Staring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, and Collin Farrell
Written and Directed by Guy Ritchie
When it comes to established directors you often know what you are getting before you walk into one of their films. When it comes to Guy Ritchie that is a little harder to figure out. From films like Snatch and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. you also get Aladdin and what I like to call the Madonna years. Sure Aladdin was a massive hit, but the flare of Ritchie as a director was nowhere in there, he was just the guy behind the camera. So needless to say when I heard he was going back to a film about gangsters doing gangster stuff, like the ones that he broke in with I was pretty excited. I just was hoping fame wouldn’t take off that edge that made his early work so special.
It doesn’t take long to recognize that you are back in Ritchie’s world, and thankfully it feels better than ever. Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is a powerful man and he got that power from becoming the king of weed in jolly old England. When you are King at anything, there are always guys who are trying to take your throne. Mickey is not waiting on that to happen and his taste for what comes with that power has faded and he is ready to get out. Enter Matthew (Jeremy Strong) a business man who Mickey is selling his empire to. No one plays fair though and a plan is put into action that will devalue Mickey’s business, but there is a web of people behind that. Including Dry Eye (Henry Golding), a gangster who sees himself as more important than he really is, a reporter named Fletcher (Hugh Grant), who knows the story and is selling it to Mickey to “protect “ him and a few others. Mickey though has his man Ray (Charlie Hunnam) watching his back and it’s up to him to get to the bottom of everything while you as a viewer have more fun than most movies in January typically allow.
As what you call a fan on Ritchie’s English gangster films ( Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and RocknRolla) his return to this world is met with sheer excitement. With that said The Gentlemen did not disappoint and in fact moved to the top of that list and for me just became an instant classic. There is just something about that Ritchie dialogue that even at the points where you wish you had closed caption because of thick accents, you don’t care because what you can make out is so damn funny. It’s never about the big moments that make this special, instead it’s all the little things that add up a gloriously good time at the movies. With all Ritchie’s films the thing that always takes it over the top is the cast and this one is no exception with, Hunnam, Grant, and Collin Farrell, as the stand outs this time around. The Gentlemen is top to bottom fantastic, and as an added bonus you get to learn some new ways to insult people you don’t like. So welcome back Guy Ritchie to where you made your bones and I hope you got more gold like this up your sleeve.