Wrath of Man (2021) Review

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Lock Stock and two Citalopram

Wrath of Man (2021): 7 out of 10: is a riveting story of revenge set in Los Angeles that unfolds in four acts.

Act 1: A Dark Spirit

A brutal armored truck robbery leaves two guards and a bystander dead. Five months later, Patrick Hill (Jason Statham), nicknamed ‘H’, joins Fortico Security as a truck guard. Despite a rocky start with colleagues, Hill proves his deadly efficiency when Bullet (Holt McCallany), another guard, is taken hostage during a money pick-up, Hill’s expert marksmanship saves the day. This leads to him being questioned by the FBI about a past robbery. Hill then starts an investigation within the company.

Act 2: Scorched Earth

A flashback reveals that Hill is actually Mason Hargreaves, a notorious crime lord who was present during the initial robbery when his son Dougie (Eli Brown) was killed. Shot and left for dead, Hargreaves wakes up in a hospital, vowing revenge. Using the alias Patrick Hill, he infiltrates Fortico to track down his son’s killers.

Act 3: Bad Animals, Bad

In a parallel storyline, a group of Afghanistan veterans led by Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan) turn into thieves. Assisted by an inside man, they successfully pull off the armored truck heist, unknowingly involving Hargreaves. The gratuitous violence during the heist leads to Dougie’s death and Hargreaves’ shooting.

Act 4: Liver, Lungs, Spleen & Heart

The veterans plan a massive heist worth $150 million from the Fortico depot. It does not go smoothly as one could imagine.

The Good

The Good: Wrath of Man is an extremely well directed film with solid acting. It is great to see Guy Ritchie at the top of his game. It is also great to see Guy Ritchie reunited with Jason Statham. A warning though, this is not Lock, Stock and Three Smoking Barrels by any means. As I will discuss below, the tone is very different from their previous efforts.

I usually hate time jumps in movies. (cough The Butterfly Effect cough). Once during the film or something is fine, but multiple time jumps in a film can be a disaster. Wrath of Man does it well. For one thing, it spends significant time in each time jump/ point of view, establishing characters and settings. There is nothing worse than jumping every 5 or 10 minutes (I mentioned The Butterfly effect, yes?). In addition, the time jumps and hiding information from the audience serves a purpose. Not a haha we fooled you purpose, but a storytelling purpose and for that I am grateful.

Another thing that Wrath of Man does that is very interesting is that it’s told from the bad guy’s point of view. The good guys in the movie are the bad guys in any other movie and, more interestingly, the bad guys in this movie are the good guys in any other movie. This is a movie where Andy García is a hero in George Clooney is the villain which I honestly would like to see, especially if Julia Roberts gets killed early on.

Jason’s Statham’s character is a bit of a quandary because he does something very smart that most characters in most movies don’t do. He’s trying to go undercover and so he pretends to be the most average person alive. He barely passes the entrance exam that kind of thing so far, so good, but once he gets there, he acts like Clint Eastwood and clearly sticks out as a man not to be fucked with.

The Bad

The Bad: Though of course this being a movie, there’s always one character who decides to fuck with Jason Statham even though clearly everything about him, every molecule of his body, is saying don’t fuck with this guy. Another thing about the workplace at the armored car company is that everyone seems to hate each other. There is no joy or camaraderie there. For that you have to visit the bad guys babysitting their kids together and having a BBQ where they are probably talking about family.

The Ugly

The Ugly: Everything in Wrath of Man is joyless. Sex is joyless, eating is joyless, being with your friends is joyless. There is nothing in this movie that is not grey or depressing.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: With all my praise for a well-crafted film, my girlfriend said something which is very perceptive. This is a really depressing movie. Truth be told, I think she enjoyed CHIPS more. And if I wasn’t as a die hard Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie fan as I am, I might have as well.

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