The Gentlemen is directed by Guy Ritchie. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant.
When a career criminal decides it’s time to retire into private life and sell his illegal cannabis interests, he finds himself in a web of intrigue, with many conspiracies, twists, and others who have their sights set on his enterprises. What is the nature of these strange goings on, and will the plots be halted?
I wanted to like The Gentlemen. Guy Ritchie is an amazing director, and for this film, he assembles a veritable who’s who of top name actors. Unfortunately, the muddled and convoluted narrative, rapid cuts, too many characters and too little development, and needless overuse of the c-word sink the film. It’s a shame, because there are some good performances and sequences here.
I won’t deny Ritchie’s attention-grabbing setpieces, one-liners, all-star cast, and stylized visuals. These things, in a better film, could have made for the ideal cinematic experience.
Unfortunately, little else works.
Right from the beginning, the movie makes the clumsy decision to be set half in flashback, half in the present. We’re introduced to way too many characters in too little time, and no one is properly developed or fleshed out. A mere 20 minutes in, I was confusing characters and struggled to keep up with the plot. If you’re going to give me a heist thriller of sorts, at least make it somewhat easy to follow. Just writing the basic plot summary above was a challenge for me.
What truly is astonishing about this movie (in a bad way) is the sheer overuse of the c-word. I understand an R-rated movie is going to have profanity, but this is overkill. It could very well be a world record for most times it’s been used in a feature film. If you’re at all offended by this word, you’ll want to go find another movie. It gets tiresome quickly.
The Gentlemen, despite solid casting and sequences, and even a few witty one-liners, is to be avoided. It’s impossible to keep up with the characters and plot points, and you’ll struggle to remember who’s who as you confuse characters and find yourself unable to keep up. I’ll give it credit for what it does well, but I still can’t recommend it.
Rating: One-and-a-half out of four stars.
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