Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★★★

The first five minutes are almost like a litmus test. The dialogue is atrociously expository, and yet the staging is stunning. As a brutal daylight robbery takes place, the camera remains essentially fixed in place, almost stubbornly refusing to follow the action. When two key figures are killed it’s only glimpsed in a corner of the screen, out of focus and caught almost by accident. The action is nevertheless communicated with an efficient, beautiful eloquence. You feel caught in the midst of something horrible, and you’re experiencing it in the limited, narrow way that a real witness might be, without the conceit of an omniscient camera. It’s practically a declaration of principles: there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, but if you can forgive the unavoidable clichés of the genre, the execution is surprising, thrilling even.

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