Wrath of Man
review by Bobby Blakey
We don’t have enough Jason Statham in the world. Before he was kicking ass as the Transporter or an Expendable Statham teamed up with director Guy Ritchie for the films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Now the two are reteaming once again for the film Wrath of Man co-starring Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonzo, Raúl Castillo, Deobia Oparei with Eddie Marsan and Scott Eastwood. Could this be a return to the vintage style of Ritchie and unleash Statham as I hoped or will it fail to pull off the heist?
Wrath of Man follows a mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard who surprises his coworkers during a heist in which he unexpectedly unleashes precision skills. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score.
On the surface of this film it is very much just an old school action flick that follows some standard tropes, but Ritchie puts his usual style and twists on it to help it elevate to something that stands out on its own. The story is pretty simple and seems predictable (and is on some level), but as it unfolds it offers up more depth to the direction it is heading. Statham is tailor made for this kind of role offering up his stoic tough guy persona that fans love while seemingly invincible throughout. This is offset by the back story that reveals the true nature and his vulnerabilities.
Interestingly enough the film shifts the focus away from Statham at one point to the team planning the robberies led by Jeffrey Donovan. This gives the film a two sided approach to the tale and in turn makes it feel more complete. The rest of the cast are good and got a lot more to do than I had expected with one of my favorite character change ups being with Josh
Hartnett. The film itself just works for me and I think Ritchie’s return to these smaller films comes at the perfect time and fits his stylistic storytelling to perfection and this is no different.
There is plenty of action here, but Statham fans hoping for him to bring his martial arts action will be sorely disappointed. This is straight up gun play that screams 90s action with your favorite unstoppable action hero but this time not such a great guy. As much as I loved it, it does run a bit longer than I thought it needed to with some elements seemingly dragged out, but my overall love of all things Ritchie and Statham won out and keeps me invested. While it might not be breaking down the wall in action films with anything overly new I still dug the hell out of this movie and it made me even more excited to see what these two are cooking up with their next film I heard they were developing.
The Blu-ray disc features the film in hi-definition and the DVD features the film in standard definition. Grab your copy of Wrath of Man available now on Digital and on Blu-ray and DVD July 13th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.