by Ethan Paxton | Staff Writer
Let me begin by saying that “The Gentlemen,” a 2020 film directed by Guy Ritchie, is a very particular sort of film, one which will certainly be pleasing to fans of Ritchie’s previous work (apart from large and infringing corporations) because this exists and feels as a sort of return to form for him. This film has some amazing dialogue that is memorable and quotable—a Guy Ritchie staple—and feels very reminiscent of his work in “Snatch.” Like that film, “The Gentlemen” has a lot of chaotic energy that is present, both as a result of the plot and the fiery characters. Though the story feels disjointed and like it’s going in a lot of different directions at times, this temporary confusion can be quickly forgotten as the film does manage to steer you back on course and maintain a general underlying direction as the story progresses. Ultimately, one will enjoy the challenge of figuring out who’s doing what to whom and for what devious reasons.
The cast for this film is phenomenal, sporting the iconic talent of Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding and Michelle Dockery. The story revolves around McConaughey’s character Mickey Pearson who owns a marijuana farm that he wants to sell in order to retire. Thus as one may expect, this crime comedy won’t be making any best family movies of the year lists, but it excels at sporting Ritchie’s typical flare for drugs, colorful characters, crime and of course, some murder. McConaughey never fails to give a compelling performance, especially in this one adding to the long list of films he has starred in. I would be hard-pressed to find a film he was in where he did not captivate most of the attention, and this film is no different. Upon my own viewing of the film, the audience was also entirely more invested at the badmouthing that Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam engage in than any other comedy movie I’ve seen this year. They were welcome additions that added a lot to the humor of the film. The most impressive performance may have been Charlie Hunnam. Compared to his other works, this was by far my favorite performance of his. He sells his character and feels comfortable and natural amongst the other members of the cast. Ultimately, it is the characters of this story, and the life these actors bring to them through their flamboyant behavior and intense line-delivery that makes for such an entertaining ride.
That is another attractive element of this film. “The Gentlemen” is an incredibly fun experience, and though it could have been more polished in parts and perhaps could have been cut about 15 minutes shorter, it is undoubtedly entertaining. I will say this film feels like one that audiences may have to watch twice in order to fully appreciate unlike some other films that seem to require this. The film is one I am personally eager to see again.
A lot happens in the film; there are villains and supervillains, crime and punishment, winks and plenty of mayhem. Ritchie’s focus is cleverness and looking cool but what the film really boils down to is a bunch of skilled actors trading insults, making mischief and adding to the chaos. Overall, “The Gentlemen” is a crisp and comedic action entertainer with compelling and colorful characters, witty, sharp dialogue and a memorable experience. There’s not much else, but for many like myself, that will be enough. 7.5/10 pinecones.