Drugs, gangsters, schemes and double-crosses are all the elements you would expect to find in a movie with the title of The Gentlemen, right? Well, when Guy Ritchie is in the director’s chair, it is absolutely the case.
Ritchie’s cast includes an attractive assemblage of actors who are put through the paces of a plot that veers through a plethora of English locales with style, humor and, of course, plenty of gunplay.
The players include Mickey (Matthew McConaughey), who used the smarts that sent him to Oxford to develop one of the biggest and most sophisticated marijuana empires ever assembled. The time has come for Mickey to sell his business, and he is looking for the best offer to move out of the industry.
Ray (Charlie Hunnam) is Mickey’s trusted associate. Doing his best to keep Mickey’s operation on top of the game, Ray knows everything and is usually sent to take care of the dirty work. When Ray is approached by Fletcher (Hugh Grant), a private investigator who always has a price and an angle, he’ll need to get to the bottom of a drama with twists and turns aplenty to try and protect Mickey’s livelihood.
The Gentlemen reinforces the fact that appearances can be deceiving. Ritchie delivers a film that not only tells a fun and fast-paced story, but also does it with a level of wit and charm that suggests the bad guys are never so bad. While moments shock, they quickly become the norm as we backtrack from an explosive opening scene to see what got us to that point.
McConaughey feels smooth and extremely satisfying as the drug dealer with style. Hunnam is in a good place as the associate who knows how to play cat and mouse but really is always the cat. And Grant becomes the sleazy investigator who never met a story he couldn’t spin his way when money was involved.
But Ritchie doesn’t stop with the three leads; he delivers with a colorful batch of supporting characters, from the up-and-coming Dry Eye (Henry Golding) to the Coach (Colin Farrell) and, of course, the woman behind Mickey’s success, the one who motivates him, Rosalind (Michelle Dockery). Together, the cast members make this romp a fun, stylish caper.
Is The Gentlemen one of Ritchie’s best? Probably not, but it makes for a thoroughly satisfying adult time at the movies. It may take a minute to get used to the thick accents, but trust me, stick with it. The payoff will be more than sufficient.
The Gentlemen is available On Demand and on DVD beginning April 21. Check your cable system for availability