Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★★★

About a year of absence and finally my ass has found its way back in a somewhat comfortable red velvet movie theater seat to experience the aspect ratio compression and the dimming of lights. Was it a great feeling? It was, but walking into an AMC, scanning my ticket, and then finding my seat felt like second nature. What better than to start off the 2021 movie watch with a new Guy Ritchie romp? Albeit, a subdued Guy Ritchie. Wrath of Man doesn’t exactly have the indelible quirks and technicalities that tell you you’re watching a Guy Ritchie flick, but it’s a bit more quiet. Speaking of subdued, this goes for Jason Statham as well. 

Patrick Hill (Statham) is a mysterious tough guy who takes a job at Fortico Security, an armored truck company. He befriends Bullet (Holt McCallany), but with Dave (Josh Hartnett) and the rest of his colleagues, Hill aka “H” has yet to get along. One day, some kidnappers take Bullet hostage and threaten to kill him unless H and Dave hand them the cash from the truck. Welp. The former massacres the criminals with exquisite marksmanship. And from then on we get some backstory on him — he’s not here simply for a job. He’s out to look for the man who murdered his son. So through some nonlinear storytelling, thrills, and a few twists and turns, the dishonesty and vindication steadily come to light. 

There really isn’t much to take from this flick except a father avenging his son. It’s frankly quite a straightforward Ritchie romp that is indisputably fun, infused with a sense of cool, and some good action, but this isn’t the crazy and octane-filled Ritchie as you’d find in say a Sherlock Holmes or the great, unapologetic, and politically incorrect The Gentleman... even in the first trailer of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. alone. Fast-paced edits, swift cinematographic movement, and even some slow-motion are nonexistent. And if some of it exists, they do in such minuscule form. Is that a bad thing? Definitely not. This is a new kind of Guy Ritchie feature, at least for my eyes.

The nonlinear storytelling was quite interesting in hopping from one branch to another to finally reach the huge redwood trunk. Sometimes such a jagged method ruined the momentum that was present. And once the conclusion hits, it leaves a mark, but it doesn’t really pack a huge punch — this is odd when the team is Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham. However, despite all of that, Wrath of Man did not suck. 

That interesting style and subdued technicalities from Ritchie and a different action performance from Jason Statham bring about a peculiar newness in both of their film dockets. In fact, such new style for both director and actor is needed — a nice break from what they’ve been doing for years. There is some well-coordinated action, but underneath it is a story between crime syndicates. Eventually just one man has to face a team of former soldiers who are trying to make ends meet for their families. And from that team is just one selfish son of a bitch who wants to take all the stolen cash for himself. Now who’s the guy who’s undoubtedly the killer of H’s son?

So the true tale is about the confrontation between a failed family man and a soulless dude who never had anything to begin with. It ain’t hard to know which man will experience the other’s wrath. Wouldn’t mind it at all if this is the best Guy Ritchie film — could be a Top 3 Ritchie. But if you put his Aladdin remake over this, counseling for you must be found at a decent rate, and even then it wouldn’t be enough. Jk (not really).

The action is more so careful than it is risk taking, but the scenes are precisely crafted with more stagnant camera movement and Statham still kills it with the ballsiness. Scott Eastwood (fellow LMU alum) is an underrated actor with some cool roles — don’t think this guy needs to parallel his career to his dad’s at all. 

*SPOILER* Okay, look, personally would’ve loved to see Statham and Eastwood fight each other in a badass hand-to-hand combat scene and then have Statham’s H shoot Eastwood’s Jan in the exact locations that he shot his son. Sure, I’d dig the popcorn type of ending. But this calmer conclusion still worked. Why the hell did Eastwood’s character have to be named Jan? Post Malone’s appearance was randomly cool.

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