I’m sort of hit and miss when it comes to Guy Ritchie flicks. Wrath of Man falls somewhere in the middle of the road for me. The film is a hallmark Ritchie dark and stylish revenge thriller that follows a mysterious character nicknamed “H” (Jason Statham) who takes a job at a cash trucking company that moves hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles every week. It’s an English-language remake of a 2004 French thriller Le Convoyeur aka Cash Truck starring Jean Dujardin (The Artist). Wrath of Man is director Ritchie’s third remake, and his fourth collaboration with Statham. So if you’re a fan of Ritchie and/or Statham, you can’t go too wrong watching Wrath of Man, though brace yourself for a high degree of carnage.
The film jumps around a bit in chronology to set up and reflect on H’s motives for joining the armored truck company. His co-workers include a bunch of guys and a token gal who don’t quite know what to make of the new recruit – especially when he shows off some precision skills to thwart a robbery. He’s basically a steely-eyed killing machine seeking vengeance for a personal tragedy. His intentions grow clearer as the plot unfolds, though it can be annoyingly difficult to figure out who is good, bad or somewhere in-between… and how they came to be that way. Chances are, a bunch of ‘em are gonna die anyway. So don’t overthink it.
I’m much better at handling violence on film if there’s at least some opportunity for humor or sarcasm. This doesn’t have that. When it comes to Guy Ritchie films, I liked 2020’s The Gentlemen a whole lot more. And 2015’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. (pre-Armie Hammer debacle). And 2009’s Sherlock Holmes. And yes, even 2019’s live-action remake of Aladdin. But that’s just me – more music, less bloodshed – unless it’s tinged with fun. All that said, Wrath of Man is certainly watchable – maybe even enjoyable – if you’re (blood)thirsty for the genre, elevated by a solid Bondish score.
Wrath of Man premieres in theaters only on May 7.