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Wrath of Man: Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham Reunite for an Effective and Dark Thriller

May 6, 2021

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B+ – Wrath of Man – The remake of the 2014 French film Cash Truck is a hard-hitting thriller that features unorthodox storytelling and effective action. It’s also loaded with an excellent cast featuring Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan and Josh Hartnett. 

Wrath of Man feels like an old school thriller that features tough guys, saying tough things, while they engage in tough shenanigans. This isn’t meant to sound reductive, as the Guy Ritchie directed film knows how to create welcome amounts of thrills that build towards a wildly violent finale that makes you miss wildly violent gunfights. Drawing from 23 years worth of gangster films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Gentlemen, Revolver, and RocknRolla, Ritchie has set his sights towards white-knuckled thrillers like Dragged Across Concrete, Den of Thieves and Heat, that take place in the United States and feature robberies gone wrong, and the wild consequences that follow. 

Wrath of Man focuses on what happens when a mysterious man named Harry “H” Hill (Jason Statham) starts working at an armored truck company shortly after a massive heist that ended with millions stolen, and two guards dead. Harry shows up at the Los Angeles-based company with a stacked resume, surly attitude, and mono-syllabic speaking style that make him less than popular with his brash coworkers. The only connection he makes is with his trainer Bullet (Holt McCallany), who’s relaxed vibe and shared dislike of Sweaty Boy Bob (Josh Hartnett) make him someone Harry can drink beers with. After an attempted robbery ends with H murdering six people with incredible ease, things take a unique turn as the non-linear storytelling introduces us to new-and-dangerous characters, who all come together at the end for some old-school chaos. 

It would be fun to write more about the specifics of the film, but after going into it blind, it would be a disservice to spoil the twists-and-turns that Ritchie and co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies have in store. However, it’s worth mentioning that Statham wears some wonderful cardigans, Johnny Cash music is used expertly, and after Sicario, Let Him Go, Shot Caller, and Fargo, Jefrrey Donvan has become one of the best character actors working today. Also, it’s neat watching how the different worlds of criminals, armored guards, and military  veterans differ greatly, as their language, discussions and interactions have a different ebb-and-flow that showcase who they really are. 

Alan Stewart (Band of Brothers, The Gentlemen, Aladdin), the Director Photography deserves a special mention as the steadicam and static camera shots are always interesting. Between Ritchie’s framing, and Stewart’s camera, the audience is given some memorable shots that establish power dynamics, and showcase the thrilling violence. 

Final thoughtsWrath of Man brings a welcome dose of violence and twists, and it’s nice seeing Guy Ritchie branch out to different kinds of tough-guy films.

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