The Gentlemen Movie Review
After largely abandoning the formula that put him on the map for larger budget fare—Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and most recently Aladdin—Guy Ritchie returns to his roots with the deliciously low key crime comedy/thriller The Gentlemen.
The movie also serves as yet another reminder that Hugh Grant is arguably at his best when not bound by romantic comedy charm.
Grant is one of many recognizable faces who relish out-of-character turns in this Ritchie throwback film. Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Henry Golding, and Colin Farrell all seem to be having a blast in the film thanks to sharp dialogue, witty humor, small bursts of violence, and a fast-moving, oft deviating plot.
The Gentlemen maybe doesn’t have quite the rough and tumble grit of Lock Stock or Snatch, and in what can best be described as a glossier, more mature, and well-funded production, The Gentleman lacks much of a hook other than, as mentioned earlier, being a Ritchie throwback. The plot twists, circles, and at times literally backtracks on itself, but while one could say it is unpredictable, one could also say it’s hard to care that much about what happens or where it will end. It’s not that The Gentlemen doesn’t engage or even draw you in, but Ritchie, who wrote the screenplay, is so flippant with the story that the one thing he forgets to do is make a case for why we should expect anything but what happens to happen.
But even as light or whimsical to the point of losing its edge, Ritchie proves that he is more than capable of packing a film so full of colorful characters and side schemes that it’s easy to gloss over the movie’s weaknesses. The Gentlemen pulses with an infectious energy thanks to a cast that is having fun and a director who seems equally pleased telling a story that presumably didn’t have the studio oversight or pressure his last several films likely offered in spades.
The Gentlemen isn’t perfect, but for those who look back fondly on Guy Ritchie’s early days and others who simply want a fun, creative crime story full of imperfect, craftily written characters, it’s well worth the investment.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.