A little over a year after The Gentlemen, the filmmakers are back with a new feature film that intends to hit the box office. Called An Angry Man, it follows the adventures of a British money carrier recently hired by an American company. But because he barely passed the entrance test, he showed outstanding shooting skills during the robbery. Everyone is now wondering who he is and where he came from.
With its original premise of keeping the identity and intentions of its main characters secret, Guy Ritchie’s new film benefits from solid scriptwriting arguments. Set against the backdrop of Californian crime, An Angry Man takes the gamble of telling a dark tale of revenge through the prism of mutic and disturbing characters who seem to have no bearing.
As is often the case with other filmography, filmmakers and screenwriters are having a good time. He twists it, stretches it, and holds it to confuse the audience. This he already did in The Gentlemen and Snatch. But here, it adopts a more classic path, dividing the plot into chapters, proposed in a chaotic order. If the result is undoubtedly less impactful than the rest of his work, it’s still a great way to get some dramatic intensity.
Despite the somewhat outdated backdrop, the strength of Guy Ritchie’s film arguably lies in how the pieces of the puzzle fit together in a cohesive and entertaining way. But we can reproach him for sometimes giving in to ease, especially in his plot resolutions. An angry man would deserve a more bombastic and less agreeable ending. .
What emerges from this spectacle, after two hours of fighting and shooting, is that Guy Ritchie doesn’t seem to be getting the footing he used to. Where Snatch, The Gentlemen and Scams, Crimes and Botany take part in deconstructing gangster films to approach them with a welcome touch of humor and an innate sense of reciprocation,
An Angry Man might take himself too seriously. It’s less fun, less impactful, and on the dialogue side, much less fun. English humor, which is undoubtedly one of the strengths of Guy Ritchie’s cinema, is absent from the audience. Too bad, we entertained ourselves with the filmmaker’s frantic taste for editing and framing. On the photography side of things, Alan Stewart ( Aladdin and The Gentlemen ) is once again doing wonders. He conveys the darkness of the characters with great accuracy through striking chiaroscuro scenes.
Silent and charismatic, Jason Statham shows us his talent in the lead role. With a solid and intense game, this British actor has almost managed to make us forget his recent adventures in the Fast and Furious saga or even The Expendables. But after all, under Guy Ritchie’s direction, people were rarely disappointed.
However, he is not always accompanied by an actor of his caliber. Scott Eastwood, for example, struggles to convince us in his incarnation as a cartoon antagonist, as deep as a glass of whiskey. Roughly the same observations we can apply to the entire character gallery, whose script plays a huge role, but whose depth is ultimately quite anecdotal.
Finally, last but not least: Chris Benstead’s music. After The Gentlemen’s sublime score, the composer returned to us to voice the film’s original music. Squeaking, hoarse, and sometimes rumbling, Benstead’s work once again aptly underlines the dramatic intensity of the scenes. This is great art.