Review by Dan Skip Allen
Guy Ritchie has been directing movies for quite a while. His career has spanned over two and a half decades. He has a distinctive style of storytelling and filmmaking. Most of his films, including Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and RocknRolla, have a very kinetic style to them. They have plenty of characters that talk fast and act just as fast. With these films, you have to pay attention because a lot is going on and it's moving very quickly. The Gentlemen is very similar to these other films in a lot of ways, and that's a very good thing.
Ritchie's films have quite a few characters in them so there are a lot of moving parts. Matthew McConaughey portrays Mickey Pearson, a man who is at the head of a drug ring. Charlie Hunnam portrays Ray, his assistant. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) portrays his wife Rosiland. Hugh Grant portrays a reporter named Fletcher who has his own agenda involving Mickey. A couple more key players in the film are Drye Eye portrayed by Henry Goulding (Crazy Rich Asians) Matthew portrayed by Jeremy Strong (Succession), and Coach portrayed by Colin Ferrell. This film like Ritchie's others has plenty of colorful characters. They all play a part in the puzzle that is The Gentlemen.
With Ritchie's films and crime films comes the blood and violence that come along with them. The Gentlemen isn't short on either. These elements play into the overall story perfectly. Things come up that are very shocking and surprising. These events are very enjoyable as well, and sometimes even funny. These funny parts were more spread out through the film. The film starts slowly, but it picks up soon and gets into the story relatively quickly after that.
One of the things that make Ritchie films so intriguing is the script and the dialogue therein. In his films, characters have to say a lot of complicated dialogue. The thing is the actors say the dialogue with precision and professionalism. They use their cockney accents terrifically to deliver this dialogue. This is part of the charm of these films. They have a humor and aesthetic to them arguably not seen in very many films before or since.
The Gentlemen has a great sense of style and awareness of itself. It has a feeling of being meta as well. This is what's so good about this film. It was so well done in so many different ways. Ritchie really captured this genre to some extent as Scorsese and Coppola did. Is it as great as The Godfather or Scorsese's crime films? No, but it's damn good though. The performances by this first-rate cast are all fantastic. The script is also very good. The story kept me intrigued throughout the film. Ritchie has gotten back on the right side of things. With Aladdin and now The Gentlemen, he has proven that he is a very good writer and director.
The Gentlemen opens in theaters on January 24.