Jason Statham Josh Hartnett Scott Eastwood Andy Garcia Eddie Marsan
Holt McCallany Rocci Williams Jeffrey Donovan
The film’s section titles give you some idea of what’s ahead: “A Dark Spirit” (introduction of “H”, a new employee in the security company Fortico that transfers millions of dollars a day for companies; “Scorched Earth”; “Bad Animals Bad”; and “Liver Lungs Spleen Heart.” This is a Guy Ritchie film, so you’re already prepared.
We meet our hero named “H” (for Hill) (Statham) by his new supervisor “Bullet” McCallany), who sees him as someone he needs to mentor. H quickly gains the reputation of “a dark spirit”, as named by the segment title both by his peraonality and his first job. He proves himself a hero right away in taking out a gang trying to steal Fortico cash. Although…one supervisor observes that “I’m startin’ to think he’s a psychopath.”
In reality, H had worked for another security company that had gone bankrupt, so he was not naïve to the business. Part of the thrill of Wrath of Man is finding out who this character is, what has brought him into the company, and what, basically, drives him.
The film is based on a previous French action drama, Le Convoyeur (Cash Truck) directed by Nicolas Boukhrief, and writer-director Guy Ritchie has attempted to convert it to a more Americanized version, bringing in one of his favorite leading men, Jason Statham.
Statham is quintessential as the inscrutable player who can mold himself into any environment—but always with an ultimate goal. He makes this exploration into a detailed plan with contingencies exciting and suspenseful. It also weaves in some pain and grief, making the plot more understandable. We see both sides of the ultimate encounter at work, but we cannot tell how it will all turn out.
There are some “hmmm” moments when what goes on onscreen seem improbable, but for the most part, the story keeps you engaged. It’s not anything new really or earth-shaking, but it’s an entertaining ride for those ready for such an adventure.
Loyalty and truth are the primary themes in this action thriller spotlighting Jason Stathem.
Grade: C By Donna R. Copeland