I want you to play a game with me, reader…
Imagine a hot, young director who explodes onto the scene in the late ’90s like a millennial M-80. His films are audacious, clever, and earn the attention of the big Hollywood players.
Now the plot begins to thicken.
This director is offered a major motion picture deal in the form of an A-list star-driven franchise. He jumps at the opportunity and quickly becomes a top name in the industry.
And then somewhere along the way, the director loses his spark. He helms a series of box-office duds and critical disasters… It starts to look like the filmmaker has become another studio sellout with his best days behind him. But just as fans are on the verge of losing hope, he pulls one more ace out of his sleeve…
Guy Ritchie, the subject of that long introduction, jumpstarted his career with a pair of classic crime films, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Both movies were intricately scripted, housed star-studded casts, and were the essence of cool establishing Ritchie as the British Tarantino. Unfortunately, after years of directing blockbuster shlock, it seemed that much of Ritchie’s personal style had fallen to the wayside.
The Gentlemen is a return to form. Like Snatch, the movie has an incredible array of actors including Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, and Jeremy Strong. Grant, in particular, will surprise some, inhabiting a slimy character unlike any we’ve seen him play before.
The film utilizes all the thought-to-be-forgotten tricks in Ritchie’s storytelling bag. There are double-crosses, fake-out deaths, red-herrings, unreliable narrators, and twists galore. The film definitely prides itself on being clever– which, to be fair, it is. Dialogue is used as a weapon with characters constantly shooting zingers and witty jabs back and forth at each other.
Above all, the film is a fucking riot. Ritchie has always managed to find the best humor in absurd situations. Whether it be a kid accidentally getting pushed out of a 10th story window or Hunnam and his goons having to chase down all the teenagers that videoed the fall, Ritchie will have you constantly cracking up at the ineptitude of all the characters.
Just when I thought he was out, Guy Ritchie manages to pull himself back in with The Gentlemen proving that he is indeed still the king of the jungle.