Guy Ritchie has long since steered away from the films that have made him famous. This has lead to mixed results and mostly (in my opinion) hasn’t worked out the best. Enter ‘The Gentlemen’ a London gangsta story with lots of cockney rhyming slang and bullets to boot. But is this a lock stock winner or just a desperate snatch at past glories? Puns….come get some!
The most important aspect of all Guy Ritchie’s geezer flicks is the story. Telling a meandering tale with 500 words when you can do it in 10 has been what sets his films apart. At his best, he’s an artist, a poet, a bard and a teller of tales that keep his viewers transfixed. In case you haven’t guessed…..I’m a fan. I love the patter and the rhythm to his movies that add style and substance to the nth degree. But it all always hangs on a good story. He knows this (I think), his fans definitely know this and unfortunately his films have been hit or miss in the story telling department over the years. The Gentlemen certainly shows off all the skills Guy has learned over the years to tell a good yarn. All his tricks, quips and flairs are on display here. He delights in the slow reveal, the twist, the re-tell and the back peddle that keeps the viewer both entertained and eager for what’s coming. Like I mentioned, he’d rather use 500 words where 10 would do and delights in the meander more than the reveal which you either love or hate!
A sure fire winner in any good flick is a good cast. The caliber on display here is very impressive. Guy’s lengthy career makes picking the cream of the crop very plausible but he always seems to cherry pick people who have a particular flair and blossom in his movies. There are two very established actors who deserve a big shout out (and one who doesn’t) for absolutely spectacular performances and sizzling dialogue that will no doubt lead to repeat viewing and endless pub quotes!
Wow! What a performance. He is totally unrecognizable from any character he’s played before. Slimey, selfish, camp, egotistical and hilarious in equal measures. It takes a moment to hear cockney slang pouring out of his usually posh mouth but once it settles, he is sublime. The comic timing, creepy homosexual innuendos and fast talking patter is truly captivating and I found myself routing for him even though his character was such a C word!
A larger Wow should be reserved for this man! His role is smaller than Hugh’s but he absolutely fills the screen and leaves the biggest impression once the credits roll. The majority of the movie’s comedic moments rest on his shoulders and he delivers in spades. Totally left of field and bizarre as a character and yet he feels like every Dublin ‘aul lad I’ve ever met in a pub. Bananas and a performance that is simply unforgettable, he made me laugh out loud which is a rare occurrence. Loved it….his character should get his own movie (and probably will). By the way, his definition of racism scene is absolutely superb…a must see moment, guaranteed to make you smile.
This baffles me! I loved this guy in Sons of Anarchy but it’s been proven that he’s pretty much terrible is everything else. Good Guy Ritchie films usually bring out some acting creativity from it’s casts (and this is a good Guy Ritchie film in case you had some doubt) but he is an anomaly. So plain and playing it straight, I actually thought this might be a character trait and lead to something but i was wrong. He’s wooden throughout and just going through the motions. Absolutely forgettable in a movie where his part seems to have the most screen time…..a poor casting choice. I can’t say his character is particularly interesting so some blame can be placed on the writing but even in the action scenes, he’s just so limp and uninteresting. Very poor!
I can’t say much here without spoilers but all I can say is…..I was bit disappointed. For a film that showed such flair and put all the bells and whistles on story-telling, it felt a bit flat at the end. Maybe the ending fits the movie and the storytelling for some but for me it felt like it ended weakly. Can’t say more without giving anything away. Watch yourself and see how you feel.
A quality movie and well worth a watch. Refreshing lately considering how many poor movies have been released over the last few months. Great cast, solid acting, amazing storytelling and a mature Guy Ritchie still showing some flair for entertainment. Is it better than Snatch? No, I don’t think so but it’s definitely the best film he’s had in many years. This is bees and honey!