The Gentlemen (R) ★★★

Photo Credit: STXfilms

Guy Ritchie’s return to his signature British crime caper movies—provides Hugh Grant with a terrific role—while Charlie Hunnam shines in the spotlight. The addition of Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Strong, and Henry Goulding creates a solid ensemble cast. The fast-paced roller-coaster film does keep you guessing and, at times, is challenging to keep straight. Always enjoyable is Ritchie’s satirical humor, and you’ll find plenty in the script.

American ex-pat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), an Oxford-educated drug lord, built a highly lucrative marijuana empire in London—yet he desires to play it straight—to settle down, to spend more time with his family. Michelle Dockery, Mikey’s wife Rosalind’ Roz’ Pearson, trades her Lady Mary Talbot “Downton Abbey” dialect for cockney English. When word gets out that Mikey’s looking to cash out his business, a myriad of schemers come knocking at the door. Hugh Grant (Fletcher) portrays a sleazy tabloid investigator trying to bribe Mickey, and he also serves as the storyteller.

Mickey’s trusted consigliere, Charlie Hunnam, (Ray), presents an intriguing gangster, he’s refined, and detail-oriented, yet possesses innate street smarts. He serves as a troubleshooter when problems arise, and as you can guess, there’s plenty of shenanigans in a Guy Ritchie gangster movie.

Colin Farrell is a plaid tracksuit wearing boxing trainer, with a lousy haircut; he’s perfected his character’s quirks, principally by using his two fists. Henry Goulding (Dry Eye), is the impatient son of a cartel boss, who’s unable to control his displeasure of playing second fiddle. Jeremy Strong plays an ostentatious American “cannabis kingpin” Matthew Berger, likewise fixated on owning Mickey’s business.

The cacophony of junkie rock stars, crafty dodgers, Hip Hop rappers, and murderous Russian oligarchs all intensify the chaos. Be warned of the crass language, insensitive jokes, and a weird projectile vomiting scene; otherwise, you just may settle in. Sit back, munch on your popcorn, and attempt to, go with the flow—as this entertaining visually stylized London caper—aims to bring eccentric characters to life.

Sarah Knight Adamson© January 25, 2020