If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, what must wrath of man look like? If you ask Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), it looks a lot like a very angry Jason Statham (The Transporter Series). Well… let's face it, how often do we see Statham happy in a movie? It is a rare occasion indeed and in MGM Pictures Wrath of Man, it is practically non-existent. This high-stakes action/thriller is right up Statham's/Ritchie's alley but doesn't deliver the same punch as their previous collaborations have delivered. Wrath of Man isn't a terrible film per se, it merely has "issues".
H (Statham) is a "boss" in the very shady underworld of Los Angeles, California. One afternoon, while spending time with his son, Dougie (Eli Brown; Run, Hide, Fight), H ends up scoping out an armored truck job so his "henchmen" can plan a heist later that year. Simple task, just tell Mike (Darrell D'Silva; Informer), one of H's employees, which way the truck turns. However, things go awry when a different team shows up to heist a different truck right in front of the depot. With Dougie sitting in the car, while H does recon, the heist team screws up, and both H and Dougie are shot. After recovering, H hatches a plan for revenge.
Statham easily portrays the mean, loner-type, who has incredible fighting skills, and this is a character with which he has become comfortable. While it is always enjoyable watching him kick butt on the big screen, I feel as if we have all been there, done that. D'Silva does a good job as H's right-hand man who tries to calm H down when he becomes unruly. Holt McCallany (Gangster Squad) who plays Bullet, one of the armored truck officers, has the correct look for the role but not much else. His performance reminds me of a beginner's acting class student who has little chance of "making it big". Another surprise is Josh Harnett (The Black Dahlia), whose character is basically a throwaway. Scott Eastwood (Pacific Rim: Uprising) isn't great as a villain, either. He should stick to playing the good guy/ the heartthrob in Rom-Coms.
While Ritchie has some signature, go-to tricks, there was one glaring omission from Wrath of Man. Many of his other films use the slo-mo gimmick, sometimes even successfully, but there is not one paused action sequence to be found anywhere in the film. The music, on the other hand, is fairly typical fare from a Ritchie film. The score is dark, methodical, and uses the drumbeat to set the pace.
Part of what leads to Wrath of Man's ultimate demise is the story and the script. The timeline jumps around moving forward and backward with no real rhyme or reason. This, in part, leads to what makes the movie confusing. Another plot point that makes little sense is when Mike and H's other "muscle" begin shaking down the scum of the underworld, looking for the group who shot them. Why this doesn't really work is that this heist team is not a part of that "world" so, unless they bought guns off of one of the usual suspects, nobody living that "gangsta" life would have any idea who was behind the heist where H was shot.
Ritchie's directing is very good as usual, and Statham is once again solid as the lead. The gun choreography is well done and makes sense when it is utilized. Otherwise, Wrath of Man is your typical fair to appease those that love the action/thriller genre.
If you don't blink, you also briefly get to see Andy Garcia (Ocean's Eleven).