Guy Ritchie produces, writes, and directs ‘The Gentlemen,’ a British action-comedy that premiered at the Curzon Mayfair Cinema and was one of the few films to make it to theaters in 2020. It was made by Miramax and released in the United States through STXfilms.
American gangster Michael ‘Mickey’ Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) angers British tabloid editor Big Dave (Eddie Marsan) when he snubs him at a party. He sends private investigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) to investigate Mickey, his wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery), and his enforcer Raymond Smith (Charlie Hunnam) who are some of the biggest marijuana sellers in England. Mickey is trying to get out of selling drugs, but runs afoul of Chinese gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding) as he’s trying to sell his business to Jewish gangster Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong). With Mickey trying to get out, everyone is trying to get in and take over his territory.
Guy Ritchie is good at two things: style and casting. This movie shows off both of those skills to perfection. It is definitely what the British director has going for him and he made sure to let us know with this feature. He does a good job with even the smallest detail, down to the costumes, which every character shows off the fashion with good taste. Huge props to the cinematographer Alan Stewart who complimented the plot, action, and acting with his talent for camera work.
The cast was also spectacular. Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Dockery, and Charlie Hunnam are definitely the stars of the film. Their charisma and talent for delivering witty one-liners are on full display. Dockery truly shined as the “Queen” and had some good moments. The rest of the cast does an excellent job as well and truly brings out the action and comedic timing that was needed to make this movie a success. It was also good to see Hugh Grant play against type, taking a villain role, but added his dramatic flair to it.
On one-liners, the dialogue is very well-written. With each interaction, you know exactly what is going on and the character’s motivations. The film did not try to impress you with vague philosophical meanderings to impress you with the filmmakers’ intellectualism. Instead, it focused on the characters’ actions and used the dialogue to help entertain the viewer while also giving you humor and at times, shock.
My one issue with the film is with the character Coach, played by Colin Farrell. Now, this is not a critique of Farrell’s acting ability as he did an excellent job, but I felt like his story-arc was just shoved into the story to add extra flare. However, I felt that it was unnecessary and the purpose of his arc did not need to be exaggerated in such great detail.
However, as a gangster film, I enjoyed it a great deal. Normally, I do not like films that try to force you to empathize or pity villains, but since it was done with comedy mixed in, it made the movie incredibly enjoyable from start to finish. Sure, there were a few minutes to make you squirm, but it was nothing over the top.
Bottom line, The Gentlemen is a fun, stylish, and all-around good time film with lots of excellent performances, witty dialogue, and slick shots that you can enjoy from beginning to end.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong language, Violence, Drug content
FAVORITE QUOTE: There’s only one rule in the jungle: when the lion’s hungry, he eats!
Check out the trailer below:
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