WRATH OF MAN (2021)
A typical Guy Ritchie outing with a brooding Jason Statham creatively weaves a tale of revenge that is ripe with action and intrigue, yet once again displays the filmmaker’s proclivity for cheap discriminatory jokes and filling a quota of foul language. That said, Wrath of Man is actually quite good.
Jason Statham stars as a mysterious new cash truck security guard who has deeper motives (and talents) that soon become clear. Ritchie’s DNA is all over this film from start to finish, once again compiling a wide-ranging cast of actors that each play their parts to perfection, especially Scott Eastwood (and Josh Hartnett isn’t bad, either). Wrath of Man may be the first film where I could empathize with Statham’s character; his usual quips and bombastic behaviors are set aside here for a more precise performance than we’re used to. Though you get dialogue here and there that is unique in exactly zero ways, the overall script expertly plays its cards when necessary, leading to a rather impressive finale. Wrath of Man is ultimately one of Ritchie’s more accessible films, yet still could be confusing to an average filmgoer not paying attention; there are twists and turns aplenty.
A flaw of the film is that it hinges on a character somehow not remembering the face of another character, a vital detail that otherwise destroys the story. Wrath of Man also starts off with Ritchie’s patented homophobic jokes run amuck (it’s time to mature the comedy), but thankfully that dissipates as the film rolls on. And whereas The Gentleman’s overabundance of foul language turned a lot of people away, here it isn’t as bothersome (there still is a ton, mind you).
Wrath of Man is a runaway train of action, suspense, and whodunnit storytelling that will grip you to the very final moments. For all of his flaws, Ritchie delivers an absolute blockbuster.
Wrath of Man hits theaters Friday.