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May 4, 2020

The Gentlemen (2020) --- "High Crime Meets High Class."


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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed by Guy Ritchie (Aladdin, The Man From U.N.C.L.E) and co-written alongside Ivan Atkinson (The Man From U.N.C.L.E) and Marn Davies, The Gentlemen (2020) is an R-rated action-comedy about an American expatriate and drug lord Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey). Using his unprecedented audacity and intelligent mind, Pearson built his highly profitable marijuana empire off of the impoverished English aristocracy. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out and sell his empire to fellow American ex-pat Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong), it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes from no less charming but tough gentlemen who seek to steal his domain out from under him. Of course, these gentlemanly exchanges of courtesy will not do without some shooting, bloodshed, swearing, and one or two accidents.
     The Gentlemen (2020) uses a clever framing style to tell the story of Mickey Pearson. Rather than let the story play out on its own in real-time, the film plays out like a tall tale filled with exaggerations and embellishments. The story’s narrator is the sleazy tabloid writer and would-be screenwriter Fletcher (Hugh Grant), who gloats in his vast knowledge of the intersecting criminal-drug operations happening in England and he seeks to blackmail everyone with the incriminating screenplay he's written. It’s a script within a script but this cinematic retelling of what’s happened so far via Fletcher’s pitch to Mikey’s right hand-man Ray (Charlie Hunnan) allows director Richie to provide commentary to the film without being too distracting. The Gentlemen isn’t without its charms and the film utilizes enough misdirection in order to deliver some pretty interesting twists, some of which don’t make themselves known until the very end.
     The cast performances were solid and on point. Matthew McConaughey (Serenity) is impressive as the suave and intelligent Oxford-educated, well-spoken drug lord Michael 'Mickey' Pearson. He demonstrates numerous times that he is every bit as intimidating when calm as he is when his emotions break free. Charlie Hunnam (Triple Frontier) as Mikey’s equally charming but calm right-hand-man Raymond and Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal) as the conniving and sleazy Fletcher have good chemistry together as they banter back and forth throughout most of the film. They contrast each other nicely Henry Golding (Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origin, Last Christmas) as Dry Eye and Jeremy Strong (Molly’s Game, Serenity) as Matthew Berger provide great contrast against McConaughey’s character. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) as Mickey’s wife Rosalind has great chemistry with McConaughey and she demonstrates that she is a tough badass just like her husband. Colin Farrell (Dumbo, Artemis Fowl) as Coach and the rest of the cast provide some interesting characters to the story.
     Overall, The Gentlemen (2020) is an entertaining R-rated action-comedy that is not for the faint of heart. The story utilizes a storytelling technique that provides enough commentary to be interesting but without distracting from the overall story. There are a number of twists throughout the film, some of which are not revealed until the end, and the cast performances were solid and on point throughout. If you're a fan of films like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) and Legend (2015) then I highly recommend that you check out this film.

Final Vote --- 7 of 10 stars

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