I’m a huge Guy Ritchie fan. Snatch is one of my most quoted films to this day. Lock Stock is pretty great too. For the past little while, he’s been dabbling in mainstream movies by other people (Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, Aladdin), some better than others. But I’ve been waiting for him to return to what he does best: originals set in some gritty UK underworld. After all these years, he’s finally back in form.
Matthew McConaughey (I still hafta Google the spelling every dang time) runs a marijuana empire in jolly old England. He’s looking to retire and just hang out with wife Michelle Dockery, which means selling off his business. But of course that won’t be as easy at it sounds, with various shady fellows double crossing and backstabbing each other and generally making trouble for Matthew but fun for us. Said shady fellows include Hugh Grant, Henry Golding, Collin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, and other notable types (sadly no Jason Statham, the one piece missing from a true return to form).
Ritchie’s a little rusty. The film takes a while to get going and find its rhythm (and for me to find my ear for the accents). Much of the first act is a slog, and I feared a misfire. Then it picks up a bit. And a bit more. And a bit more. By the time the credits rolled, I’d forgotten the rough start and was rollicking in the joy I was hoping for in this film.
All the pieces I’d come to expect are there, just a step below what he’s capable of. There’s great dialog, maybe not quite so quotable as Snatch, but enough to make me laugh out loud a bunch (although given how liberal he is with the C word, prolly good it’s not so quotable). The characters are memorable and very well cast, although again just slightly below my incredibly high standard. Gold stars for Hugh Grant in particular. He was exactly what I wanted to see in this film. Points for Henry Golding as well, even if that Asian coulda used a little more crazy.
Bottom line is the movie checked all the right boxes, and considering how long it’s been since Ritchie has done something like this, it was a fairly smooth return. If he can hang out here a bit longer, I think he’ll give us something even better
The Gentlemen – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n