Movie Review: The Gentlemen

gentlemen-cinemablend

Mickey Pearson pulls a gun in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. And also, don’t EVER mess with Matthew McConaughey! (Source: Cinema Blend)

Fresh from directing the live-action version of Aladdin, writer-director Guy Ritchie returns to his roots of adult R-rated crime-thrillers. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch are two from his filmography that have become smash hits in the UK and cult classics in North America. Those films showcase Ritchie as “The British Tarantino”, with his dark wit and unexpected violence. The Gentlemen, his latest film that received modest box-office returns in the U.S., definitely deserves its R-rating, which is laden with profanity, graphic violence, and comedy.

Born in poverty in Texas, Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) owns the biggest marijuana empire in London while attending Oxford University. If anyone crosses the line, Mickey might put a bullet in their skull. He decides to sell his business to live a happy life with his wife Rosalind (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, who replaced Kate Beckinsale days after shooting began). This causes a chain of events: from a group of gangsters attempting to get a piece of him to a flamboyant Cockney private detective named Fletcher (a scene-stealing Hugh Grant) investigating the entire situation, typed as a screenplay.

There is plenty to like in Ritchie’s return to adult comic-thrillers. There is enough tension to keep the film afloat. However, the razor-sharp wit and lightning-fast pacing of Ritchie’s writing and directing is what makes The Gentlemen all the more worth it. 

The all-star cast, that also includes Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, and Jeremy Strong, has pitch-perfect timing with humor and being badass. McConaughey (who refuses to play roles with any accent other than his native Texas twang) gives enough suave energy wearing a variety of suits and showing off his violent nature. Charlie Hunnam, who worked with Ritchie in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, has never been better playing Mickey’s right-handed man who does Fletcher a favor of pitching his script. Dockery’s Rosalind is easily the opposite of Lady Mary, who never looked more badass than holding a tiny golden pistol. This movie also serves as a good audition for Golding to potentially be the next James Bond.

The biggest drawback is the conclusion being a mess. Nevertheless, The Gentlemen still has twists, turns, and plenty of dark humor. The constant racial slurs might not be for everyone’s liking, which is understandable. But–there is nothing more than having a good time with a new release so early in the year. I have a feeling this is going to gain a cult following for years to come.

8.5/10

2015 Summer Movie Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to team up alongside Gabrielle Teller (Alicia Vikander) in Guy Ritchie's adaptation of the 1960s TV show "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to team up alongside Gabrielle Teller (Alicia Vikander) in Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the TV show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

This is the closest we’ll get to see Henry Cavill as James Bond.

After a handful of crappy movies coming out over the past few weeks, it’s nice to see something that is actually worth your time (even though The Gift was amazing). The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the television show from the 1960s, is one of those movies. Not to mention being a throwback to the 1960s spy flicks. Is it original? No; everyone is familiar with the story.

The Cold War is in full swing. A suave CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and a menacing KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to work together after a clever action sequence. As the two agents of U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement), they embark on a mission to stop an organization, led by the deliciously evil Victoria Vinciguerra (Elizabeth Debicki, The Great Gatsby) from using nuclear weapons. The key to infiltrate the organization is Gabrielle Teller (Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina), the daughter of a deceased German scientist.

Guy Ritchie’s (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) sleek visual style overshadows the genuinely inconsistent tone. The fast-paced action, the chemistry between between Cavill and Hammer, and the witty dialogue are pure fun. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is matinee entertainment at its finest. It’s great to see Hugh Grant again.

3/4