Guy Ritchie‘s latest film, Wrath of Man, is a noir-ish heist revenge story based on Nicolas Boukhrief ‘s 2004 film Cash Truck. Featuring Jason Statham‘s first team-up with Ritchie in fifteen years, this film was bound to excite fans of either artist but those fans are probably not going to expect what it actually delivers.
Statham plays H, an intense, taciturn man who joins a cash transit security firm. When he foils an attempted robbery with almost superhuman efficiency (and brutality), his coworkers become suspicious of his true identity and motives. To reveal more would be to spoil the story, and the film uses multiple timelines and points of view so that you’re always guessing what’s going to happen – or even what really just happened.
The film initially seems like it’s setting up another John Wick clone, with rapid-fire, hard-boiled dialogue that has everyone speaking as though they’re the same person with different voices. After Ritchie‘s gangster comedies and Statham‘s turn as a parody of his onscreen persona in Hobbes & Shaw it’s easy to be misled by the tough-guy routine he presents in the beginning of the film, but this film really turns into something entirely different as it moves along.
To call this a violent film is to understate things, but the violence here is not the acrobatic, choreographed action of all the Wickalikes. The violence in Wrath of Man is hard-hitting, brutal and unpleasant. It feels more like the icy viciousness of Nicolas Winding Refn than the flashy, hyper-stylised work Ritchie is known for. With a cast of heavies including Scott Eastwood and Jeffrey Donovan and a minimalist score that gradually becomes more menacing and strained as the film progresses, you’re kept on the edge of your seat figuring out what H is going to do next. The story isn’t anything deep, but it’s told very effectively and if you enjoyed the style of films like Drive or Sicario you’ll want to see this one.