By midlandsmovies, Apr 26 2020 09:45AM
The Gentlemen (2019) Dir. Guy Ritchie
Writer-director Guy Ritchie returns from his “little” dabble with Disney (Aladdin, $1 billion sales) with The Gentlemen - another cockney crime-caper starring Matthew McConaughey as a marijuana kingpin looking to sell his business and get out of the game.
McConaughey’s mix of toff and street smarts seem a cipher for Ritchie himself and the film pulls in the usual blend of stars playing geezers and gangsters throughout. The story is told in flashback, framed itself as a film script by Hugh Grant’s private investigator Fletcher, who regales what he knows to Raymond, McConaughey’s right-hand man played by Charlie Hunnam.
With characters named things like “Big Dave”, “Lord George” and “Dry Eye” and a mix of criminals going to drug dens on with the threat of guns and 'heavies', we’ve seen it all before and sadly, despite some self-parody in its film-within-a-film (kind of) construction, it’s ironic the structure is one of the worst things about it.
Hunnam has never been my cup of tea (he looks and acts a bit Tesco-value Tom Hardy here) but to be fair, he’s one of the most relatable characters as he tries to figure out what the bloody hell is going on.
However, Colin Farrell’s hilarious Irish boxing coach is the standout cameo. Can we get a spin off with him please? Ritchie has been very successful with his twisty gangster narratives but here the scenes were fun but most of them felt like the filmmaker treading water.
Hugh Grant is entertaining playing against type as a smarmy reporter with an East End accent and there a plenty of laughs scattered about, but for me, the film ended on a shrug of indifference.
Mostly solid across the board, fans of Ritchie will know what they’re going to get, but for me that’s part of the problem. We’ve seen Ritchie do this many times before and frankly far better.