The Wrath of Man

In Brief: Wrath of Man rocks! This is an exceptionally well-done and well-written action-thriller.

Wrath of Man is a crime drama. It’s also a thriller. And it’s a good one.

Jason Statham stars as H. He’s hired as a security guard for a company whose trucks haul large sums of cash. The company keeps getting robbed. H. stops one. And then another. He’s frighteningly good at stopping bad guys and not — to his coworkers — what he seems.

Spot on. H. is not.

The man is on a mission. One of the gangs that robbed the company took something precious from him. He can’t get it back but he can get revenge.

Statham’s co-stars for Wrath of Man include former movie heartthrob, Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor, Wicker Park), Andy Garcia, Eddie Marsan and Scott Eastwood who handles the villain duties. Director Guy Ritchie also plops some very good no-name actors in key roles.

They’re perfectly cast.

You could argue that Ritchie is the inventor of this genre. And when Guy Ritchie directs this genre like Guy Ritchie, no one does it better. Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Revolver and RocknRolla, are classic. They defined him as a director.

Then Ritchie took a left turn and left all of us scratching our heads.

He did the very lame Sherlock Holmes redos with Robert Downey Jr. To confuse us further, he directed the awful, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and went farther downhill with a needless Camelot update, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and — worst of all — Disney’s live remake of Aladdin in 2019.

I’m thinking aliens kidnapped Ritchie and replaced him with a lookalike.

Somewhere in 2017 or 2018 the aliens gave moviegoers and critics a break and returned the real Ritchie. In 2019, Ritchie released The Gentlemen. It took him back to his roots. Gratefully, Ritchie is still deep in his roots with Wrath of Man.

The always stone-faced Statham is at the center of Wrath of Man’s conflict. It is cleverly laid out in chapters and the story — based on a 2004 French film, Cash Truck — bounces several times from present to past and back. It is superbly done — and very complex — and packed with oddball characters, lots of gunplay and violence, and more than a few twists and turns.

Perfect.

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Josh Hartnet, Holt McCallany, Rocci Williams, Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood, Andy Garcia, Eddie Marsan

Rated R for mature themes, language and a lot of violence. Nobody does what Guy Ritchie does better than Guy Ritchie. This is a twisted tale of revenge that Ritchie fans — and movie fans — will love.

The Wrath of Man can be seen in theaters in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Gary Wolcott has been reviewing movies on radio, television and newspaper since 1990. He believes — and this is an estimate only — that he’s seen something close to 10,000 movies in his lifetime. Gary is a lifelong fan of films and catches a couple of hundred movies a year. He believes movies ought to be seen on the big screen and not on the small screen in your living room or family room. While he loves movies, he also says reviewing film can be a real sacrifice and that he sees many movies so you don’t have to.

He is one of KXL 101.1 FM’s film critics and joined the news staff in 2014. Gary is also the film critic for Tri-Cities, Washington’s Tri-City Herald.

 



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