Review: The Gentlemen
by Julie Perez
Though it definitely comes with issues Guy Ritchie’s latest film, The Gentlemen, can’t help but be an enjoyable cinematic experience.
If the stellar cast isn’t enough to get you to watch this film, then allow this review to serve as my case for why you should watch it. The Gentlemen is full of flashy outfits, an immense amount of hair product and a (possibly) record amount of times “cunt” is said in a movie. Yet somehow those aren’t the best parts of the film and it all comes down to the phenomenal cast that Guy Ritchie has brought together.
The Gentlemen focuses on Mickey Pearson, played by Matthew McConaughey, an American who becomes rich in London by building a Marijuana empire. Trouble arises when Mickey decides to leave the business and the fight for said empire begins. This film has all the ingredients of a Guy Ritchie film yet it still struggles to find its footing. Hugh Grant is brilliant as the charismatic private detective/narrator, Fletcher; and though his comedic bits find the perfect moments throughout the film, the storyline still doesn’t seem to flow effortlessly.
Truthfully, the cast was 90% of the reason why I showed up to the movie in the first place and they definitely did not disappoint.
Matthew McConaughey is constantly surprising me with his portrayal of characters. He gives Mickey Pearson the perfect amount of charm while effortlessly balancing on the line of a dangerous crime boss. The magnificent Michelle Dockery plays Mickey’s wife, Rosalind Pearson and she does it phenomenally. Dockery plays within Rosalind’s complicated layers in a way that absolutely makes her shine on screen. Rosalind was portrayed as a strong woman, a level-headed woman, an ambitious woman and it’s all done in the highest of heels and while wearing the best in fashion.
Henry Golding can truly do it all. I feared that with his success in the RomCom genre that he would find himself being typecast but thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case. Though he’s playing the dangerous gangster, Dry Eye, Golding doesn’t lose the leading-man presence that has made him one of the top actors to currently watch.
Guy Ritchie had me at Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam.
Charlie Hunnam and Colin Farrell are the two most underrated actors of our time and that is a hill that I am willing to die on. Colin plays an earnest and tracksuit-wearing coach that quickly becomes the heart of the film and you can’t help but root for his character while justifying his actions the entire time.
Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. Truthfully, his project choices haven’t had much of a rhyme or reason since the end of Sons of Anarchy but his talent is undeniable. If Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam are the next Director/Actor partnership to sweep the cinematic world, then I’d be happy to be along for the ride. Charlie Hunnam as Ray feels reminiscent of his Sons of Anarchy character, which may be why I found myself easily reconciling my feelings about the terrible things Ray does. Hunnam is a natural-scene stealer and even when paired with some of the best actors (Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey) he often pulls focus while on screen. Honestly, casting him will guarantee my purchase of any movie ticket, so keep it coming Hollywood.
So again, although it was enjoyable, The Gentlemen has issues that cannot be ignored.
Clearly, the diversity within the main cast is minimal and I found myself quickly irritated by the fact that Henry Golding’s character was often described by using terms like “The Chinese James Bond”, then following that with “ricense to kill”. Not only that but there is an entire sequence where characters are debating the “absurdity” of someone named Phuc. Dry Eye and his men are treated as props that are placed there for comedic relief, which is a Hollywood tactic that frankly, I am absolutely tired of.
With that being said, if you’re willing to ignore the diversity issues (while you silently hope that Guy Ritchie does better in his next film) then The Gentlemen finds itself to be an enjoyable ride that would be worth taking.