Wrath of Man Review: Statham and Ritchie back together in action thriller

Jason Statham Wrath of Man Guy Ritchie

Jason Statham is an action star who has a long list of adrenaline-filled films like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, The Meg, The Expendables films, Crank and Transporter. And it’s been a couple of years since we’ve last seen the actor in a film, but he’s back with Wrath of Man, directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels). It’s a return to form with the actor and director working together again, resulting in an intense, no holds barred action thriller.

Statham plays a mysterious man named H who recently gets recruited as a cash truck security guard. He barely passed his tests with his driving and security skills, but his colleagues are bewildered when they see him take down robbers with expert marksmanship during a routine job. H’s history starts to unravel and slowly his motives become clearer and clearer.

Statham is at his element as the strong, silent type, but don’t expect any martial arts fighting like in his previous films. In Wrath of Man, the action feels grounded and intense, all except for H’s exceptional shooting skills with one hand, who feels like an unstoppable Terminator. His performance isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s not meant to be with these types of film, and I’m definitely okay with that.

He’s joined by a large cast including Holt McCallany (Fight Club, Netflix’s Mindhunter), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor), Laz Alonzo (Amazon’s The Boys), Andy Garcia (The Godfather: Part III), Deobia Oparei (HBO’s Game of Thrones), and Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, The Fate of the Furious). The movie shines as the focus shifts from different characters in the second and third act, and it’s told in a nonlinear way that kept me engaged. Eastwood, Alonzo, and McCallany bring some depth into their antagonist roles, and Hartnett and McCallany keep things grounded as H’s colleagues.

The story is told in chapters, and they would shift between different groups and timelines to throw us off and to hold our attention, explaining the different characters’ backstories and their motivations. The final minutes of the film could have been executed better since it felt a bit lacking, especially after the explosive third act.

Overall, Wrath of Man is a solid action thriller with Jason Statham doing what he does best, being a kick-ass, silent protagonist. The nonlinear storytelling and grounded action kept me engaged. The third act was fierce, deadly and put me on the edge of my seat, despite not having a strong ending.

Score: 3.5/5 Atoms

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