Updated: May 26, 2020
Film: The Gentleman Cast: Charlie Hunham, Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong Score by: Christopher Benstead Screenplay: Guy Ritchie Director: Guy Ritchie Production: Miramax Films Cinematographer: Alan Stewart Distributed by: STX Entertainment Review by: Jessie Carlson Rating: 4 X's out of 5 X’s Alright. Alright. Alright. Yes, this is another Guy Ritchie film filled with crude British humor and dense plots. Yes, Matthew McConaughey is rugged and handsome and the true epitome of an American. And yes, Charlie Dunham is a man who wears a knit cardigan and drinks tea after a long day of killing and roughing people up. Before we go any further, I feel the need to disclose that I really struggle with understanding accents. Hence, this review is purely based around what I was able to put together despite my unfortunate limitation. If you are familiar with Guy Ritchie and his work, you’ll probably have a good guess on the vibe and manner of the film, but if you don’t let me attempt to explain. The Gentleman is a gangster-noir film blended with risque humor, grit and wit and dapper looking men at every turn. American, Mickey Pearson (McConaughey), is currently the ruling king of the marijuana empire in London. When he is considering cashing out of the business, all hell breaks loose when other drug lords (Strong and Golding) begin to play dirty with schemes to acquire his fortune. With the help of Raymond (Hunham) and his loyal right hand man “Coach” (Farrell), a well-meaning Irish boxer who is trying to make amends, and Rosalind, his rightful queen, Mickey is able to fight back and maintain his status as king of the jungle. This is a story filled with betrayals, secret partnerships, and a pattern of shocking, accidental deaths. All of which are passionately calculated and told through the crude and constantly titulated private investigator, "Fletcher" (Hugh Grant). If this film couldn’t be more complex, Fletcher is telling this story through his screenplay titled “Bush,” which he is willing to sell all it’s juicy details to the highest bidder. In the end he even pitches it to Miramax (which is this films actual production company just FYI). The Gentlemen is sinfully fun despite it’s dense plot, non-linear format and character interactions and relationships that almost need to be mapped out like an FBI investigation. The cast is completely and utterly stacked with talent and big personalities and they all find a way to shine. Grant, who is known as the rom-com guy, finds a way to masterfully transform himself into an overtly sexual, sleazy, backstabbing weasel of a man who is somehow incredibly charismatic. Other standouts include Michelle Dockery, who essentially plays the ONLY woman in the film. Her character matches the badassery and strong-will of her male counterparts, while still maintaining the common sense of an intelligent woman. This film is full of twists, and dare I say it was right on the cusp of having too many. Nonetheless, it is sure to keep you hanging on and questioning everything till the very end. The comedic relief and banter comes right at the right moments and hits in just the right way; smooth like whiskey. I may have left the theater satisfied but it sure as hell didn’t start that way. While Ritchie likes incorporating quirky and artsy visuals and graphics, it started off as too top heavy and were frankly just distracting. And while the dialogue is typically witty and quite intellectual, sometimes it came off as over the top and misplaced. It will make you cringe in all the wrong ways. Yet my biggest beef with Ritchie is frankly the lack of women. Yes I understand the film is called The Gentlemen, but seriously there was only one woman, and she deserved better. Rosiland Pearson is a queen surrounded by boys who are incapable of playing nice, and despite her undeniable badassery and ability to fend for herself, she ends up needing to be saved by a man. A quick word to the wise: if you can’t handle hearing the word “cunt” in essentially every sentence, complex plots that you actually have to pay attention to, or if accents really throw you for a loop, this is not your film. However, if a plaid tracksuit wearing fight porn group, witty and slightly sexual conversation between Grant and Hunham, and devilishly handsome men who are truly not gentlemen tickle your fancy in even the slightest, The Gentlemen will surely show you a good time.