Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 113 mins
The Gentlemen is a British film about a wealthy American who builds a marijuana empire in London, and when it emerges that he intends to cash out his business, schemes develop in an attempt to snatch his domain away.
Although not quite a triumphant return to form from director Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen does represent a welcome revival of the much-loved crime comedy. The film may lack the narrative intrigue of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, but it more than makes up for that with charismatic performance, good humour and a fun, action-packed story.
Above all, what I really enjoyed about The Gentlemen was its fun factor. It may be a hard R-rated crime movie on the surface, but with a great sense of humour and an A-list cast all up for some fun, it’s a thoroughly entertaining watch that isn’t afraid to be the slightest bit silly either.
Thankfully, this isn’t a bland, brooding gangster movie that takes itself too seriously, but rather blends its fervour for intricate crimes and schemes with a deliberately exaggerated sense of fun, as adversaries close in on one another through a series of plainly ridiculous but thoroughly entertaining events.
The film never quite manages to craft an edge-of-your-seat, unpredictable maze of a plot like Lock Stock, and as it also struggles to get up to speed over the course of a fairly underwhelming first act, it’s never the wall-to-wall joy you might hope for.
However, as it develops an increasingly large number of key players, things start to come together nicely towards the latter half. Combining good humour with great action and fun narrative complexity, there’s more than enough about The Gentlemen to keep you entertained right to the finish.
And finally, all of the lead performances are just as much fun too. With the exception of a few wobbly accents here and there, The Gentlemen’s A-list cast really goes for it, with a real glee for gangster fun and games all the way through.
Couple that with a witty and foul-mouthed screenplay, and everybody is delightfully funny to watch, from Matthew McConaughey to Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding and even Hugh Grant in a bizarre role against type.
Overall, I had good fun with The Gentlemen. It’s not a perfect film by any means, and is still a far cry from the memorable crime flicks Guy Ritchie has brought us in the past. However, with an enjoyably intricate plot, great humour, a fun-loving attitude and enthusiastic performances across the board, there’s still a lot to like, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4.