This is a really fishy film. There are red herring’s strewn along the path of the plot, some fishmonger action and lots of smelly fertilizer created. It’s not a fast ride, but steady as it goes as a blackmailing tabloid reporter slowly spins a story of drugs, betrayal and murder to one of the participants. Every new frame of the story, each new vignette advances the plot and pulls the viewer deeper and brings them ever closer to the edge of their seat.
Mickey Pearson (Mathew McConaughey), the token American, is a high end marijuana kingpin, made man and henpecked husband. You do not want to mess with him, which people seem to need reminding of time and again. He finds that retiring from the business can be even more tricky than doing the job, and things get sticky and bloody and complicated.
The cast is large and chock full of super talented actors, the writing is even handed with a smooth plot that may seem easy to follow but that will surprise you the closer it gets to the end. It’s a gorgeous movie that is beautifully lit and shot and edited, set in a multitude of great locations. The whole thing hangs together to tightly I wished that I was a hat wearing person so I could tip it to director Guy Richie.
There is a lot of diversity in London gangsterland, and all of them have a special affinity to cursing as a part of the wonderfully smart dialogue. There is a constant litany, most often the dreaded “c” word, the queen of the swears surrounded by her many subjects. All are well chosen and skillfully delivered. The movie also delivers a master class on the many incarnations of marijuana. Or bush. Or weed. Or maryjane. Actually, I’m not sure if they used that last one. You’d have to check the glossary of cannabis included on the dvd.
McConaughey is not one of my favorite actors. Yes, I’m one of the five people in the world who think that way, but he is absolutely perfect here. Hugh Grant is fascinating as the reporter, Henry Golding is not the boy next door we’re used to, and Michelle Dockery handles McConaughey (literally at one point) as the high-end but dangerous wife. Charlie Hunnam was new to me but fantastic, and Colin Farrell’s brogue was one of many thick accents that sometimes had my viewing companion scratching their head and asking what the heck did they just say.
I can think of few negatives. The heavily cursive language might offend, as might some of the violence. There’s not a lot of that, but it’s all choice. The very, very end of the film is woefully predictable but I did laugh out loud at the product placement. That was a stroke of genius.
The Gentlemen is twisty but doesn’t make a game of losing the viewer just to make them feel dumb. Gorgeous and well-acted, the story will now and then leap out and yell “boo” to keep you on your toes. I highly recommend seeing this movie if you like gangster movies even a little bit.
The Gentlemen | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | Own it NOW on Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD