Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★★½

"Dave, you just worry about putting your arsehole back in your arsehole, and leave this to me."

Straddles the line between cool and cringey so often that it's practically a feat. Also, a few half-baked plots threads really do just come and go, one in particular being almost totally unnecessary given the grand scheme of the plot. And the entire thing runs maybe 15 minutes too long. Besides that, though, Wrath of Man is pretty damn solid.

What works so well within the stylized confines of Guy Ritchie's puzzle box here is his sense of presence. From the various dynamics to the core heist that acts as the audience's window into this entire bloody tale, the writer-director is able to develop a lethal cast and savage world that feels both balanced and menacing. There's real weight to the events throughout, the drama between the two chief storylines played with an almost classical flavor of tragedy, and successfully so I'd say (the decision to devote a serious deal of the page/screen to the thieves was a great call to really enhance the narrative's effect). Ritchie handles the material—and himself—assuredly, his abilities and ambitions matched by an equally confident Jason Statham delivering one of his more muscular roles to date. Beneath his grim stoicism are hints of something quite compellingly desolate, all of which are great to experience.

Considering that their last effort 16 years prior was the dismal, nigh unbearable Revolver, it's rather nice to see Ritchie and Statham back in pleasing waters where they're each clearly working hard while enjoying what this reunion has to offer. Makes me even more excited for their upcoming title, Five Eyes. Hopefully, Wrath of Man marks the return of better days for this duo, minus the aforementioned quibbles of course (some of the dialogue, particularly that opening, is downright rancid). But more bizarre yet kinda rad needle drops of Johnny Cash would be very much appreciated.

"In summary: the liver, the lungs, the spleen, the heart."

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