R E V I E W – M O V I E
Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham’s fourth collaborative project, Wrath of Man, hit US theatres on 7 May. Owing to the pandemic, the movie is yet to be released in UK and Indian theatres. Sadly, this reunion of Ritchie and Statham after sixteen years since Revolver in 2005, is anything but satisfactory.
Based on the 2004 French film Le convoyeur or Cash Truck by Nicholas Boukhrief, Wrath of Man is a retelling of the age-old story of vengeance fuelled by the loss of a loved one. Although there had been numerous artistic and satisfying representations of this concept on big and small screens, this particular effort of Ritchie went in vain due to the underwhelming screenplay and dialogues, mediocre acting, and grim cinematography.
Co-written by Ritchie, Marn Davis, and Ivan Atkinson, Wrath of Man is an account of H, a newly appointed employee at Fortico, an armoured truck company in Los Angeles. H, who barely made it to the elite security team, happened to show bravery and strength in the midst of an armoured truck heist and managed to rescue his team member. This incident forced everyone to ponder over H’s real identity. As the story unfolded, viewers realise that H, who in reality is a criminal gang leader, had an ulterior motive for joining the company which is to avenge his son’s death. The rest of the story depicted how H managed to fulfill his aim despite various obstacles.
The portrayal of aggravated assault with the ruthless manifestation of bloodshed, slight nudity, sexually explicit curse words, and derogatory remarks about community and people’s sexual orientation is not foreign to many mainstream Hollywood action movies. But the biggest flaw of Wrath of Man was the absence of versatility in both constructions of the characters and action scenes.
Statham as H was cold, daring, and menacing. I didn’t anticipate that he would play the role of a grieving father to perfection given his image as an action hero but as a matter of fact, he never attempted to do so in the first place. It was understandable that the screenplay focused on ‘you don’t mess with a father who is also an organised criminal gang leader’, but much to our dismay, it failed to capture the essence of this character entirely.
Moreover, the rest of the characters were ornamental. Josh Hartnett as Boy Sweat Dave and H’s partner, Holt McCallany as Bullet and H’s boss and Post Malone as a robber – the cast is indeed appealing for action-lover viewers but their characters lacked significance resulting in a disappointing screenplay. The lack of proper female representation and the presence of misogynistic, racist statements added more to the disappointment.
Another drawback was the movie’s inability to connect with the audiences. As a viewer, neither I could empathise with H for his loss, nor could I welcome his determination to bring down the killers of his dear son. Furthermore, the action scenes were pretty straightforward; nothing unprecedented or innovative or captivating.
The cinematography wasn’t precisely delightful, however, the visual effects were absolutely stunning. All the bloodshed, gore, flying bullets, the action seemed pretty real and satisfying. The captivating soundtracks and background scores were successful in instilling a thrilling experience among viewers.
Even though H can be merciless at times, he is a good partner, friend, and father. And Fortico offering therapy to its security personnel to fight against PTSD displayed a good working environment. The plus points in the storyline are limited to only these scenarios.
So is it worth watching? Well, if you are constantly pestered with work, assignments and dreadful life in the pandemic and want to shout on top of your lungs but can’t, this movie may come to your rescue. This movie certainly wouldn’t ease your mind but the depthless scenes wouldn’t add more to your burden, and the needless swearing and even more needless bloodshed may help to channel your anger and frustration. But that is all Wrath of Man capable of doing, nothing more.
Sharika Sabha is tired of convincing people that Economics doesn’t teach you how to make money. She loves human babies, books, and submitting assignments a few minutes before the deadline. She can be reached at [email protected]