THE GENTLEMEN Review — a Criminally Insane Comedy of Manners

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Staci Layne Wilson’s The Gentlemen review says it’s a testosterone-soaked love-fest with a killer cast.

The Gentlemen reviewWhile one may think more of Noël Coward or Robert Altman when it comes to classic comedies of manner, writer-director Guy Ritchie certainly deserves a place at the table with his newest action thriller, The Gentlemen. This frenetic flick depicts and satirizes the customs and affectations of a contemporary society… not a law-abiding one, but there’s a strict hierarchy nonetheless.

Mickey (Matthew McConaughey) is an American expatriate who built an ingenious and sprawling marijuana empire in London, but now the kingpin is ready to cash in his leaf and retire in style with his spitfire wife (Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary). When word spreads that Mickey’s stepping out of the business, it triggers an array of plots, schemes, and skullduggery from enemies and frenemies who want his fortune for themselves.

While some may find The Gentlemen yet another variation on Ritchie’s previous hits Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, or RocknRolla, the filmmaker’s diehard fans will be glad to see a snazzy return to what he does best: a rambunctious, labyrinthine kick of a crime caper featuring an ensemble cast peppered with colorful characters played by our favorite stars saying the most outrageous things.

The twisting and turning story is eked out by an unreliable narrator in the form of a sleazy private eye (Hugh Grant) who unspools nuggets of info like he’s pitching a sordid screenplay to an even sleazier film producer. The players include Mickey’s right-hand man (Charlie Hunnam), a Chinese underboss (Henry Golding, Crazy Rich Asians), and a local boxing coach (Colin Farrell).

As is the case in classic Ritchie flicks of yore, and certainly laid out in the title, this is a testosterone-soaked love-fest with precious little time for female character development. That might bother some viewers, but I’m okay with that.

The movie zips along at a breathless pace, augmented by Ritchie’s much-loved montages, rewinds, and info-graphics, keeping things lively between the car chases, fist-fights, and verbal tête-à-têtes. All in all, it’s a fun, raucous ride.

Rated R

1 Hour 55 Minutes

If this The Gentlemen review makes you want to break speeds laws to get out and see it, times and tickets are at Fandango.com.

Staci Layne Wilson’s The Gentlemen review says it’s a testosterone-soaked love-fest with a killer cast.

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on StaciLayneWilson.com

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