THE GENTLEMEN (18)
D: Guy Ritchie
Entertainment Film Distributors/STX/Miramax (Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson & Bill Block)
UK/US 🇬🇧🇺🇸 2019 (released 2020)
W: Guy Ritchie
DP: Alan Stewart
Ed: James Herbert
Mus: Christopher Banstead
Matthew McConaughey (Mickey Pearson), Charlie Hunnam (Raymond Smith), Henry Golding (Dry Eye), Michelle Dockery (Rosalind Pearson), Jeremy Strong (Matthew Berger), Colin Farrell (The Coach), Hugh Grant (Fletcher)
After a couple of big budget studio films (Robin Hood & Aladdin), Guy Ritchie returns to the well and brings us another geezer-gangster crime-caper.
Toploaded with exposition, as Hugh Grant's shady journalist character explains the plot of the film to a drug baron's right hand man, Raymond Smith (Charlie Hunnam), under the guise of a screenplay that he's written.
On a basic level, the plot concerns a drug empire, the man who runs it, a cadre of dangerous characters and a Duke's heroin-addicted daughter.
Though the meta plot device gives Hugh Grant a chance to have fun with a slimy character, it also makes the plot unnecessarily convoluted when it really didn't need to be and serves up an incredibly pretentious, self-referential ending.
There are some good moments, and Hugh Grant & Colin Farrell are standouts in the cast, but this is just more of the same faux-Cockney English gangster stuff we've seen many times before, and it really isn't getting any fresher.
There will be those in the audience who lap this up and think it's the best thing since sliced bread, but I wasn't one of them.
The original title was meant to be "Toff Guys", which may tell you where Guy Ritchie's now at in his career. It's been a very long time since Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels.