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.
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.
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 🙂 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.
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