Guy Ritchie returns to the world of gangsters and geezer in The Gentlemen. After the terrible King Arthur and the underwhelming Aladdin, is this a return to form for our favourite mockney filmmaker?
The film follows Mathew McConaughey‘s American drug lord Mickey Pearson who has created a highly profitable London based marijuana business. When word gets out that he is looking to sell up and get out of the weed racket, rivals pounce and multiple plots and schemes unfold.
Firstly, The Gentlemen boasts an outstanding ensemble cast with McConaughey bringing the right amount of charm to drug lord Mickey and Colin Farrell is phenomenal as boxing trainer and mentor, simply known as ‘Coach’. But, it’s Hugh Grant who steals the show as scumbag Private Investigator, Fletcher. After years of being typecast as the posh bumbling love interest in numerous rom-coms, Grant has finally been allowed to flex his acting muscles in a renaissance that I hope continues. Grant’s character also brings a slight meta element to the film as he acts as narrator while pitching a movie script he wrote about what he has witnessed in an attempt to blackmail McConaughey’s Mickey.
In the past, I haven’t always been impressed with Charlie Hunnam, acting or lack of it, but he brings his best performance to date as Mickey’s right-hand man Raymond. Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery rounds off the cast nicely as Mickey’s strong no-nonsense wife Rosalind Pearson.
Ritchie brings his usual visual flair to the proceedings even opening the film with a very James Bond-esque title sequence. Like all good gangster flicks The Gentlemen has an outstanding soundtrack which includes Cream, The Jam, Roxy Music and even something a little newer in the form of El Michel’s Affair’s cover of Ol’ Dirty Bastards Shimmy Shimmy Ya.
Fast-paced, funny with some nice twists and turns. If you are a fan of Lock Stock and Snatch this is a must-see.
Reviewed by Ian Wright.