Wrath Of Man Review

Wrath Of Man Main
After a cash-truck heist ends with three corpses on the asphalt, a new employee (Statham) shows up to drive the armoured cars. His name is H, he’s very capable, and even more mysterious. But as the day known as Black Friday approaches, bringing over $150 million into the depot, his motivations will become clear.

by Nick de Semlyen |
Published on
Release Date:

25 Jun 2021

Original Title:

Wrath Of Man

Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin may have been a billion-dollar earner on its release in 2019, but it seems beloved by few. Ritchie’s first 
wish following that Disney tentpole’s release, then, was to return to the type of swaggering, populated-by-men-with-silly-names crime flick with which he made his bones: The Gentlemen was awash with people called things like Lord George and Hammy, gabbing like there’s no tomorrow. The director’s latest, Wrath Of Man, however, while undeniably also a crime flick (in fact a remake of 2004 French film Le Convoyeur) and featuring a Bullet and a Boy Sweat Dave, feels like a step in a novel direction. Despite the presence of Ritchie’s old mucker Jason Statham — it’s the pair’s first time working together in 16 years — this thriller is no-nonsense, nifty and propulsive, much like Statham’s character in it, shadowy security guard Patrick, more commonly referred to as ‘H’, and at one point referred to as “a cold, cold cunt”. Something we don’t recall happening to the Genie of the Lamp.

Wrath Of Man

Sure, there’s a certain pretension to Wrath Of Man. There’s the Old Testament title (the original moniker, ‘Cash Truck’, would have made for a perfect double-bill pair-up with Money Train); the cello riffs on the score; the cryptic, Pulp Fiction-esque chapter titles (‘A Dark Spirit’). But despite all that, it surges forward with pleasing efficiency. We meet H on his first day on the job at an LA armoured-car company called Fortico — he’s escorted around by Bullet (Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany, elevating scenes with his refined brand of soul-tired bonhomie), butts heads with Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett), endures gratuitous homophobic banter, and is quickly established as the biggest badass in a group of very bad asses. He’s also, inevitably, not what he appears to be, with the truth eked out over a series of flashbacks. The clue’s in the title: the wrath belongs to H, and he’s itching to get into it.

Ritchie knows how to use Statham, keeping him grim and quiet, like Charles Bronson in knitwear.

Ritchie knows how to use Statham, keeping him grim and quiet, like Charles Bronson in knitwear. (Just as well, since when he does speak he’s saddled with the odd clunker like, “Did you go poo-poo?”) When the star drops out of the movie for a chunk in the middle, he’s sorely missed. But the mystery of why H is so pissed — and who exactly is the subject of his pissedness — is satisfyingly unravelled. And although 
the canvas gets a little too wide, with Andy Garcia dropping in for a few sketchy scenes as a law-enforcement jefe known as ‘The King’, 
and even a bit of distracting business involving Rob Delaney — the villains of the piece, when introduced, are hissably formidable. Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, particularly makes an impact in his short screentime as a former jarhead with an oil-black soul.

If Wrath Of Man feels somewhat derivative of the superior Heat, even opening with a cash-truck heist gone awry, then the third act feels like it’s bent on one-upping that film’s iconic South Figueroa shoot-out. There’s a never-ending shower of shell-casings; you can practically smell the cordite stench. It’s exciting, brutal, jacked-up stuff, and one of the best-orchestrated sequences in the Ritchie oeuvre. More of this sort of thing, please, Guy.

Guy Ritchie delivers a nice surprise: an LA neo-noir with high-voltage action and an ice-cube-cool Statham. If it gets a bit tangled up in its time-hopping reveals, it’s largely 
an enjoyable, rattlesnake-mean thriller.
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