Time: 119 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, cruelty & offensive language
Jason Statham as Patrick “H” Hill/Heargraves
Holt McCallany as Bullet
Jeffrey Donovan as Jackson
Josh Hartnett as Boy Sweat Dave
Chris Reilly as Tom
Laz Alonso as Carlos
Raúl Castillo as Sam
DeObia Oparei as Brad
Eddie Marsan as Terry
Scott Eastwood as Jan
Director: Guy Ritchie
Mysterious and wild-eyed, a new security guard (Jason Statham) for a cash truck surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score.
I was interested in Wrath of Man. Not only was it a Guy Ritchie movie, but it would be his first collaboration with Jason Statham in a long time. The trailer for the movie was alright but it definitely seemed like more like a typical Jason Statham action flick than a Guy Ritchie movie, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect outside of some good action scenes. I still was interested in it however, and it ended up being better than I expected it to be.
Essentially, Wrath of Man is a revenge thriller meets heist film. The plot wasn’t exactly unpredictable and was a tad on the generic side, but I found myself invested throughout its runtime. The characters are common personalities as well for a film of this genre, but they’re written confidently and in such a way that we can just focus on what they are involved in. While Wrath of Man features some Guy Ritchie tropes, there’s definitely a lot of distinct differences between this and most of his other films. It’s set in Los Angeles, the dialogue while being Ritchie-esque isn’t quite as snappy, and the characters aren’t quirky. It also doesn’t quite have the dark comedy that those other movies have. Wrath of Man is a dead serious, brutal, relentless, and violent revenge thriller, in fact this is definitely one of the darkest movies that Guy Ritchie has made. The middle section particularly gets grim, bleak and unsettling. At the same time, the tone felt right for this story, and it was well put together. One way Wrath of Man is similar to Ritchie’s other movies is the nonlinear narrative. We cut around to different character sand see their perspectives, even in the past. As a result, it gives the narrative even more context. It does get a little crazy with the time jumps, especially as we see title cards revealing that we are jumping months ahead and behind. The pacing runs a bit on the slower side, especially when we are often cutting back to the same events and just seeing them through different perspectives. A consequence of this is that it makes the movie feel longer than it really is. With that said, the slow pacing was necessary, and it is rewarded greatly with an entertaining and action packed climax.
This movie has often been advertised as a Jason Statham flick, and he’s definitely the lead character in this. As expected, he plays his role similar to how you’d expect him to, basing it off his previous action and crime movie roles. However, there’s something slightly different to him in this, unlike his past roles (even his straight up villainous roles), he feels actually threatening in this. His character is mysterious and stoic, and he’s got this empty far-away look that makes him actually feel intimidating. He’s ruthless, and in some scenes seems almost like a terminator or slasher villain. At the same time he’s still very much not invincible, just very dangerous. Probably among Statham’s best performances. The rest of the cast are good too, with the likes of Holt McCallany, Scott Eastwood, Josh Hartnett, Jeffrey Donovan, Eddie Marsan and Andy Garcia providing solid support work.
Guy Ritchie directs this, and his work here is really good. Even though I previously said that its different to a lot of his previous movies, you still do feel to a degree that it’s a Guy Ritchie film with the way things are shot and edited. It’s a very well shot movie, there are some impressive long takes, the movie even opens with a great long take. Despite how it was advertised, Wrath of Man isn’t an action-packed movie. Outside of a couple of action scenes in the first two acts, most of the action takes place in the last act, and it’s brutal, bloody, and kind of realistic. You feel every shot and impact, and the build up to it all is just as effective. One of the standout aspects from this movie immediately was the foreboding score from Chris Benstead, making an already unnerving film even more haunting. It has a sense of doom and dread that fits with the film, even sounding like something from Joker. It keeps the tension rising throughout the movie, creating this unsettling and intense atmosphere. Speaking of which, with the level of violence and intensity, it really makes the movie stand out in Ritchie’s filmography.
Wrath of Man might actually be among Guy Ritchie’s best movies. The plot isn’t anything special or unpredictable, but the bleakness, the intense and haunting atmosphere, the non-linear narrative, and the fantastic action sequences, along with some solid acting and directing, it all combines to make an experience that I’m glad I saw, especially in the cinema. If you are a fan of Guy Ritchie’s movies or Jason Statham’s movies, I do recommend checking it out.