Cleverly dropping in cinemas on Wednesday January 1, Guy Ritchie’s new star-studded crime comedy, The Gentlemen, will certainly appeal to anyone who wants to escape Disney’s double punch of Frozen and Star Wars sequels.
In the vain of Snatch and Lock, Stock, Ritchie comfortably returns to his roots, bringing a Tarantino-inspired cast mix of A-listers, fresh faces and faded stars turning comeback-worthy roles (for Hugh Grant in particular).
Thankfully, instead of trying to replicate the gritty feel of his earlier work, Ritchie swaps wannabe gangsters for established crime bosses capable of carrying the swagger and bankroll required to reflect the higher production value. The English charm still shines through, thanks to well-scouted locations with plenty of old-timey pubs, lush country fields and rich aristocratic estates.
The story works well for the times, avoiding tech-heavy spy and action film tropes and instead focusing on the colourful characters within. It’s told through flashbacks of a conversation between Grant and Charlie Hunnam (also in top form), revolving around Matthew McConaughey’s kingpin weed dealer amidst handover of his business. But in true Ritchie fashion, seemingly unrelated parties collide & chaos ensues.
Next to Grant and Hunnam, Colin Farrell is the other standout as The Coach, as well as Michelle Dockery playing McConaughey’s headstrong wife. Unfortunately, it is Succession’s Jeremy Strong who proves to be the weak link, choosing to ham it up more than necessary.
The constant twisting and turning of the story isn’t overwhelming, largely thanks to the editing gimmicks used and the film’s high-energy soundtrack. Ritchie also clearly backs his audience, never feeling the need to dumb things down or twist things more than necessary.
Don’t try and overthink this one. If you can leave your brain at the door, then you’ll enjoy the hell out of it.
The Gentlemen lands in cinemas Wednesday January 1.
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