Movie Review: Wrath of Man Directed by Guy Ritchie

Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man, the latest thriller from director Guy Ritchie, starring the never-emotive Jason Statham, delivers a delightful two solid hours of heists, retribution and a daunting body count.

We first meet H (Statham) as a rookie guard, newly hired by L.A. armoured truck service, Fortico. He tests reasonably well, though his shooting skills appear a bit lacking. His co-workers, who all go by inexplicable nicknames, amiably give him a lot of shit. His supervisor, Bullet (Holt McCallany) appreciates his ability to dish it back in spades. And H wastes no time hooking up with Dana (Niam Algar), the only woman on the team.

Wrath of Man

A couple of months down the road H, Bullet and Hollow Bob (Rocci Williams) are out on a routine pickup from a cruise ship when the truck is hit. Bullet is taken hostage. Defying procedure, H follows the gang’s instructions and starts tossing the bags of money into the back of a ute. In mid-throw, he draws his gun and blasts the nearest baddie. Then takes aim and shoots the rest of the gang, chasing them down to the last man.

Corporate is impressed. After all, H was tested as a lousy shoot and he’s saved lives as well as paperwork and expense. They’re planning big things for him. His coworkers, on the other hand, are suspicious.

Wrath of Man

Ritchie takes us back five months. To another job H was working, with his own crew. Just a quickie, nothing dangerous. Just reporting on which way a Fortico truck turns when leaving a pick-up. But of course, everything possible goes wrong. An unanticipated heist turns deadly. H is shot and left for dead. (Note – do NOT watch the trailer as it includes a major spoiler!!!)

Back to the present, we see H’s motivations and his determination to track the killer down in a new light. After gruesomely dealing to the usual suspects, he narrows his focus. And things get very interesting…

Guy Ritchie burst on the scene with a one-two punch with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), both of which featured Jason Statham. Then he left us gasping in agony with a remake of Swept Away (2002), starring then-wife, Madonna. He’s hit the mark a few times since then, most notably with Sherlock Holmes (2009) and The Gentlemen (2019), but has never recaptured the energy of his first two films.

Wrath of Man

I had high hopes for Wrath of Man, Ritchie reuniting with Statham for the first time since 2005’s Revolver. While it may not reach the giddy heights of Snatch, it does not disappoint. Loosely based on the French flick Le Convoyeur, Ritchie and co-writers Marn Davies and Ivan Atkinson bring us a script full of cheeky one-liners, an extraordinarily complex plot with several sub-plots, and brilliant action sequences.

The final heist is choreographed so the viewer is right in the middle of the action. One of those times when sitting in a theatre with a huge screen is an absolute pleasure. Jerking my head to see what was happening on the right, the left – listening for clues to who is hiding where, jumpy, anticipating. Worth the price of a movie ticket right there.

Wrath of Man
Scott Eastwood

There is no dearth of talent eager to work on a Ritchie film, despite his ups and downs. Josh Hartnett, Andy Garcia, Eddie Marsan, a cameo from Post Malone. Best of all, Scott Eastwood (bearing so much resemblance to his dad, Clint) who nails his role as a soldier-gone-rogue, the loose cannon who unleashes the Wrath. But he can’t outshine the charismatic Jason Statham, doing what he does best. Tough, solitary, that inscrutable face – the baddest bad-ass in an ocean of baddies.

Sure, there’s a few plot holes, and what-abouts you’ll be scratching your head over. But it delivers on the action. I give it 8 out of 10. Great popcorn flick!

Veronica McLaughlin

N.B. – not including the trailer here. It really does giveaway too much. I promise you’ll enjoy the flick more if you skip it!!!

Veronica McLaughlin