Guy Ritchie fails in his latest action thriller starring Jason Statham. Wrath of man Try to wrap the standard revenge theme around a mysterious conspirator. It is told in four chapters that take place in different periods of time. The result is a leaden mess of ill-defined characters directed in uncomfortable ways. There is plenty of violence, but significant loopholes are spread across the graphical firefights. Wrath of man struggled to keep my interest between the carnage.
Wrath of man takes place after a robbery of armored trucks. The crime goes wrong and results in multiple innocent deaths. A few months later, an enigmatic loner with a rugged personality, Patrick Hill (Jason Statham), is applying for a position at Fortico, the security and transport company. He hardly passes the qualification, but is hired as a driver. His staff (Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett, and Niamh Algar) are not impressed. They call him “H”. Every employee has a nifty nickname.
“H” ‘s opinion changes dramatically after another kidnapping attempt. He single-handedly decimates the attackers with ruthless efficiency. His colleagues are stunned by his abilities. You begin to suspect that “H” is more than meets the eye. He also appears on the radar of an FBI agent (Andy Garcia) investigating the crime. “H” does indeed have a secret agenda. He came to Fortico for a fatal reason.
Wrath of man stages a collection of subplots with vague supporting characters. Some will be featured later in the film. Guy Ritchie wants to create tension. Who is “H”? And what is he trying to uncover in Fortico? The puzzle might have worked if the narrative hadn’t been so involved. Jason Statham almost becomes a minor character. He becomes an absent protagonist while other points of view are explored. Andy Garcia suffers the same fate. He is introduced and then pretty much disappears until the finale. Keeping an eye on the back and forth becomes boring. That’s a hell of a review for any movie, but it’s downright surprising for Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham.
Wrath of man is adapted from a French film from 2004 called Le convoyeur;; translated as “Cash Truck”. I’m curious to see how the source material compares to the remake. I bet the characters had more exposure and personality. The acting ensemble is a grade here. Jason Statham, known for his dry wit and sharp delivery, feels like an angry robot in this film. His anger is understandable, but not compelling. The bloody climax and the exposure of the villain cause little fuss. Why would anyone use Fortico to move money when the company is constantly being robbed? A common sense variable is missing.
Jason Statham’s fourth collaboration with Guy Ritchie is unfortunately not successful. I don’t even recommend it Wrath of man for the action scenes. It’s a disappointing endeavor on all fronts. Wrath of man is a production of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and Miramax. It will be released in theaters on May 7th by United Artists.
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