Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★★★

Money Movers x The Horseman? Den of Thieves x Cold In July? However you describe Guy Ritchie‘s Wrath of Man, the film’s a ruthless and ruthlessly-precise crime thriller, the kind whose score often acquires an industrial growl to align with its dark undertones. This is a calculated cold slice of cinema, familiar for sure, yet essentially an against-type showcase for both director and lead.

If I didn’t already know, I would‘ve never guessed that this was a Guy Ritchie film. His style does glint through the grit: scalpel-sharp editing, tough-guy overload in the first act, a non-linear structure that teases out reveals and perspective shifts. But as a whole, Wrath of Man is arguably Ritchie at his most un-Ritchie, his maximalist tendencies sculpted into instruments of taut construction and unrelenting momentum. Similarly, we’ve seen Jason Statham being implacable, even being the villain. But here, the actor warps his action hero presence into something meaner and predatory, his craggy stony edge turned from badass strength to horror-movie menace. At times, I was reminded of films like Django The Bastard, where the protagonist is a reaping force of nature. Ritchie assembles a killer supporting cast as well: the always-welcome Jeffrey Donovan, Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett, an extra-hatable Scott Eastwood with an extra dose of Clint squint.

Calculated and cold describes the action too. Armored truck heists executed with merciless precision; modern wild-west violence executed with slasher cold-bloodednes. The restrained thrills escalate to a riveting final act that‘s both thrillingly tactical and starkly brutal. Overall, Wrath of Man is a muscular neo-noir revenger that‘s likely far grimmer and bleaker than one might expect from a Statham or Ritchie.

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