Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding
Release Date: April 21, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
From writer/director Guy Ritchie comes The Gentlemen, a star-studded sophisticated action comedy. The Gentlemen follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), who built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever, it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him (featuring an all-star ensemble cast including Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant).
Filmmaker Guy Ritchie invites you into the deadly underworld of London’s cannabis business with ‘The Gentlemen’. The film follows American expat Mickey (McConaughey) who is now living luxuriously and considering the sale of his lucrative marijuana business after finally reaching contentment. But when even quiet discussions of a potential sale appear to be uncovered by the bigger underground populace, Mickey and his trusted right hand man (Hunnam) find themselves forced to combat the shady folks that suddenly start making moves for the business from all ends. Now they’ll have to try and survive the sale and get it finalized before the cost of these attacks results in more potential problems all their own.
Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Snatch) from a screenplay that he also wrote, from an initial story by Ritchie and Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, Ritchie does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘The Gentlemen’ guiding along the violent and colorful fun with plenty of style. The film also benefits immensely from an impressive cast comprised of talented folks including Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe), Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak), Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Dockery (TV’s Downton Abbey), Jeremy Strong (Molly’s Game), Eddie Marsan (TV’s Ray Donovan), Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks) and Hugh Grant (Paddington 2) along with more, nearly all offering solid (and in many instances quite noteworthy) performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Gentlemen’ is a massively entertaining, swiftly paced comedic crime gem that’s a unique and fresh breath of air that never becomes the slightest bit stale along its course. Quick witted, clever and violent, ‘The Gentlemen’ is old school Guy Ritchie at his finest. It weaves its way through a plethora of colorful characters, each with their own strengths and hilarious quirks to match, then tears along at full speed with an almost tongue-in-cheek style that still has its powerful and painful moments grounded in reality. It’s difficult to so smoothly balance the grime and nasty nature of characters like this, while still managing to keep things light-hearted and hilarious without it ever feeling forced. But as previous offerings of Ritchie’s have clearly proven, he has a true talent for making this balance work splendidly and ‘The Gentlemen’ is certainly no exception. Ritchie’s highly capable work behind the camera is only massively complimented by a star-studded cast at their finest and the end result is something quite special, not to mention insanely enjoyable. I would strongly encourage fans of comedic crime thrillers in general and of Guy Ritchie’s classic offerings such as ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels’ to make a definite point of checking out ‘The Gentlemen’ whenever possible. It’s a fast paced, hilarious and star-studded return to form for Ritchie that’s ridiculously fun from start to finish and not to be missed.
Overall, ‘The Gentlemen’ is a wildly energetic, hilarious and stylish return to form for filmmaker Guy Ritchie that repeatedly hits all the right marks, coming together into a truly magnificent film with a powerhouse cast of talented folks to propel it along perfectly. ‘The Gentlemen’ is highly recommended. It’s a witty and wildly fun comedic crime thriller that’s clever, fun and brilliantly crafted. For anyone already even mildly intrigued by this one it should easily prove well worth a couple hours of your time and the cost of a rental, and fans of Ritchie’s older work won’t even want to think about overlooking this marvelous film. Fans of the movie that are considering a purchase of the Blu-ray release should also be thoroughly pleased with the top notch high definition video and audio presentations it provides, even if it’s a bit light on the extras.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Gentlemen’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a clean, smooth and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish without any faults or problems to be found throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the various fast moving, darkly lit and/or heavily populated moments, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a marvelous compliment to the onscreen fun and offers a sharp, clean and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It consistently embraces all seven available channels in order to send music, gunshots, along with bits of dialogue and plenty more throughout the various speakers quite regularly, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers from start to finish and never falters or disappoints along the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Gentlemen’ doesn’t offer a great deal in the way of extras, although it does include a few fun bonus features that fans may enjoy. Included on the release is one very brief behind the scenes Featurette titled simply ‘Behind the Scenes of The Gentlemen’ (running approximately 90 seconds in length), in addition to a couple other fun videos that basically feature cut and re-edited footage from the film: ‘Best Gentlemanly Quips’ (running approximately 3 minutes) and ‘Glossary of Cannabis’ (under 1 minute). A ‘Photo Gallery’ is also included.