Rob’s Entertainment Review for
Wrath Of Man
Jason Statham’s latest movie hit theaters a month ago and has just landed for rent on most platforms and streaming services, so when I had a few hours to kill over the holiday weekend while my wife was busy, I decided to take a couple of “guy-hours,” and watch a meaningless, mindless action film that would no doubt be filled with epic fight scenes, endless violence, tons of fun death, and zero plot.
Boy, was I wrong.
Wrath of Man is way more intellect and plot twist film than the trailer lets on. To be candid, when I saw the preview, I didn’t even understand what exactly Statham’s character is…was he a cop? Is he some former CIA guy? Eh…who cares? It’s a Statham movie. It will be fun. Having watched the movie, I now know that there’s a reason that the trailer is designed as such, as we spend most of the entire movie trying to figure out what Statham’s character is, where he comes from, who he is, and whether or not he’s a good guy or a bad guy.
The movie is basically three sequential scenes. The first third of the movie constantly has the viewer asking the question “who IS this guy?” He barely passes the test required to get hired at an armored truck company, only to then systematically take down a heist perpetrated by multiple gunmen, using expert marksmanship, an unrelenting focus, and not a whiff of fear. He’s an assassin, yet he barely speaks and never smiles, and seems to trust absolutely no one. He’s also oddly curious about everyone that works at the armored truck company. Maybe he’s an inside man actually facilitating these robberies?
Then the movie takes us to a different time and place; and then, 15 minutes later, to another time and place; and then another, always giving us additional information that will likely negate whatever take you had on Statham’s character. Each shift widens the movie’s focus, until it becomes a panorama of sleaze and cruelty…in the end, there are three, maybe four major characters in this film that you’d briefly consider saving from a house fire.
The final third of the movie is a non-stop whirlwind of “who’s the mole,” “who do I root for,” and “how many more ways can they blow things up and kill people that I haven’t seen?” Once you grasp the characters and the storyline, the ending is inevitable, but the way it’s done is remarkably delicious. Which is the other surprisingly awesome thing about “Wrath of Man.” Directed by former Mr. Madonna, Guy Ritchie, the movie is shot beautifully, and executed perfectly. There are some stunning one camera scene shoots during some of the action that will make those who loved the Netflix series “Daredevil,” reminisce with glee.
In the end, The entirety of the movie is a joy to behold, even when the images capture human beings doing savage things. You don’t really root for anyone in this film, and yet at other times, you’re always rooting for someone. The film is not a value-neutral exercise. There is an undertone of lament to a lot of the violent action. Every character made their bed and must lie it. More often than not, it’s a deathbed. To pay it the ultimate compliment, it reminds me of the greatest Denzel Washington film made to-date, “Man on Fire.”