Judd: After spending the last decade trying to branch out and do something other than “Guy Ritchie” films, Guy Ritchie has gone back to his roots and given us a British mob film, The Gentlemen. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunman, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Hugh Grant, The Gentlemen doesn’t bring anything new to the Ritchie cannon, but it is a solid entry with fantastic performances and a great script with double crosses, triple crosses, and enough twists to keep you entertained for the full two hours.
Mickey (McConaughey) is the most successful weed dealer in the UK, but middle-age has set in and he wants out of the game. He’s ready to retire. When he offers his business to a fellow competitor, Matthew (Jeremy Strong), things start to go awry. It doesn’t help that Mickey and his crew are being tailed by a private investigator named Fletcher (Grant) who is working to dig up dirt on Mickey for a tabloid. The story unfolds through Fletcher as he explains about the blackmailing plot through the use of a movie script he has written, detailing all the exploits he’s caught on his camera.
As with most Ritchie films, the editing and direction are frantic, but like Mickey, Ritchie is older and willing to slow things down and let the story speak for itself. Is it a perfect script? No, there are too many subplots, and we could have done with a few less characters, but it never feels overcooked.
The performances are all fantastic with Grant and Hunman providing excellent chemistry. Golding gives us the testosterone laden rage of Ritchie’s earlier films, and McConaughey is great when he’s not giving me a “talking to myself while driving a Lincoln” vibe – which, thankfully, isn’t often.
The fact that Ritchie hasn’t done a movie like this in such a long time also makes it easier to forgive the film’s missteps. It’s comforting and familiar, and pretty damn good to boot.
Judd: 3 stars