The Gentlemen (2020)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant
Plot: A drug kingpin is trying to retire, but his successor and current rivals aren’t making it easy for him.
Review: Sometimes it’s just extremely satisfying to see someone get back to what they are good at. Guy Ritchie started out making some of the most hilarious, R-rated, non-PC, gangster comedies of all time. They were wonderfully violent and 100% British. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is without a doubt a classic and I had a lot of fun with Snatch. Then, as most directors do, Ritchie shifted more into the mainstream. He started tackling big IP’s from Sherlock Holmes to King Arthur to Aladdin with mixed results. Anywho, long story short, The Gentlemen is a triumphant return to Guy Ritchie’s roots. It’s a fun gangster romp. It’s violent. It’s non-PC. And they use the C-word more than the word “the.” Needless to say, I had a blast with it.
As always with the great Guy Ritchie movies, most of my praise goes to the script. There are so many twists and turns that you never really know exactly what’s going to happen. There’s backstabbings, people pretending to be friends, things go horrifically wrong, plans working out just they way our protagonists wanted to. It’s a fun ride. The only story problem I had was that we are being told the story by an outside narrator, but everything wraps up in such a satisfying way in the end. That ended up being kind of my favorite part.
All of the characters are fun and memorable. Looking at the poster, each and every main character in this movie is going to stick with me. They’re all almost like friends at the end of this journey. As someone who loves a good, unique character, I was in heaven with this film. Not to mention, the dialogue is fantastic. I was in a completely empty theater and was actually laughing out loud by myself. Not how you “laugh out loud” in a text, I was literally cackling.
Of course, you can’t praise brilliant characters and hilarious comic chops without praising the cast who brought the words to life. And what a cast The Gentlemen has. First of all, Matthew McConaughey is knocking it out of the park here. He’s fantastic as the drug kingpin who even while everything seemingly goes awry never loses his cool and always has a plan. This is the kind of performance that originally made me fall in love with him as an actor. I’m super happy he’s back to this level of work. Likewise, this is my favorite Charlie Hunnam character. Full disclosure, I haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy, but I thought he had a lot of fun here playing the henchman trying to hold everything together. Actually, he might have been my favorite character in this over-abundance of great ones. Jeremy Strong and Henry Golding are both fantastic villains. They balance each other out really well too. Golding is the out of control new comer to the business and Strong the steady hand who has been in second place for years. I feel like I’m rambling at this point. Sorry, but I absolutely love the characters in this movie.
Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant are both hilarious here. Again, sorry. I’m done now. I couldn’t in good conscience wrap up without saying that.
P.S. This movie gets super wall breaky at the end in the best ways and suggests the idea of a sequel. I’d 110% be down. Just saying.
TL;DR: The Gentlemen is a lot of fun. It’s a throwback to the movies Guy Ritchie is best at with a TON of fun characters and a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Score: 9/10 (Amazing)