As January draws to a close, we are officially out of the first “dump month” of the film year; a time where most of the year’s bad movies (usually horror) come out. Suffice to say, I was a little disappointed with some of the films like “The Grudge” remake and the “Dolittle” remake (I’m sensing a pattern.)
However, I was also impressed with other films like “Just Mercy” and Oscar nominee “1917.” When some critics thought it would be a fluke, Guy Ritchie surprised audiences on January 24 with a new original movie that is set to be a new favorite from his filmography collection.
“The Gentlemen” is directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell and Michelle Dockery. This film tells the story of the owner of the biggest marijuana supplier in London trying to sell off his empire. This causes a shift in the underground drug system as multiple manufacturers attempt to buy or steal his product.
This film is a big “return to form” for writer and director Guy Ritchie, who has been a mainstream director for the past couple of years with his work on the 2019 remake of “Aladdin” and his 2017 film “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” We haven’t seen a film like this from Richie since his big breakout film “Snatch” which released 20 years ago. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the two films; the very complex character-driven plots for every member of the cast and the highly quotable, well-written dialogue.
There are more pros than cons in this film with a lot of the praise going towards Ritchie and his impeccable writing ability. There are a lot of quotable moments in this film with very witty dialogue and hilarious conversations between characters. These characters talk like actual people and play off of each other really well, causing the entire theater to erupt in laughter during many scenes.
The charm that brings the dialogue to life is all derived from the cast. As far as everyone’s performance, Colin Farrell was very funny, Michelle Dockery did very well, McConaughey is McConaughey, so he was great as always. The breakout character of the film is Charlie Hunnam, who I have always enjoyed in every film I have seen with him in it. There is one scene in particular where he had a monologue and owned the room. I would really enjoy seeing him in more films either by Ritchie or maybe a master-class director like Scorsese.
The action in this film is very on-par for a Ritchie crime film with the occasional gun and fist fights which, at times, were just as witty as the dialogue. This film fills in both boxes of an enjoyable movie to watch with friends where it can be both be entertaining and funny.
As for box office success, this film performed well, making back its alleged $18.3 million budget, quickly grossing a whopping $33.5 million worldwide ($11 million domestic) in just three days. Although, Ritchie is really well known for shooting his creative films on a very low budget and making it back relatively quickly. “Snatch” is a great example making back over twenty times it’s original $6 million budget and making back $83.6 million worldwide ($30.3 domestic).
For some, Ritchie’s complex storytelling may be a drawback. Like his past films, “The Gentlemen” is no different with every character being fully thought out and having their own bigger story within the two-hour runtime. This is not a major concern, I just think of it as a director taking his work seriously and making a very enjoyable time at the movies with action and humor while also adding in a layer of well thought out storytelling and characters.
Overall, this film is a great time with vivid characters and a compelling story and deserves the attention it has gotten over the weekend. This is what I've been asking for in a January movie; a film with an original story and characters that have been well thought out and successfully portrayed. I thoroughly recommend you take a day out of the weekend and go see it with some friends.