Funny and exciting, The Gentlemen is an enjoyable watch and is Guy’s best film in years.
Director Guy Ritchie first gained fame in the late ’90s and early 2000s through the crime genre with his first two movies, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), and Snatch (2000). Both are widely regarded as cult classics and some of the best crime movies ever made with their frenetic action, memorable characters, and funny dialogue. After directing more thematic movies like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) and Aladdin (2019) in recent years, Guy Ritchie returns to the crime genre with The Gentlemen, and despite the long absence, this movie proves he’s still got it.
The story follows American Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), who originally moves to London to study in college but later on, he builds a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When Mickey decides to sell his marijuana business, it originally starts off smoothly but soon a host of colorful characters deal, scheme, bribe and blackmail their way to try and steal Mickey’s business out from under him.
First of all, the way the story is told is done in a unique way. The movie starts off with Fletcher (Hugh Grant), a shady journalist whose boss hates Mickey, telling Ray (Charlie Hunnam), Mickey’s right-hand man, all the bad things Mickey and the people around him have done through the form of a movie script.
It’s a concept that could have been expanded further, especially during the later parts of the movie. The film is hilarious with some laugh-out-loud scenes and jokes that land effectively. With that being said, the humor and dialogue are uniquely British so your mileage may vary when it comes to the comedy, but the cheeky British humor adds to the film’s character, rather than distracts.
At just under two hours, The Gentlemen is a fun watch from beginning to end. There aren’t any boring scenes that bog down the story and the action sequences are thrilling to watch. You can tell that the crime genre is Guy’s forte as the movie just flows well from scene to scene. The world of the movie feels right with a well laid out background and well-established characters.
Guy Ritchie excels at making funny dialogue, but also memorable characters and this movie is no exception. This movie has a talented cast who all give great performances. It’s a diverse set of characters from eccentric billionaire Matthew (Jeremy Strong), to an ambitious gangster (Dry Eye). Matthew McConaughey is a great lead actor as the ruthless boss Mickey who has a soft spot for the people close to him. He can go from manipulative to vengeful, and all the way to caring.
The most memorable performance has to go to Hugh Grant’s portrayal of Fletcher though. He has some of
the most memorable scenes of the movie and he’s very funny in the role. He also serves as an effective and outlandish narrator of sorts for the movie.
One thing that is noteworthy of The Gentlemen is that most of the cast are playing roles that you wouldn’t normally associate with the actors. Matthew and Henry are both known for their more light-hearted roles, but here, they play gangsters who aren’t afraid to kill to get what they want. A thing that could have made the movie better though is if Dry Eye could have been given more backstory as to understand his motivations more, but other than that, it’s an impressive cast.
When Matthew McConaughey was asked to describe a Guy Ritchie movie, he said that it’s made up of “language, punch, humor, sleight of hand, chin up, and double-dare-ya. Every character in Guy’s movies has a specific and unforgettable identity; you want to be with them when you’re with them. Nobody is boring.” and that is an accurate way to describe The Gentlemen. It’s a much-needed return to form for Guy Ritchie and solidifies his place as one of the crime genre best filmmakers. The film gets the gangster tone just right with characters that both charm and impress. The movie is a great mix of action and comedy that makes for a fun time.
Funny dialogue, exciting action scenes, and a memorable cast of characters make for a movie that you won’t forget so easily when you leave the cinema. The Gentlemen is a solid movie to start the new year and one Guy Ritchie fans and fans of the gangster and crime genre should definitely check out.
The Gentlemen opens in Philippine cinemas on January 29 from Captive Cinema.