by Jay Cook
When it comes to a gangster, mob, action, thriller, there are two things that can guarantee a great movie. One Guy Ritchie as Director and two, Jason Statham as the lead actor. Wrath of Man ticks those boxes and gives us standard and predictable Ritchie and Statham and they don’t disappoint.
The new guy, H (Jason Statham), is fitting in quickly with his new team as a cash truck guard. It doesn’t take long for him to start building a strong position as the go-to guy when he takes on a gang that tried to rob his truck. But in showcasing his skills, he soon has the team asking who he really is.
H is quiet and keeps mostly to himself. Working alongside “Bullet” he quickly learns the ropes. He also learns a lot more about the people who work there and in particular about one event where two guards murdered while on the job.
It turns out H has a vendetta and is out for blood after his son, an innocent bystander of that fatal event that saw two guards murdered, was shot in the back and killed. After going through a number of other gangs in search of his son’s killer, it isn’t until the biggest day of the year for cash trucks, Black Friday, where he finally finds who he’s looking for to settle a debt.
If you see Jason Statham on a movie poster you know what you’re going to get. Straight faced Gentleman who will brutally murder you. Throw in some sort of vehicle driving and a lot of gunfire and you’ve got yourself a standard action thriller.
If you see Guy Ritchie has directed another film, you know how it’s going to pan out. It’ll start with one man’s story that will create more questions than you will be able to handle and just when you’re about to give up he drops in all the info to fill in the gaps. And just when you think it’s going to play out, he’ll throw in a twist or two for good measure.
The two working together are perfect, they play the part so well it’s honestly a match made in cinema heaven. But here’s the thing about Wrath of Man, neither of them is pushing hard on this one. Ritchie follows his usual tricks, and you can guess where the movie is going. Statham gives you what you’d expect but really doesn’t push himself as an actor or a physical unit. And this is fine, it’s just a pleasure to watch without too much effort.
The idea of the film isn’t original. Like all good foreign films, there’s always some English-speaking person who thinks they can do a better job. This one happened to come from a French film in 2004 called Cash Truck or Le convoyeur which was written by Nicolas Boukhrief.
The action isn’t as you would expect from a Ritchie film. Sure, there are a lot of guns being fired. But it’s really quite tame in the scheme of things. There also isn’t a great deal of that good old English cheeky humour you’d expect. If anything, this might be the quietest and low-key Statham has played in some time.
Overall, Wrath of Man is exactly as you would expect and exactly what that is. It’s an action thriller with guns, vehicles and one-liners for your action fix. It doesn’t try anything special, it doesn’t try anything new. It’s not over-complicated and while there are some one-liners, it is for the most part about piecing together the puzzle and then watching it all unfold.
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