- Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnet
- Written by
- Nicolas Boukhrief, Éric Besnard, Guy Ritchie, Marn Davies, Ivan Atkinson
- Directed by
- Guy Ritchie
- Run Time
- 1 hr 58 min
- Release Date
- May 7th 2021
When Guy Ritchie splashed in the film scene in the late 90’s, he was immediately lumped in with the filmmakers riding the coattails of Quentin Tarantino as they attempted to mimic the flashy fast-talking criminal underworld that was miles away from what Coppola and Scorsese brought us in the 70’s. But after Ritchie’s first film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and his follow up Snatch they put him above the wannabes. With his kinetic energy, insane violence and at times hilarious criminals, he clearly established a unique style that follows him to this day. Despite some detours in rom-com territory with then wife Madonna in Swept Away and a rocky climb back up with crime films like Revolver and Rock-n-Rolla, after his success with Robert Downey Jr. in 2009 with the Sherlock Holmes series, then with last year’s explosive hit Aladdin (though no where near as good as the animated version) he’s in a position where he is able to pick and choose his own projects.
Wrath of Man begins with frequent Ritchie collaborator Jason Statham as “H” an aged new recruit for an armored car company. As he is trained by Bullet (Holt McCallany) he shows that he’s just good enough to do the job, but when their car is robbed “H” shows that his skills are more finely honed than he let on. Soon his true intentions are revealed as he is hunting for a crew of armored car thieves.
Based on the 2004 French film Le convoyeur (Cash Truck) Wrath of Man plays like Ritchie reserved. There is little humor throughout and Statham does not lean on his strength of cocky badass with great one liners. He’s more cold and calculating here as the subject matter is darker than we are used to seeing him in and it gets even darker than that at times. The mystery of the thieves is a good one, but once you know who they are and what their story is, you’ve realized that Statham has been off the screen for quite a while. The limited action is still shot very well, but almost completely gone is the Ritchie flair that makes his films a such joy to watch.
I see where he’s going with the film as French thrillers tend to focus more on tone than action, so he’s certainly paying homage to the genre full force. However something gets lost a bit in the translation even with some interesting and tense moments, and a pretty trilling final set piece, albeit predictable. Still I prefer Ritchie make films that are a bit closer to his wheel house than working for Disney. So if Wrath of Man is just another turn in the “path of Guy”, I’ll keep following.