Director Guy Ritchie returns to the mobster genre that made him famous with “The Gentlemen,” a pretty fun gangster flick with an exceptional cast of characters.
Ritchie got famous with films like “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” in 1998 and “Snatch” in 2000, one of my personal favorite films. But in the past few years, Ritchie has dabbled in larger franchise fare, like the failed “King Arthur” in 2017 and last year’s very successful “Aladdin” for Disney — though it’s fair to say that the success of the live action “Aladdin” probably wasn’t down to having Ritchie in the director’s chair.
Now he’s back playing around with mobsters and he turns in a rather entertaining film with “The Gentlemen.” Ritchie both wrote and directed the new film and brought with him an all-star cast.
Matthew McConaughey plays Michael “Mickey” Pearson, the top marijuana kingpin in all of England. When Mickey decides to sell his empire and retire, this kicks off a power struggle between rival gangster factions for control. It is then up to Charlie Hunnam’s dapper consigliere and Hugh Grant’s sleazy investigator to figure out all of the power plays, double crosses and surprise twists.
“The Gentlemen” definitely lives up to its title. This movie is fit to bursting with a who’s who cast of entertaining actors, from McConaughey, Hunnam and Grant to Michelle Dockery, Henry Golding and, my personal favorite in the film, Colin Farrell as Coach. Everyone brings such a stark personality to their characters, so much so that that even makeup, hairstyling and costuming make an impression.
Whoever did McConaughey’s hair to resemble a lion mane deserves an award. And Farrell’s squad of tracksuit-wearing, hip hop gangster youths is a gag that only gets better as the film goes on.
Giving those actors even more heft is Ritchie’s razor sharp script. This is a movie with witty dialogue, entertaining encounters and plenty of twists and surprises, as one might expect when gangsters double cross one another. “The Gentlemen” easily keeps the audience guessing as to who’s loyalties lie where and who will come out on top in the end.
“The Gentlemen” is a quality film with a really great cast, all shepherded by a writer/director who knows exactly what he’s doing. This will definitely be one of the most fun crime movies of the year.