When you see the names Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham together, you think you know exactly how that movie is going to turn out. This one, however, turned out a bit different. With a runtime of just under two hours, Wrath of Man is a violent and over-the-top action thriller. We’ll start with the visuals as they are the easiest to describe. Fucking juicy is all I’m going to say about them. From the action sequences to chase scenes, you can count on that sleek cinematography and appealing visual style. The camerawork simply blew me away, especially since now Ritchie could get wild in the environment I love so much. However, when it comes to storytelling, we’ve got some problems.
First of all, I should tell you that Wrath of Man is based on a French thriller Le Convoyeur AKA Cash Truck from 2004 and starring Jean Dujardin in the lead role. This will soon become apparent as the movie starts having trouble with the tone and atmosphere. We start pretty aloof and easygoing with a lot of forced dialogue that needed to come off as natural. Just get through it and in the second part of the movie, everything will come into place. I know that Ritchie needed to put his stamp on this remake, but it conflicted with the distinctly French style-over-substance vibe.
That’s something I talked about a lot in my previous reviews. I think that Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge is the best illustration of that. Although, Olivier Marchal’s movies like Rogue City, MR 73, and 36 Quai des Orfèvres are also good examples. One does not simply copy this style successfully, especially if that someone already developed their own, distinct style. Granted, it’s a bit similar to French noir complete with the criminal environment but the atmosphere was much more upbeat and entertaining. However, that’s not really that important, as this movie is definitely both entertaining and engaging.
Meet Patrick Hill, a man with a mysterious past who just started working for Fortico Security, an armored truck company. In his resume, it says that he worked several years in Europe and has considerable experience on the job. However, his initial test results are glaringly average and Bullet, his superior, doubts his skills. He will not doubt them when both of them are taken hostage by a gang of thieves and he’s saved by the incredibly ruthless and precise actions of Mr. Hill. This is where we start learning that he applied for this job because he’s looking for somebody. Somebody to exact his vengeance on.
Among other things, Wrath of Man is also a revenge movie. It’s bloody, violent, and full of shootouts that will keep your attention. You will not get too attached to the characters as they’re mostly one-dimensional, but they do the job just fine. I didn’t like this meandering in the first part and the need for suspension of belief in the second part.
On the other hand, both of them are very entertaining and just fun to watch. Especially if you like heist movies. It’s got a lot of things going for it. From the mystery surrounding Hill, over armored car robberies to the final reveal, we’re fed pieces of information every fifteen minutes. This keeps us engaged and wondering what’s going to happen next. It’s very reminiscent of the old-school gritty thrillers of the seventies.