The Gentlemen - review
A British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.
The Gentlemen heralds Guy Ritchie's return to his well trodden tropes of fast-talking, well-tailored British gangsters and for me it worked to great effect. Your mileage may vary on Ritchie as a director, but you can’t deny that over the years he has cranked out some real bangers.
Now let me be very clear, The Gentlemen is loosely based on the model which made his other gangster films successful. And when I say loosely based, it’s probably safer to say it’s the exact same model. The only real key difference is the pacing, which is considerably slower than his usual offerings. I admired the sense of restraint on display, for me it showed Ritchie’s growth as a storyteller. The quick editing and frantic action, has been replaced with a more methodical way or wandering through the narrative.
For the most part, the film centres around street-savvy journo Fletcher (Hugh Grant) pitching a story idea to Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) who’s the second-in-command to Drug Kingpin Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey). The banter between Fletcher and Raymond is laced with double entendres and playful flirting which is a joy to behold; especially in the capable hands of Hugh Grant. Grant revels in the bawdy absurdity of Fletcher, whereas Hunnam gets to play the dutiful straight-man, which really suits his low key demeanor.
In terms of other performances, the standouts include Michelle Dockery; who plays Pearson’s wife, she’s effectively the brains and brawn behind his criminal empire. Colin Farrell is hilarious as the coach of a ragtag bunch of boxing gym based crooks. His fashion sense and accent work alone are worth the price of admission. I’m surprised it has taken this long for him to pop up in a Ritchie joint. Also nice to see Henry Golding as Dry Eye, the up and coming threat to Pearson’s empire.
The Gentlemen is the perfect film to catch over your summer holidays. It’s that time of the year when you want to just kick back and not work too hard for your laughs. I can’t wait to see this again, just to revisit the jokes. I can see this being just as re-watchable as Snatch or Lock Stock over time.
The Gentlemen hits cinemas January 1st.
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