violence is the starting point for a Ritchie film, but the automatic gun tones are pulsating and it ensures that the viewer gets a close look at this in detail.

The real tension of the film is to guess who the inner man is. What works against this movie and everything with Statham is that it only signs up for one type of role and the ending is always inevitable.

Ritchie also makes a statement about predators and, like most, think they are invincible because they forget to look up the food chain. Andy Garcia, who only has two small scenes, gets the most ritchie-esque dialogue in the entire film, but the rest is devoid of carefree moments.

Until we get to the last act I won’t spoil anything, but “Wrath of Man” is much more like the opening sequence of “The Dark Knight” than just thematic elements. It’s like writers Nicolas Boukhrief and Éric Besnard were inspired by the first 10 minutes of Joker’s underhanded robbery and turned it into a scary action thriller.

Final thought: Guy Ritchie reticent reveals the director’s darkest work yet.

Dustin Chase is a film critic and associate editor for Texas Art & Film, based in Galveston. visit texasartfilm.com.

REEL TALK: ‘Wrath of Man’ falls flat | Arts & Leisure

When you hear the name Guy Ritchie, the director responsible for films like “The Gentlemen”, “The Man from UNCLE” and “Sherlock Holmes”, you conjure up a certain image and style.

You’re guaranteed to have action, slow motion, and mesmerizing camera angles that will drag you into the movie, music, and cut to blow your mind, and an ironic sense of humor to top it off.

And when you think of Jason Statham you know you’re going to have a hell of a good time as he dazzles audiences with his snappy grin that almost breaks the fourth wall. Apparently, aliens must have invaded Statham and Ritchie’s mind and body and now inhabit it, because Wrath of Man is nothing like what I just described after the first fifteen minutes of the film.

The story is a stereotypical revenge film starring Statham as H, a mysterious armored car driver hired by a company that not only witnessed several armed robberies but also the deaths of two of its employees.

Bullet (Holt McCallany) takes H under his wing to train the new recruit, only to find out that H quickly becomes a hero when he defeats the murderous gangs that try to rob his truck. And the repetition of this scenario takes place in the first hour of the film.

I’d love to say the plot gets thicker, but honestly there isn’t enough substance to turn this thin and tasteless broth into anything other than salty water.

The narrative at the hour-long mark attempts to spark intrigue and interest as it introduces a new line of characters, but that attempt only takes us out of what happened in the first 60 minutes of the film.

Learn – duh – H isn’t who he says he is, and his reasons for becoming a new driver let the story plunge even deeper into the bloody abyss as he seeks revenge. Somehow I’m still not sure why, the FBI is involved in not stopping H but helping him. Taking the time to think about it is just not worth it.

The first few minutes of the film had the promise of what I love about Ritchie’s films – the music, the editing, the style – and Statham’s magnetism, but those elements quickly faded, much like the substance of the film. He is introduced to the crews after witnessing the first robbery, murders and by H, who has completed his driver training.

Dialogue in the company of mostly men hit me like a tidal wave of poisonous masculinity that made them all seem like primeval animals ready to pounce on the weak or the injured at any moment. Then the lines uttered by the actors become disgustingly insulting.

When a driver described an elderly bank clerk in response to H, he said, “She slipped off her seat. … There is still juice in this old raisin. “Was that even necessary to let us know who these men are? In fact, it all drives us away from continuing to expose ourselves to this garbage.

If you keep watching Wrath of Man, you will find that the acting and dialogue between the cast does not get any better. We force the words out of their mouths and hear monotonous lines like “Boredom is more dangerous than bullets”.

I think this should be threatening, but unfortunately it was weird, much like Josh Hartnett’s submission of his lines as Dave, the seasoned veteran with a tough exterior who is afraid of his own shadow.

Hartnett’s response was ridiculous when he tried to be afraid of the armed men who robbed his truck. The examples go on and on with dialogue and delivery, which makes this a miserable experience.

And then there’s Statham, an actor who helps make the Fast & Furious franchise palatable, but here he’s on the phone in his performance as H. Yes, it’s supposed to be mysterious, but flat as a pancake is a better one Description.

He is a villain – the better of the bad – but there is no sense of connection with this man even when we understand his reasons for vengeance.

This element is dropped on us far too late in the game. Not even Jason Statham can save the day or the movie.

What “Wrath of Man” lacks in the story it makes up for with special effects. If you enjoy repetitive explosions, gunfights, and brains, this is the movie for you.

Speaking of repetitive: the score consists of six low notes that help us understand the fate ahead. (Thanks, I needed that.) Downloading a piano keyboard app to find out which six notes were used turned out to be more fun and thought-provoking than any movie.

Reel Talk Rating: ½ star

Pamela Powell is a Bourbonnais film critic, CFCA and CCA member, and Rotten Tomatoes certified critic. Pamela has been writing reviews for 10 years and can also be found on WCIA TV in Champaign. She can be contacted at pampowell5@att.net.