Wrath of Man by director Guy Ritchie is unlike the majority of his previous efforts to date. He is well known for his unique one-of-a-kind storytelling which borderlines on unconventional methods to tie things together. How Ritchie gets from point A to point’s B and C involve many different plot points and story threads that it’s a miracle he is able to wrap them all up and present it with a neat little bow on top. The good news regardingWrath of Man is, it’s still a Guy Ritchie film. There is plenty of intrigue and mystery involved but the plot is more straight and narrow compared to Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels & The Gentleman to name a few.
Not every film needs the 17 points of view with the quicker than light speed pacing to it that leaves the viewer in a confused daze for half of the movie trying to catch up. It works for the most part but sometimes the stylistic choices can feel overwhelming. Not here. Wrath of Man packs as hard a punch and leaves no prisoners behind – just what fans of Ritchie come to expect.
Based on and inspired by the 2004 French film Cash Truck by Nicolas Boukhrief, Wrath of Man reunites Ritchie with lead actor and longtime collaborator Jason Statham as Patrick “H” Hill, a new employee at Fortico Security. Being an armored truck employee can be one of the most dangerous jobs to work for and Ritchie cranks the danger up to 11. The thinly written plot surrounds an armed robbery that caused the death of Hill’s son Dougie (Eli Brown) that also severely wounded Hill in the process. Hill is hell bent on revenge and stops at nothing to find those responsible not realizing conspirator and coworker Bullet (Holt McCallany) is right under his nose.
“I can do in 2 weeks what you only wish you could do 20 years.”
At first glance, I pegged Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett) to be the inside man, the plot reeked of it, it’s actually predictable in that regard. As the story picks up and begins to pick up steam, there is no way it could have been Dave after nearly having a mental breakdown in the first 10 minutes. Hartnett’s overacting didn’t help Dave’s case all too much either but by the halfway point Hartnett settles into the role quite nicely. Nearly all of Hill’s new co-workers could have been the one since they all come off mean and nasty for no apparent reason yet when challenged, their barks end up bigger than the bites.
The plot being so thin is slightly disappointing given what Ritchie is known for but, his signature action is fully on display. It makes the film overly enjoyable making up for the plot. Who doesn’t want to see Statham unload round after round, taking out tough guys left and right. Pair the sheer brutality of the gun fights with the deep bass of the score by Christopher Benstead, who scored The Gentleman, and Wrath of Man is a thrilling blood pumping action flick.
What I do appreciate with Wrath of Man is how Ritchie utilizes different perspectives to tell his stories. The opening of the film shows the tragedy from the truck drivers’ point of view, when it’s revisited for a second time, we see the same robbery from Hill’s point of view and the third time seeing the scene is from the villain’s perspective. This allows the viewer to get the entire picture and the concrete facts on what the truth is. It’s enough to keep someone’s attention otherwise what we’d be left with is minimal dialogue from the hero who will kill anyone and everyone to get the answers and revenge he seeks.
“You’re not much for talking huh Mary Poppins”
Statham gives as solid a performance as you can get from this type of role. He channel’s his inner John Wick with his pinpoint accuracy and little to no dialogue making him a force of nature. Aside from Statham, every supporting character has zero development and even shallower personalities. You can’t really fault the actors and actresses, that blame lands on the screenplay written by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies. Forming any sort of connection to the supporting cast is near impossible which isn’t normal for a Ritchie film – at least Statham was properly cared for.
The villains are made up of Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan), Tom (Chris Reilly), Carlos (Laz Alonso), Sam (Raul Castillo), Brad (DeObia Oparei), & Jan (Scott Eastwood). They have zero motivation behind their actions. Whats even their purpose for all these robberies? To no do them anymore?
Wrath of Man is by no means a bad film. It’s decent with a lot of brutal action and well-crafted action sequences. If you can overlook a bland plot that has its villains that are basically homemade Iron Men and stiff acting from all parties excluding Jason Statham than you’re in for a good time. I thoroughly enjoyed it but maybe that’s because I’m a fan of Guy Ritchie’s filmmaking style. Taking a break from his unconventional storytelling is a welcomed relief but here’s hoping we get a return to form with his next project.
Wrath of Man is written by Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, directed by Guy Ritchie is Rated R and has an 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Wrath of Man was released on May 7, 2021 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. Wrath of Man is currently in theaters. 2.5 out of 5.