The Gentlemen (18)Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Dockery, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant
Author(s): Guy Ritchie
Director: Guy Ritchie
Release Date: 01/01/2020
Running Time: 113mins
American ex-pat Mickey Pearson has steadily built a lucrative marijuana empire in London aided by his right-hand man Raymond. Mickey is poised to sell the business to slippery American counterpart, Matthew Berger, and share the spoils with his straight-shooting wife, Rosalind. Myriad enemies and supposed allies attempt to take advantage, including ruthless kingpin Dry Eye and opportunistic private detective Fletcher.
LondonNet Film Review
The Gentlemen (18)
After the quick-stepping theatricality of a live-action Aladdin replete with Will Smith’s motion-captured genie, Guy Ritchie returns to the crime-riddled streets of London and filmmaking home comforts. The dodgy geezers and expletive-laden double-dealing of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, which saddled the writer-director as a one-trick pony more than 20 years ago, are enthusiastically rehashed and recycled in The Gentlemen. The budget of this slickly orchestrated caper is bigger than Ritchie’s 1998 calling card, including a leading role for Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, but the macho posturing, snappy dialogue and stylistic quirks are disappointingly familiar including a point-of-view shot from inside a car boot…
The film opens with McConaughey’s dapper protagonist striding into a pub and politely demanding “a pint and a pickled egg,” which cajoles the barman to pour a beer from a pump shamelessly adorned with the logo of the Gritchie Brewing Company. Blood starts flowing before the vinegar-saturated bar snack has been consumed and a motley crew of misguided characters have started a lively game of dialogue pass the parcel, tossing profanities back and forth as nouns, verbs and adverbs because swearing is big, clever and achingly cool.
Ritchie uses a simple framing device. He feeds us morsels of his predictable story in fragmented flashbacks, as told by an odious private detective named Fletcher (Hugh Grant), who wants a hefty £20 million pay-off for incriminating photographs and documentation of Mickey Pearson (McConaughey). The American ex-pat has built a lucrative marijuana empire in the capital aided by right-hand man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam). Mickey is poised to sell the business to slippery American counterpart, Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong), and share the spoils with his straight-shooting wife, Rosalind (Michelle Dockery). Unfortunately, trigger-happy rival Dry Eye (Henry Golding) intends to scupper the deal, lighting a fuse on a bloodthirsty turf war that will make lip-smacking headlines for sleazy tabloid Daily Print edited by Big Dave (Eddie Marsan). Adding fuel to the fire, rap-loving protegees of a local boxing coach (Colin Farrell) unwittingly steal from one of Mickey’s farms and record their hare-brained antics on their YouTube channel.
The Gentlemen swaggers and growls in ways we have come to expect from Ritchie. Kinks in a predictable plot are clearly telegraphed through self-consciously quickfire dialogue. Some of the cast are poorly served by the script but McConaughey’s natural charisma elevates his self-anointed “king of the jungle” and Grant enlivens scenes with impeccable comic timing. Only one potty-mouthed outburst lands a decent laugh – a pithy aside gifted to Downton Abbey star Dockery, who reverts to her native Essex accent to play a ballsy spouse, whose words are almost as sharp as her designer heels. Tellingly, she has to rely on a man to get her out of a potentially lethal jam. Time’s Up, The Gentlemen, please.
– Jo Planter
UK and Irish Cinemas Showing The Gentlemen
From: Friday 16th October
To: Thursday 22nd October
From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October
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