THE GENTLEMEN – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Tarantino’s favorite curse word in his films is F$CK. Guy Richie is from England, so he prefers the curse word C$NT. Other than their penchant for cursing in their screenplays, Tarantino wishes he could be as clever as Guy Ritchie. Yeah, I said it.
The Gentleman is a star-studded sophisticated action-comedy. The story follows American ex-pat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who has built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business, the wheels are set in motion. A host of colorful, if entirely illegitimate, figures scheme, bribe, and blackmail their way to try and steal Mickey’s domain out from under him. Most of the story is being told to Ray (Charlie Hunnam), Mickeys’ consigliere, by the skeezy and profiteering Fletcher (Hugh Grant). He has broken into Ray’s home in the middle of the night to make him a deal. He’s one of the best private detectives who finds dirt on the rich and powerful for the London tabloids. Think of the British version of The Enquire, and you get the idea. Fletcher has been hired by Big Dave (Eddie Marsan), who runs the Daily Print, the most powerful tabloid paper in town, and he has a beef with Mickey. So Big Dave puts Fletcher on his tail to bring him down. The only thing is Fletcher thinks himself a filmmaker and writes a screenplay based on all the information he has gathered; he tells his story to Ray with great flair and enough cool cinematic inside jokes and terms that will make any movie fan giggle with delight. You see, Fletcher has seen and gathered evidence on Mickey and all the underworld players in this very sorted deal. He wants twenty million pounds to turn over the info or it goes to Big Dave to print on the front page of The Daily Print.
With this new film The Gentlemen, director Guy Ritchie is returning to the genre and type of characters that first made him famous. There’s a unique rhythm to his films such a Sherlock Holmes, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch. His producer and co-writer for this film, Ivan Atkinson is quoted as saying, “No one has captured that gangster tone like Guy, who really understands charm and character.” I think he said it best when he goes on to say, “You never forget Guy’s characters in those films, and it’s great to experience that mix of action, comedy, and fun.”
With this film, Guy Ritchie seems to have matured in his storytelling. He still has terrific gangster stories he likes to tell with lots of violence and mayhem, but there is a degree of subtlety and wit to it now that his earlier work lacked. I would call his new film The Gentleman not only a great action film that men will naturally want to see but also an action film that women will enjoy too. If only for the reason than to see Hugh Grant, who spent most of his entire career playing heartthrobs in iconic romance comedies, now play a scuzzy, flamboyant, and obviously gay character in this movie.
I give The Gentleman a 4.5-star rating cuz it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Directed by: Guy Richie
Written by: Guy Richie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
Selig Rating 4.5 Stars
Running Time: 1hr 53min
Action / Comedy
Wide Release: January 24th
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, With Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.