Wrath of Man sees star Jason Statham once again team up with the (almost) always great Guy Richie for the first time since 2005’s Revolver. In the years since, both Statham and Richie have worked hard to perfect their art and despite a few stumbles along the way, both have since established themselves as household names.
The film’s plot feels like something straight out of a Grand Theft Auto game and anyone who is familiar with that particular franchise will see the reasons for the comparison almost instantly but as is the case with all of Guy Richie’s work, good or bad, his signature flare and directing style helps elevate what could very easily have been just another generic action film into something a little bit more unique.
Working on some of the larger productions over the years has clearly helped Guy Richie develop and perfect his skills as a film maker since his early years and when you combine that with Statham’s natural charisma, tough guy swagger as well his own evolution into a bona fide leading man and action star then you’ve got yourself a recipe for success in my book.
Statham stars as H, an unsavoury sort who takes a job as a security guard for an armoured truck company in an effort to locate those who wronged him and enact vengeance upon them and while what follows may be a touch predictable, I was hooked throughout. It may be lacking some of the humour that you’d expect from a Guy Richie film, but it doesn’t detract from the fact the film itself is a really good watch.
Structurally though, I will admit the film is a little weird. After a blistering first act, the pace slows in the second in order to give some context to the situation that Statham’s character find himself in. As a result, you kind of feel like you’re starting over again and this information could easily have been served up as exposition in a short prologue sequence. Personally, if I was writing the film I’d have had some of this setup be in the first act with things ramping in the second but, at the end of the Guy Richie is the man who makes millions making these films while I just sit in my flat writing about them.
The rest of the cast is full of familiar faces both old and new and all do a wonderful job in the roles they are given with the only exception being Josh Hartnett who I thought would bring much more to the film than he did. However, my view may be warped as I still associate the man with being the mega star he was back in the early 2000’s even though I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw him in anything I’ve watched. Nevertheless, it was good to see him on the big screen again.
Anyone who enjoys Guy Richie’s unique brand of film making will not be disappointed with with this film and neither will anyone looking for a Jason Statham branded action movie. Wrath of Man ticks all the boxes you’d expect it to and delivers a film which combines to showcases the talents and abilities that both men have perfected since the last time the pair worked together.
by Edward Laing