Release Date: January 24, 2020
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding
Director: Guy Ritchie
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After twelve years away from the genre with an odd foray into live-action Disney remakes with 2019’s Aladdin, another new anachronistic take on British legends in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and his Sherlock Holmes flicks, adapting 60’s spy TV with The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ritchie has returned to the genre that made him famous: the world of British Crime. This time it features American drug kingpins, Chinese gangs, and scummy investigative journalists. It’s a real treat.
Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Pearson, the head honcho of a weed empire who, in his midlife has decided to get out of the business. He has the deal all but made until Henry Golding starts muscling in on his operation. As you’d expect the web of deceit and mishaps weaves throughout the runtime right up until the finish, with many cuts and edits back and forth in stories in true Ritchie fashion.
The big selling point for The Gentlemen is the absolute delight it is watching any two of the actors in this film engage with one another. For instance, Hunnam and Grant spend a lot of time together and their interactions range from genial to friendly to downright aggressive — all of which is delivered with such charisma you can’t help but love it. Colin Farrell plays a boxing/MMA coach who, despite being a brawler himself, wants no trouble and delivers the best facial expressions you’ve ever seen. You don’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone (mostly) because that might mean losing them from the rest of the film.
At times the dialogue and accents can be overwhelming and a little tough to parse but that’s par for the course with Ritchie’s flicks. Speaking of Ritchie-isms: another hallmark of his is the flashback to previous events from a different perspective to reveal some new truth. That’s on display here but it seems to be for the most part refined, as compared to say The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which has an excessive amount.
The usual Ritchie flair punctuates the film and at times it can be a little less successful, especially in the beginning – but the back and forth between the characters all makes it worthwhile, it is such an enjoyable time.
The Gentlemen does little that is new, but it’s a fun time at the movies regardless! And man do they all look good doin’ it!