By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
Damn! Wrath of Man is definitely one hell of a title! It is what instantly made me interested in this film. And this movie does deliver on its promise in that it involves a protagonist whose only purpose is revenge. That said, director Guy Ritchie delivers a movie full of style and panache, as one would expect from a Ritchie film; however, the writing and overall construction of this visceral and violent tale gets a bit too bogged down during its middle acts.
It has been a while since audiences have seen Jason Statham in a Ritchie film, but having one of his first stars return is a most welcome reunion. Statham stars as Hill, a mysterious and seemingly cold character who, at the beginning of the story, takes a dangerous and probably underpaid job as an employee for an armored truck service. Though H, as his co-workers call him, seems appropriate for the job, the crew and superiors of the armored truck company have no idea whatsoever of H’s actual skill set. That is, until an attempted robbery goes incredibly south for a group of robbers attempting to snag the loot on H’s second day on the job.
The story slowly reveals that H is not at all who he seems. He has taken this job for a very personal mission of wrath (as the title indicates). H uses his new source of employment to carry out his mission and is without a doubt intent in his goals. The film also reveals further details of a previous attack on an armored truck where someone close to H was a tragic casualty of said heist.
Based on the French film Cash Truck, writer/director Ritchie and co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies have made a movie that starts off beautifully and masterfully, but then struggles to maintain the endurance in a clunky and overstuffed middle. The story overall is rather intriguing, and does have its compelling and riveting moments; however, the overall movie runs a tad too long, and would have been much better with more efficient trims in the storytelling. This is rather odd, considering that RItchie’s first films (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) display exceptional pacing and move their stories more swiftly. Now, I do realize that the tone of this film is totally different. Still, the flow of this story would have been so much better had the editiing been more efficient for the sake of pacing.
To its benefit, Ritchie’s film has a great cast that some of which feels like they were time warped from the 1990s. In addition to Statham, who is awesome as the calculating and determined H, the film feature great work by Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonzo, Eddie Marsan, Scott Eastwood, Andy Garcia, and Holt McCallany.
Wrath of Man is a film that I stilll recommend, as it is still a riveting crime thriller. Despite its flaws, it has enough goods to keep Ritchie fans entertained and invested. To be honest, I have not actually seen the original French film that inspired this remake, but I do intend to check it out as soon as possible. Wrath of Man is now in theaters.