Friday, May 7

Wrath of Man Review

Wrath of Man

Dir: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonso, Eddie Marsen, and Scott Eastwood

1 h 58 m


Director Guy Ritchie and longtime collaborator Jason Statham reunite with the gritty and violent heist story Wrath of Man. Ritchie, who has dabbled in a range of different genres with recent films like AladdinSherlock Holmes, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, returns to the tough and tumultuous crime drama genre that helped launch his career and continues to be the sweet spot for the director's unique style of filmmaking.


Wrath of Man, a remake of the 2004 French film Le Convoyeur, displays the chaotic flair of bullets, blood, and brutality that Ritchie has become savvy at implementing into his movies. Jason Statham's quiet menace, a quality that helps separate the actor from other action stars in the genre, always works best in Ritchie's textured, if minimal, character developments. While Ritchie's style helps and distracts from the thin plot, Wrath of Man works to find the balance between the dishonorable, many times heartless, characters that populate the story and the vengeful stakes that push the narrative towards a climax of greed and revenge. 


The calm and calculated H (Jason Statham) barely passes his field examinations to join a crew of cash truck guards responsible for moving millions of dollars around greater Los Angeles. During his first few days on the job, H's armored truck detail is caught in a hijack. However, before any money is stolen, H meticulously assassinates the masked thieves, cornering and interrogating the last thief standing before finally killing him. The crew at the security company is left wondering where this mysterious man came from. H's motives become apparent as he takes deadly and irrevocable steps to settle a revengeful score. 


Ritchie's unique style, which can be methodically hectic and indulgently flashy in both the best and worst ways, is restrained a touch in Wrath of Man. While elements are still present, specifically within the editing design, which can become distracting at times, the film focuses a majority of the flourishes on helping mold the mystery of H's dubious intentions. Ritchie has become quite accomplished at composing action scenes; here, the composition is sharp and exciting.

Jason Statham helps immensely in making the journey in Wrath of Man exciting and fun to watch. Statham pushes the grittier elements of the story into exciting territory with his menacing demeanor and tough-as-nails action persona. Ritchie understands how to use Statham to punctuate a scene. Whether in moments of frenzied action or during stages of quiet intimidation, Statham is one of the best things about this film.


The narrative design is a simplistic setup that tries its best to make the most out of the complicated nature of the revenge motivations. Ritchie's character composition in this film is packed with unredeemable people; those whose hands remain somewhat clean have fortunes left to the impulses of the bad guys who hold priority in the script. When the stakes reach their inevitable culmination, placing all the complicated characters in the same room, it's hard to care about what happens to them. Ritchie and writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies do their best to add drama into their revenge tale, and in small moments they succeed, but the characters make it hard to invest in the outcome truly.


Wrath of Man is a fun return for Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham. The calm approach for the typical style-driven director is a welcome surprise and proves that Ritchie can still compose hard-boiled crime capers with the best of them.


Monte's Rating

3.50 out of 5.00

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