Title – The Gentlemen (2020)
Director – Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes)
Cast – Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding
Plot – The potential sale of drug kingpin Mickey Pearson’s (McConaughey) operation sets off a deadly series of events in England’s criminal underworld.
“If you smell smoke, it’s because there’s a fire”
Review by Eddie on 08/01/2020
When weighed up directly against the beloved staples of Guy Ritchie’s filmography, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the charismatic directors newest film The Gentlemen is not even in the same league but as a refreshing return to his roots, this newest crime caper (proudly bought to you by the Lonsdale clothing company) is still a whole lot of fun should you go along for the ride.
After a relatively forgettable decade or so that saw commercial hit Aladdin but a fair share of failures including King Arthur and The Man From Uncle, Gentlemen sees Ritchie return to the genre that made his name stand out from the crowd for the first time since 2008’s RocknRolla and it’s great to see the visually talented and energetic creative back on deck in a universe of British crims that he knows so well.
Recruiting an all star cast led by American import Matthew McConaughey as marijuana kingpin Mickey Pearson, Charlie Hunnam as the softly spoken steak loving Raymond and a scene stealing Hugh Grant as slimy investigator/paparazzi fiend Fletcher, Gentlemen has Ritchie and his players navigate a rather complicated crime yarn that doesn’t always gel together efficiently but when it does, you’re quickly reminded as to why you feel in love with Ritchie crime capers in the first place.
With Raymond and Fletcher telling the films story over a long night time set conversation, Gentlemen takes us on a ride through the underbelly of British crime tropes as we visit drug dens, soccer matches, royal estates, corner pubs and more tea connoisseurs than a Tetly convention and while the yarn is perhaps less action packed and visually inventive than we’ve come to expect from Ritchie offerings, the director’s trademark character creation and dialogue work is still a cut above the usual.
With barely a moments respite, Ritchie keeps things moving at a rapid pace as additional players like Colin Farrel’s Coach, Henry Goldings criminal upstart Dry Eye and Michelle Dockery’s fiery Rosalind partake in proceedings that give you little time to think or ask questions about what you are seeing, other than the fact it’s all done in a tongue in cheek way that shows off the fun side of Ritchie that is what we love most about the British wunderkind.
The journey of Gentlemen may never end up taking us to the outstanding destination or culmination that we hope for as we watch a bunch of deceiving and scheming players act up around the sale of Mickey Pearson’s criminal enterprise but there’s little denying the fact that the easy to watch, curse-ridden and well played out journey we partake in is a thoroughly enjoyable one, without ever becoming a downright memorable one.
Final Say –
It’s great to see Guy Ritchie back doing what he does best and while The Gentlemen never reaches the dazzling heights of the directors best works, this is a step back in the right direction for a filmmaker who had lost his sense of purpose.
3 1/2 parachutes out of 5