Both separately and as a pair, Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie are stylistically known for their action films. The former is one of the true action heroes left in Hollywood in terms of how we perceive the modern action star. The latter may branch out to do films like 2019’s Aladdin, but it’s clear where his heart is. Although they both made their debut with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, it has been over a decade since their last collaboration. Now in 2021, they finally reunite for their latest action epic Wrath of Man.
Wrath of Man is about the strange and mysterious Patrick ‘H’ Hill (Statham). After losing his son during an armored truck robbery, he starts looking for answers. He joins the company in hopes of finding the men that murdered his son. On the back end, there’s also a group of military men Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan), Jan (Scott Eastwood), Brad (Deobia Oparei), Carlos (Laz Alonso), Sam (Raul Castillo), and Tom (Chris Reilly) home from Afghanistan. They have taken up robberies, and they are pretty good at them. They’re important to this modern-day tale of greed and revenge.
The storytelling in this film is by far some of the best I’ve seen this year. Ritchie, Marn Davies, and Ivan Atkinson really put together an amazing script. The screenplay makes up for some of the subpar acting. Nobody is safe, and the way everything cultivates is beautiful. The screenwriters split the film into three chapters and it’s very fitting. Each chapter details H’s rage for the death of his son.
The editing and cinematography of this film are largely terrific. The editing is confusing at first, but once you get to the second act, it all starts to make sense why James Ebert decided to go the route he did. The action sequences are shot beautifully, and the non-action sequences are shot in a way that gives them importance. Ritchie and cinematographer Alan Stewart give the LA scenery a front seat in many shots, which showcases how beautiful the city truly is.
There definitely was some great acting in this film. Eastwood, Holt McCallany (Bullet), Josh Hartnett (Boy Sweat Dave), and Niamh Algar (Dana), are great in their supporting roles. Besides them and Statham, a lot of the acting is truly subpar. Still, the screenplay, editing, and cinematography blanket the weaker performances. The criminal underworld is a dark place, and this cast generally succeeds at conveying this mood.
This film was truly an epic. A tale of how greed can control a man just as well as revenge can. Evil things can consume us, we see justice as what we think it should be. The lengths a man will go to in order to fulfill a desire. It’s incredibly brutal, the action sequences are beautiful, and Jason Statham plays a man unhinged. The premise isn’t that deep, but once you read the get to the depth of the film, it’s clear this might be Ritchie’s best film. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Wrath of Man is now playing in theaters.