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Wrath of Man – Movie Review

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Wrath of Man – Movie Review

Rating: D+ (Bad)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy VVS Films

Jason Statham has made an impressive career out of playing no-nonsense masculine men who know how to use a gun. He has even parodied this screen persona a few times, so he’s well aware about the sorts of roles he plays on a frequent basis. Working with director Guy Ritchie again, Wrath of Man has Statham in familiar territory yet again and it starts off with promise. However, the longer the film plays, the more it descends into boring shoot-’em-up territory and a plot that sadly isn’t that interesting. Ritchie attempts to keep things engaging by jumping around and playing events out of chronological order, but this is only marginally compelling.

Through the first half of Wrath of Man, Statham’s Patrick Hill has a mysterious air about him and there is an intrigue over who he is and his role at this security company. The film has us ask just as many questions as the other characters in figuring out his story and what his whole deal is. One clever device Ritchie uses is showing the same scene from different points-of-view. It’s one of the elements in the movie that allows it to rise above your standard crime film. However, once that has been utilised, we’re stuck with the thin plot that mostly exists to have Statham shoot some guns.

The dialogue also comes across as a little too clever for its own good. Every single person in Wrath of Man sounds like a screenwriter wanting to spice up the screenplay with quirky one-liners. Unfortunately, the dialogue ends up tiring rather than being fun to listen to. Hill, on the other hand, is a man of few words and that actually helps Statham in his performance. As always, he does well in playing someone nobody should want to mess with. We do leave him after a while, though, to focus on a group of criminals. Even with talented actors like Jeffrey Donovan and Scott Eastwood among them, these don’t make for interesting or even entertaining antagonists.

The road chases with security trucks provide some okay action and there’s even a decent bit of gun choreography with Statham early on. Once we learn more about Hill and we see who the film’s villains are, we have to witness one gun fight after another. It can be difficult to make shootings exciting after a while and these do get tiring. The climax mostly involves these shoot-outs and they all feel the same. One eventually gets numb to it all and it’s hard to choreograph interesting action sequences when most of them just consist of characters shooting at people and things.

Guy Ritchie is a talented director and he’s shown an interest with the criminal underground through his entire filmography. It’s also good to see him jump between big studio pictures like The Man from UNCLE or Aladdin and smaller projects like The Gentlemen or Wrath of Man. He hasn’t lost his passion for wanting to tell thrilling stories about the consequences of breaking the law. This just ends up being a disappointing action movie with not much on its brain beyond showing Jason Statham doing the thing he is often paid to do on screen.

Stefan Ellison

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