Wrath of Man (M18)
Starring Jason Statham, Scott Eastwood, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Jason Statham has been the badass mofo so many times that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them. His latest — and fourth with director Guy Ritchie, who launched the ex-competitive diver’s acting career in 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels — is a tad weightier than his usual output. The Stath plays a bigshot gangster who goes undercover as security guard H (“like the bomb”) at an armour truck company. His mission: to take out a crew of ex-military robbers (Scott Eastwood is scary as the resident rogue) who murdered H’s son. Bereft of the comic flourishes (i.e. the Cockney slanguage) typical in Ritchie’s earlier capers, this LA-set (but filmed in the UK) tale of vendetta is served straight up sombre, an unabashed valentine to Michael Mann. Think Miami Vice meets Heat, but with the cops out of the picture. As the grief-stricken father hell bent on retribution, Statham is a force of nature. He’s been down this reckoning path before: as Deckard Shaw in Fast & Furious 7, before he got retconned into a nice guy in Fast & Furious 8. Except this time, he gets to go all the way. (3/5 stars)
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