The Gentlemen

Title: The Gentlemen
Director: Guy Ritchie
Genre: Gangster, Comedy, Violent thriller.
Main Cast: Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Colin Farrell, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong.
Runtime: 113 mins.
IMDb rating: 8.1/10.
My rating: 9/10.
Quick summary: A typical Guy Ritchie flick with an all star cast. Matthew McConaughey is the drug lord in danger of losing it all when a suspicious American, a violent rival and an unpredictable Irishman put multiple spanners in all of his works.

Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam in The Gentlemen (2019)
Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam up to nefarious deeds

Plot

Mickey Pearson is trying to leave his dirty, violent underworld life behind him and go legit. However, selling his vast empire to the mysterious and eccentric Matthew (Strong) proves to be much more dangerous and treacherous than he first envisioned. While he battles with an up and coming rival Dry Eye (Golding), tries to figure out his new business partner’s motives and protect his wife Rosalind (Dockery), Pearson is risking everything he holds dear to start a new life with a clean conscience. Does blood stain consciences like a white shirt or does it come straight off?

McConaughey gives Henry Golding the what for in a meeting

Verdict

I am obviously a fan of Ritchie’s earlier films like Snatch and Lock, Stock. This is a film in the same vein. If you didn’t know who the director was going into the movie you would soon know it was the master of dialogue himself. This film is full of Guy Ritchie’s trademark twists and turns and last gasp escapes. The writing is superb and full of the Cockney humour we know and love. The very first scene paints a story in our minds and we digest each scene with that ending embedded in our brains. When that turns out to be a red herring and the story is turned on its head we fully appreciate the mastery of the director.

A movie like this with a high number of high profile actors and considerable talent could fall into the trap of trying to get everyone on screen as much as possible. This film doesn’t fall foul of this trope. Every main character gets to make a lasting impression on the audience. Matthew McConaughey is charismatic and dark as the main hero/villain; Colin Farrell returns to type as a fast-talkin’ Irish boxing coach with a penchant for violence; and Henry Golding surprised me with how well he played the smarmy and angry rival. I had grown used to seeing him in rom coms or dramedies but he was good here.
Hugh Grant was hilarious as the untrustworthy narrator. His role obviously throws up the conundrum of whether we can even trust his version of events? Granted, Charlie Hunnam does catch him leaving a producers office at the very end and locks him in a cab with the obvious intention of driving him somewhere to beat him silly, but the fact remains that we don’t know what is true and what is not. Nonetheless, the events are enjoyable and fantastical and make for great cinema.

Hugh Grant spins elaborate yarns as a cheeky Cockney

There is a distinct lack of female representation in Gentlemen. Michelle Dockery plays Pearson’s wife, Rosalind. Dockery is a fantastic actress and is sparsely used in this film, only really as an object for Pearson to save from rape and death. It is a shame that her actual acting skills aren’t used more. It is also a shame that she is really the only main female character throughout. There is no other female character that moves the story along. Sure, there are women who need saving and wives of other characters but only one solid female character. It was a bit disappointing.

Michelle Dockery stands by her man

Overall, this film was tremendously enjoyable. The action and comedy blended together well but the lack of diversity in the cast was noticeable. If it is still in cinemas near you then definitely check it out!

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