The Gentlemen Review

Before I get to the review, I just want to remind you that the submission period for the Ultimate 2010s Blogathon is going on now and is open until February 9th, 2020. If you would like to participate in the blogathon, all the details can be found in this announcement post.


The Gentlemen movie posterSynopsis
Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), an American drug lord in Britain, is looking to sell his business to fellow drug lord Matthew (Jeremy Strong). Dry Eye (Henry Golding) hears about the deal and tries to take the Mickey’s business for himself.

Review
Honestly, going into The Gentlemen, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Outside of the recent Aladdin remake and the Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, I wasn’t familiar with much of Guy Richie’s work before going into the theater. After a quick IMDb search, I recognized a few more of his films that I was at least familiar with. Anyway, my point is that all I was really basing my interest to see the film was the trailers, which were quick and snappy. And as it turns out, that is a good representation of The Gentlemen.

Writer and director Guy Richie hits the ground running and never slows down. The first two acts are narrated by Hugh Grant’s Fletcher, a sleazy fellow who is trying to extort money from Ray, played by Charlie Hunnam. Fletcher talks fast which correlates to fast cuts between his conversation with Ray and the tale he’s telling. This quick switching of locations, and Grant’s even quicker tongue, keeps you from getting your bearings. It takes a little while to get used to the style and understand all the moving parts. Fletcher is literally telling the audience the story of the movie; He’s attempting to piece together events he has witnessed and fill in the blanks, often with some flare or embellishments. As the audience, this makes you question the accuracy of his story. It would be interesting to see what elements of the story I can pick out in subsequent viewings.

Everyone in the cast is at the top of their game and clearly having a good time. Matthew McConaughey hams it up and brings a smile to my face in every scene. Most of Hunnam’s role have been pretty average for me but here he is fantastic. He’s cold and calculating and has the perfect poker face, never giving away what he is thinking. Definitely not someone I would want to run into in an alley. Grant is a stand out as well. As I was talking about before, his scenes with Hunnam are absolutely electric. However, my absolute favorite is Colin Farrell as Coach, who stumbles into working for Ray. He doesn’t have much screen time but his scenes are some of the best, which is saying something given every scene in this film engages you in some way. Michelle Dockery, one of the few female cast members, flawlessly stands with the male members of the cast but is underused. Like Farrell, she makes the best of her few scenes, often being the highlight of them.

Richie’s script, co-written with Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, is a great combination of wit and action. There’s a little bit of mystery, mixed with explosions, with some humor sprinkled on top. It’s meta, it’s cheeky, and it’s even a little offensive. It’s anything but traditional, a real breath of fresh air in today’s Hollywood landscape of franchises.

I thought The Gentlemen was GOOD πŸ™‚ At one point during the film, I thought to myself that it feels like I was watching RocknRolla again, one of the few Guy Richie films I have seen that’s not based on existing franchises or characters. Like RocknRolla, there are a lot of moving parts in this film and it moves at such a quick pace you’ll have a hard time catching your breath. However, The Gentlemen‘s witty and irreverent script, combined with an outstanding cast – who are clearly enjoying themselves and delivering some of their best work – create a film that is fierce and energetic in all the best ways.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Guy Ritchie – Director / Screenplay / Story
Ivan Atkinson – Story
Marn Davies – Story
Christopher Benstead – Composer

Matthew McConaughey – Mickey Pearson
Charlie Hunnam – Ray
Michelle Dockery – Rosalind Pearson
Jeremy Strong – Matthew
Henry Golding – Dry Eye
Hugh Grant – Fletcher
Colin Farrell – Coach
Eddie Marsan – Big Dave
Tom Wu – Lord George
Chidi Ajufo – Bunny
Simon Barker – Frazier
Lyne Renee – Jackie
Bugzy Malone – Ernie
Franz Drameh – Benny
Christopher Evangelou – Primetime
James Warren – Jim
Sean Sagar – Mal

Pacific Rim Review

Pacific Rim is a popcorn flick in every sense of the word.Β  I am a fan of several mecha anime (such as Gundam or Code Geass) and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was a big deal when I was young, and this was a love letter to all of that.Β Β Pacific Rim may not be for everyone but it was definitely for me.


Pacific Rim movie posterSynopsis
When Kaijus, giant creatures from a different dimension, emerge from the Pacific Ocean, humanity bands together and creates large mechas, called Jaegers, piloted by two soldiers. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), along with his brother (Diego Klaggenhoff), pilots the Jaeger named Gypsy Danger. When his brother dies in battle with a Kaiju, Raleigh goes underground. Years later, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) convinces him to return to the fight for one final mission against the Kaiju.

Review
So going into the theater for Pacific Rim, I guess you could say my expectations were pretty high. Awesome special effects, a great director, an original story influenced by different anime, and giant robots fighting giant monsters Power Rangers style had the potential for a truly amazing and visceral experience. Although it stumbled at times, Pacific Rim met these expectations head on.

The special effects in this film were fantastic. I haven’t been this impressed with visuals since Avatar. It was very easy to see where most of the movie’s budget was spent. The Kaiju monsters were hands-down my favorite visuals from the movie, particularly the lambent ones. They looked very organic, maybe even more so than the Na’vi from Avatar, which were impressively well done. You can see every Kaiju skin wrinkle and the skin wasn’t flat, but dynamic. The Jaegers were just as stunning.

This is the second film I have seen this summer that forgoes starting at the beginning of a conflict and instead just jumps directly into the middle of it. And once again, it is used to great effect. By doing this, the story is allowed to move forward. A brief history was given in the beginning, but flashbacks were mainly utilized to fill in the gaps. The early years of the Kaiju War would be really cool to be explored in a prequel film. There is a lot of material there that would be fun to see.

My biggest disappointment with Pacific Rim was that there weren’t as many Kaiju vs. Jaeger fights as I would have liked/expected. That was what I was truly looking forward to the most. And because there weren’t many battles, there wasn’t much focus on other mechas besides Gypsy Danger. I would have liked to see a focus on the Jaegers as a whole, rather than one in particular. The lack of focus on the giant battles leaves more room allocated for characterization. Maybe a prequel, if there ever is one, could delve more into the Jaegers.

Despite the striking visual effects, they also caused problems at times. During several scenes there was rain, almost a requirement for action movies nowadays (you know, for dramatic effect). Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but the camera work was wonky, and these two factors combined made it very difficult to see the action.

Pacific Rim delivers on the action. Although there wasn’t as much as expected, when they did happen, they were huge and exciting. And a less action-oriented focus allowed more characterization, leading to some great character moments near the end. The visual effects were really spectacular, and extremely well done. You’d be hard pressed to find a more visually stunning film.

Rating
4/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Guillermo del Toro – Director / Screenplay
Travis Beacham – Screenplay / Story

Charlie Hunnam – Raleigh Becket
Diego Klattenhoff – Yancy Becket
Idris Elba – Stacker Pentecost
Rinko Kikuchi – Mako Mori
Charlie Day – Dr. Newton Geiszler
Burn Gorman – Gottlieb
Max Martini – Herc Hansen
Rob Kazinsky – Chuck Hansen
Clifton Collins, Jr. – Ops Tendo Choi
Ron Perlman – Hannibal Chau