The Gentlemen seems to be a weird culmination of something you’d see in a theatre in 2002 and series you’d watch on network TV at 10pm in 2012. It’s a product frozen in time which on one hand can amuse you with its wits and on other hand bore you since you’ve seen it before. Only now there are smartphones and grime music. What follows is a script by director/writer Guy Ritchie that seems smart when you’re bit tipsy and actors trying their hardest to make it entertaining.
The cast all around is bringing their A+ effort to the table, in multitude of insane personalities which lend themselves for vivacious physical acting. Hugh Grant (as Fletcher) is having an unexpected second wave during his career, playing roles that morph him to be unrecognisable. He follows his Paddington 2 role with another way-too-much-too-fast character with movement that pops through the screen. Colin Farrell (as Coach) is all about taking names and kicking butt and I mean that literally. Farrell’s character is more subdued but that’s exactly the reason why he keeps surprising you. Others like Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey and Jeremy Strong provide a solid backing line.
Ritchie’s writing gives the actors very little outside of some interesting monologues made for Grant. It throws a lot of punchlines from left and right and they’ll likely divide the viewers on if they find them amusing. Problem with those punchlines as the driving force of comedy in this action comedy is that they’re not built up at all. We have no idea if the butt of the joke deserves to be one or if the jokes are part of a bigger conversation since there are never responses to them. A lot of them also lead up to a scene at Miramax (yes the production company of the film) which might be the biggest miss of the year in both self-awareness and in being a part of a movie’s climax. The film also features a deplorable scene involving sexual assault and a tired, dragged out sequence featuring a character named Phuc (Jason Wong).
Smileys: Hugh Grant
These gentlemen have style but no manners whatsoever.