Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★

The weirdest thing about Guy Ritchie’s “Wrath of Man” isn’t that his new meathead heist movie tries to combine the tricksy plotting of “Snatch” (which he made) with the ice-cold steeliness of “Heat” (which he most definitely did not), or that the entire story hinges on the protagonist buying two burritos from the wrong food truck. It’s not that one of the major action set pieces is set to an industrial dubstep remix of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” nor even the undeniable fact that it kind of works. No, the weirdest thing about “Wrath of Man” is that one of the leads is named Bullet, but it’s not the one played by Jason Statham — the most bullet-shaped actor in the history of movies.

Instead, Bullet is embodied by the great Holt McCallany, a mountain of a man who more closely resembles an H-bomb than anything small enough to be fired out of a gun. Statham is therefore cast as H (“like the bomb, or like Jesus”), a mysterious sociopath who’s partnered with the sweet-natured Bullet when he lands a job driving armored trucks for a hyper-militarized Los Angeles-based outfit called Fortico Securities.

Why H is so determined to kill the team of mercenaries who keep robbing Fortico vehicles and why he’s so frighteningly good at it are just two of the many insipid questions that “Wrath of Man” devotes itself to answering in the most labored and roundabout way possible, as Ritchie can’t help but complicate a straightforward action thriller into a steroidal tragedy full of cryptic title cards (“A Dark Spirit”), perspective-swapping flashbacks, and enough moral equivalency to make you wonder if anything matters beyond who’s alive to fire the last shot. It’s like watching someone try and twist a slice of Wonder Bread into a gourmet pretzel salted with dick-measuring dialogue like “you just worry about putting your asshole back in your asshole and leave this to me.” The unleaded testosterone of it all can be fun in small doses, but it’s tiring to see this much muscle straining to lift something so weightless.

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