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The Gentlemen (A Movie Review)

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

The Gentlemen


Starring Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Lyne Renée, Tom Wu, Chidi Ajufo, Simon Barker, Jason Wong, John Dagleish, Jordan Long, Lily Frazer, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Samuel West, Geraldine Somerville and Eliot Sumner.

Screenplay by Guy Ritchie.

Directed by Guy Ritchie.

Distributed by STX. 113 minutes. Rated R.

Director/Screenwriter/Producer Guy Ritchie is back and has stayed true to form with his latest witty, testosterone-filled film, The Gentlemen.

From the opening scene, the screen is drenched in the aesthetic rich earth tones of the disgustingly rich. This starts as the suave, yet rough around the edges Mickey Pearson (played by Matthew McConaughey) orders a drink and pickled egg, calls his wife and invites her to dinner. He overhears a commotion on his wife’s end of the call. A shot rings out and blood sprays, swirling into Mickey’s drink.

It’s a shocking start to a film that then takes a turn into what seems to be a retelling/expose/winding tale spun by the smarmy, inappropriate PI Fletcher, played by Hugh Grant. He attempts to prove to Mickey’s right hand man, Ray (played by Charlie Hunnam), that the asking price of Fletcher’s blackmail request is worthy of its hefty price tag.

The story, originally commissioned by a vengeful tabloid publisher, twists and turns, introducing one rich and powerful drug lord character after another… and where there are drugs, money, and power, there is trouble.

Mickey is working to cut a deal with Matthew (played by Jeremy Strong) to sell off his involvement in the marijuana industry – to get out while he is ahead of the pack. Matthew may want a calmer life of early retirement where he can devote more attention to the love of his life, his wife Rosalind (played by Michelle Dockery – PS, how does she walk in those spiked heels???).

Matthew is portrayed as a Jewish shyster of a businessman looking to drive down the bottom-line cost of the sale (really Guy, you can’t do better than that??) by any shady means possible. This leads to the involvement of Dry Eye (played by Henry Golding), a drug lackey already poised to take over the heroin business in the area. His character’s violent, impulsive nature personifies the heroin industry like Pearson’s chill personifies the more established, less deadly marijuana industry.

My favorite character in The Gentlemen is The Coach, played by Colin Farrell. Protective of his “Toddlers” (the plaid track suit wearing stealth video making YouTubers who train at his gym), he offers his service as a show of respect to Mickey after his brood is hired to rob one of his secret “bush” sites. It is a surprising, well-choreographed scene, where the youthful YouTubers get the better of Mickey’s hired guns, and then send out the footage in an emoji filled freestyle video. The Coach maintains that he is not in the gangster business and will serve Mickey for as long as he deems it necessary to make up for the inconvenience caused by his boys.

While The Gentlemen held my attention throughout, I am not sure if it was due to assault by the curse-filled language and comically violent imagery, the taut attention I had to pay in order to decipher the thick cockney accents to figure out where the story was going, or if possibly, I liked it. There were few characters that I cared anything for, and I felt little investment in the storyline, but it did make me laugh and jump in my seat.

The Gentlemen was more entertaining than most of the other films that I’ve seen recently and is well suited for the big screen.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2020 All rights reserved. Posted: January 24, 2020.

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