New crime film dissapoints

Guy Ritchie’s newest movie came out in theaters this past week. “The Gentlemen” is a crime film centered around a British drug lord played by Matthew McConaughey. The premise of the film sounds interesting enough, as McConaughey’s character attempts to sell his highly successful marijuana empire and fields offers from an all-star cast of billionaires. However, the execution and style of the film doesn’t quite allow it to strike gold.

The performances in this movie were decent. Although, I never really felt connected to any of the characters nor did I care what happened to any of them. McConaughey gives a performance on-par with what you would expect from him. Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam are the two stand-outs for me this time around. Both of them do the best with the script that they were given and really were the only two characters with any amount of depth to them. I am not the biggest fan of Hugh Grant, who is also in this film, but his performance was solid enough.

The script feels like it’s trying very hard to sound smart, but just can’t quite get there. A lot of the dialogue between characters is extremely cheesy and seems pointless. The speed at which the actors talk for most of the movie somewhat overshadows the bland script, but not enough for me to forgive its shortcomings. 

The writing is also quite racist and dated. I’m not sure if this type of humor is still something that people find entertaining, or if Ritchie is just that far behind the times. For this reason, a lot of the jokes didn’t land for me or the rest of the audience at my viewing. Times that I believe were intended to be filled with laughter were instead filled with awkward silences both in the theater and on screen. It’s hard to believe that this is written by the same man who wrote the screenplay for and directed “Aladdin” (2019). 

As for the structure of the film, it is sub-par. There is a lot of jumping back in time and some of the jumps came across as a bit confusing or poorly timed. I understand where Ritchie was going with this stylistically, but it just didn’t work as well as it could’ve. Hugh Grant does a great job of narrating what is going on, though, and explaining things that just happened again in case anyone missed the point of what was occurring.

One element that the movie does have going for it is its spacing out of action. Most of the time when I watch a movie like this, there is far too much action and little-to-no explanation of story or relationships between characters. This movie gave the audience a lot of explanation as to what exactly was happening on the politics side of the story and made for some interesting dynamic between the characters. I rather enjoyed that there was not a lot of crazy shoot-outs and action sequences and that the focus remained mainly on the actual story. 

Overall, “The Gentlemen” is a solid movie if you are looking for something that is just barely entertaining enough that you won’t fall asleep in the theater. I recommend saving your money until this one becomes available on the small screen. Or, just watch “Cars” (2006) instead.  

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.


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