After taking a few mainstream studio detours (Sherlock Holmes, Aladdin), Guy Ritchie’s latest, The Gentlemen, is a return to the type of filmmaking that put the filmmaker on the map and, as such, contains some choice moments here and there. To translate, The Gentlemen is your typical Ritchie crime thriller, full of double crosses and triple crosses, punctuated with sudden bursts of violence and the trademarks inherent in most of Ritchie’s efforts in the genre. How much one responds to that or not will be a direct result as to whether or not they’ve grown tired of Ritchie’s patented and well oiled brand of escapism. After twenty-two years it’s still fun at times but the seams are definitely beginning to show.

In these types of film the plot is secondary. It’s mostly just an excuse for the sizeable cast to do what they do best. They get lots of opportunities to do just that in The Gentlemen with lots of scenery chewing and the like. It’s a good thing because it allows the viewer ample distraction from the well-worn plot, a plot that really would not benefit from very close scrutinizing.

Guy Ritchie, Matthew McConaughey & Charlie Hunnam in The Gentlemen

The film opens with private eye, Fletcher (Hugh Grant) making a surprise appearance at the home of Ray (Charlie Hunnam). Ray is the eyes and ears of Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), a self-made man whose fortune was made from the business of marijuana distribution. Fletcher, turns out, has been hired by a tabloid reporter to find out what he can about Fletcher’s operation and is looking to shake down Ray and Fletcher in the process. That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg as Mickey finds his life and business in jeopardy when he refuses to sell his business. All of the plot elements eventually come together but not before many bullets have flown and much carnage has ensued albeit with large doses of humor thrown in for good measure.

Ritchie’s trademark sense of style remains intact throughout the proceedings and the film is anything but boring. If one were to make an honest attempt to keep up with the film’s plot it would likely require a note pad to keep track of it all. For that reason it’s recommended that, in order to best enjoy The Gentlemen, one just let go and sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Gentlemen is playing everywhere.

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