The newest movie from Guy Ritchie called “The Gentlemen” is now in theaters. This one features a great ensemble cast consisting of Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, Henry Golding and Colin Farrell. The story centers on the head of a marijuana growing empire that tries to sell his business which results in many weaving plots, bribes, double crosses, and bribery as potential suitors attempt to stake their claim to this profitable drug ring. And as you would come to expect this was a wildly comedic crime-drama that oozed Guy Ritchie charm and charisma from start-to-finish.
The style of Guy Ritchie is easy to spot when watching a film and it certainly has an edge to it that doesn’t always appeal to all genres of story-telling. I think Ritchie is at his best when he is directing his own written material with great films like “Snatch,” “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” and the more recent and underrated “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” to show for it. “The Gentlemen” is a blend of many moving pieces that all flow into one seamless narrative that is rich with personality, style, appeal, intrigue, and most important, charm. This movie keeps its foot on the gas as it weaves through a variety of characters and intertwining story-layers, and as the viewer you are completely consumed by this world and hanging onto each scene to see where it will go next.
As soon it starts the ride begins and something Ritchie brings to this project was a clever story with many appealing layers. The plot-line is simplistic for the genre from an outside perspective. But Ritchie uses a unique progression of how the story is told to create enjoyable misdirection and unpredictability. On top of that is a layering of many appealing character types. The use of this ensemble overall was impressive. Everyone adds their own flair to the story. They all have their memorable moments and each of them flawlessly delivers Ritchie’s fast paced, witty dialogue. The interactions between the characters propel the story-line forward, as well as laying the groundwork to a variety of comedic jabs. From visual humor to blatant jokes and so many more moments that hit a second later due to the casual delivery, the hilarity in this movie thrives and is surprisingly effortless. In addition to being tailored nicely to the tone of each character which resulted in nothing feeling stale, forced, or intentionally placed for a cheap laugh.
The direction from Ritchie was crisp. He moved the characters around nicely to capture intensity, humor, and emotion with a great eye. The wardrobes were almost a character of their own as they pumped style and personality into the film. The scoring was precise to the flow of the story and with all these film-making elements working as one, the result was a fantastic film. One filled with great performances, polished writing, and endless creative expression. Too often films seem derivative, but when you come across a movie such as this one, that knows what it wants to deliver and relies on its own artistic expression to do so, you need to grab a ticket and take the ride. “The Gentlemen” was endless fun, and one of the best January movies of all-time.