Guy Ritchie misses out in his latest action thriller starring Jason Statham. Wrath of Man tries to wrap the default revenge theme around a mysterious conspirator. It is told in four chapters that take place in different time periods. The result is a grueling jumble of ill-defined characters awkwardly directed. There is a lot of violence, but significant gaps crisscross the graphic gun battles. Wrath of Man struggled to maintain my interest amid the massacre.
Wrath of Man takes place in the aftermath of an armored truck robbery. The crime backfires and results in multiple innocent deaths. Several months later, an enigmatic loner with a gruff personality, Patrick Hill (Jason Statham), applies for a job at Fortico, the security and transportation company. He barely passes the qualifications, but is hired as a driver. His colleagues (Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett and Niamh Algar) are not impressed. They call him “H”. Each employee has a useful nickname.
H’s opinion changes drastically after another hijack attempt. He single-handedly decimates the attackers with relentless efficiency. His colleagues are amazed by his capabilities. They begin to suspect that “H” is more than meets the eye. He also shows up on the radar of an FBI agent (Andy Garcia) who is investigating the crime. Indeed, “H” has a secret agenda. He came to Fortico for a deadly reason.
Wrath of Man stages a mixture of subplots with vague supporting characters. Some are introduced later in the movie. Guy Ritchie wants to create excitement. Who is “H”? And what is he trying to discover at Fortico? The puzzle would have worked if the story wasn’t so complicated. Jason Statham almost becomes a secondary character. He turns into an absent protagonist while other viewpoints are explored. Andy Garcia suffers the same fate. He is introduced and virtually disappears until the final. Keeping track of back and forth becomes boring. That’s a scathing critique for any movie, but nothing short of surprising for Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham.
Wrath of Man is an adaptation of a 2004 French film called Le Convoyeur; translated as “Cash Truck”. I am curious how the source material relates to the remake. I bet the characters had more exposition and personality. The acting ensemble is one note here. Jason Statham, known for his dry wit and sharp delivery, feels like an angry robot in this movie. His anger is understandable, but not coercive. The bloody climax and exposure of the villain provokes little excitement. And why would anyone use Fortico to transport money if the company is constantly being robbed? A common sense variable is missing.
Jason Statham’s fourth collaboration with Guy Ritchie is unfortunately not successful. Can’t even recommend it Wrath of Man for the action scenes. It is a disappointing undertaking on all fronts. Wrath of Man is produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Miramax. It will be released in theaters on May 7 by United Artists.
Subjects: Wrath of Man
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