Back in the 90s, the indie circuit was at the very peak. From Tarantino to Sonderbergh, it was a great time to be alive. Almost like in the late 60s and 70s, the New Hollywood was bringing some fresh air to cinema after the studio system pretty much crashed down. The same happened on the 90s, in certain way, after the 80s action and greed boom. One of its much unsung heroes was Guy Ritchie, with its stylish capers and crime thrillers, it was clear we were in front of a new auteur.
Lock, Stock & Smoking Barrels establish him as a name to look after. Snatch was a spiritual sequel that amped the fun but also the style, with its quirk and quick cuts edits and was much cohesive. He went on to try some new waters, like literally, by directing perhaps his worst movie to date, Swept Away, featuring who would become his wife, the ultra-mega star Madonna. We could go on and on, but we could all agree by then that where he shine the most was on the crime genre, where we get to meet all these particular characters that are brute (and smart?), gamblers who bet in all these shady games on the worst places (someone should’ve given them the Fair Go info) and thugs (with a heart!).
Forwarding 12 years, after many tries and errors, Guy Ritchie is back on action.
An intertwined crime story that interconnects in the most random yet crazy fun ways. Basically Smoking Barrels walked so Snatch could run. Snatch run so RockNRolla could splint. And RockNRolla splint so The Gentlemen could fly.
Right of the get-go, while it takes a while to kick off, what I loved the most about this new Ritchie joint is that it seem more focused than his other initial tries with the aforementioned features.
After a few bumps (and Serenity), it’s glad to see McConaughey is back on track with a role that seems to be tailored-made for him. He’s menacing, he’s suave and he’s funny all at the same time. Charlie Hunnam is also great. I one of those rare kids who love Legend of Arthur, mostly because of Hunnam, and here he’s probably much better. The rest of the all-star supporting cast and cameos are also phenomenal. From all the ensemble Ritchie movies, probably this is the best.
Like I mentioned earlier, this is Ritchie recycling his own old ideas, but this is much of a upgrade and you can see with each movie he gets to grow with each installment. I still like his very quick cuts editing like on Man from U.N.C.L.E. – but we get a few nice glimpse of it that adds a nice stylish flave and aesthetic into the movie that totally drew me in.
The script is a twisty rollercoaster. It has some elements and words that might come as highly offensive for many, but if you may skip that for a sec, you are in for a treat.
All in all, another great feature by the mostly awesome English director that sees him back on full shape. People who don’t enjoy his early work would have a hard time digging this, but for the rest, this is a hell of fun rollercoaster.