Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man ★★★

“Wrath of Man” is a mix of action thriller, revenge flick, and bank heist movie, and Guy Ritchie´s meanest and grittiest movie to date. For the most part, it doesn´t even feel like a Ritchie film, since it´s missing all the quirky characters, stylized editing, catchy soundtrack, anarchic British humor, and playful coolness you associate with the director. You can only feel his presence in some of the dialogue, the violence, and especially in the non-linear structure and changing perspectives, which often recontextualize previous scenes and make the rather basic story more engaging.

“Wrath of Man” borrows a lot from other films and the plot is more on the generic side, but the execution is full of tension and flair. It´s a testosterone-fueled macho film featuring tough guys, ruthless violence, and a high body count. I really liked the sound design, which alone made the cinema visit worth it. Apparently, Ritchie didn´t just study Michael Mann´s “Heat” to copy major story beats, he also learned something about how gun shots should sound. Speaking of guns, you should know that 90 % of the action is gun action, which is cool and all, but it feels like kind of a waste to cast Jason Statham as your action anti-hero and not let him do some martial arts. Anyways, Statham´s intimidating presence and stoic charisma carry the film and I miss his energy whenever he isn´t on screen. As a “Mindhunter” fan, I was also happy to see Holt McCallany in an important supporting role. What I didn´t like was the repetitive score, dull color scheme, and the fact that the payoff for this revenge story doesn´t feel as satisfying as it should.

Apart from the non-linear structure, “Wrath of Man” is a straightforward no-nonsense thriller. It´s suspenseful, gripping, and competently made but nothing extraordinary from a narrative perspective.

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