Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man is a relentless revenge thriller with an engaging story and edge-of-your-seat action.
Jason Statham plays H, a crook with a mysterious past who’s just come under the employment of a cash security company, on a mission to uncover the mob that killed his son in a botched cash truck robbery not too long ago. H’s mission to find his son’s killer sends him down a dark and violent path of retribution.
Guy Ritchie’s humorous crime capers Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000) put the director and his leading man, Jason Statham, on the map. The pair reunite here for what is another crime caper of sorts, minus the humour. Instead, Ritchie has opted for a severe and unrelenting tone in a film about revenge. Wrath of Man is tense from the get-go and told in a non-linear style: classic Guy Ritchie. It builds in intensity all the way through to the epic climax.
The film’s intensity is its best feature, made possible through an outstanding score and excellent sound production. The power of every gunshot (of which there are plenty) is felt through the sound design, majorly amplifying the effect. Combine this with an ominous score that never lets up, and you have a visceral viewing experience. It’s what separates this film from the many crime/heist thrillers out there. It truly is an experience to remember.
Another key highlight in Wrath of Man is the action. It features what might be the most incredible shootout ever caught on screen, serving as a testament to how far Guy Ritchie has come in the craft of filmmaking. Jason Statham and the colourful supporting cast, of course, help this along. It’s a cast of faces that work perfectly portraying criminals, though there aren’t any standouts. Statham is stern as always, and his physicality adds an extra layer of fearsomeness to his character.
Statham hits the mark portraying his character, yet his background is barely touched upon, leaving you wanting to know more. This lack of character development hinders the storyline as it doesn’t offer enough for the audience to connect with emotionally. Sure, we can empathise with the loss of a loved one, but H is essentially a bad man that does terrible things, so a bit more insight into the character may have helped garner a more profound attachment to him.
Despite this flaw, which one could argue is not relevant considering the mysterious nature of the lead character, Wrath of Man still manages to hook you in the whole time. Guy Ritchie has mastered the art of non-linear storytelling, captivating the audience with small doses of a storyline and then bringing it together in a tidy and satisfying fashion. We can now say he’s also mastered the art of action, adding another deserving accomplishment to the director’s legacy.
Wrath of Man is the English-language remake of the 2004 French thriller Cash Truck, which starred Jean Dujardin. It is Ritchie’s third remake following Swept Away (2002) and Aladdin (2019).