Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies
Starring: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonso, Raúl Castillo, DeObia Oparei, Eddie Marsan and Scott Eastwood
It’s been over fifteen years since Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham both worked together on the divisive Revolver. In the years since they’ve both been involved in massive blockbusters, including Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin and Sherlock Holmes, Statham has starred in the Fast & Furious franchise, among countless others. Bringing them back together is Wrath of Man a part revenge thriller and part heist film, based on the French thriller Cash Truck.
A cash truck is stopped and robbed halfway through delivery, with both guards and a civilian being killed in the process. Patrick Hill (Jason Statham), nicknamed H, joins the security firm, barely making it through the tests. He’s a quiet and focused man and gets good results when further robberies are attempted. The rest of the crew start to look up to him as hero, but they also suspect there’s more to him than he lets on.
The action sequences are great. It’s Ritchie doing what he does best, creating manic and brutal sequences that are entertaining and energetic to watch. The opening moments, which shows the entire robbery from a still camera position inside the truck is intense. You get a few moments to get attached to the two guards before they are brutally murdered, and it’s not clear exactly what’s going on as you can only see it through the window of the truck and hear the criminals on their radios. Similarly, the final shoot out that everything is building towards is excellent. The killings are quick and ruthless. It’s really well shot and intense.
Jason Statham is great throughout, being an almost Terminator like character. He barely speaks for most of the film, usually just being his snarky self when he does speak. He’s funny, but it’s more restrained than in a lot of Ritchie’s films. The story is split into four chapters, with most of the comedy in the first chapter as H gets to know his new colleagues, especially at a pool game after their first shift. After that it’s pretty much just action until the end.
There are some definite pacing issues with the film, which is something that plagues a lot of Ritchie’s films. While it’s pretty much non-stop from start to finish, you do feel the length. The third chapter, showing the criminal’s motives and the heist from the beginning for a third time feels really unneeded. It could be skipped or cut completely without missing anything. The reveals happen in the fourth chapter, the set up is in the first two. It really feels bloated.
Wrath of Man is a great reunion between Statham and Ritchie. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from them both at this point. It’s well made and entertaining, but just feels too long.
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