Dudes and drugs: ‘The Gentlemen’ Review


“The Gentlemen” is a drug film packed with action, comedy and a star-studded cast of characters. 

“The Gentlemen,” Guy Ritchie’s latest action-comedy, is a whirlwind of elbow jab kind of jokes, casual cursing and splattered blood rolled into one thick joint worthy of smoking.

The film revolves around Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), an American expat who built a marijuana empire in London, as he tries to sell off his business and leave the game. After proposing the sale, Pearson encounters other men as un-gentle as him, blackmail and other surprises that fuel the intertwining storylines for one hour and 53 minutes.

While this is not McConaughey’s first drug movie rodeo, the film is a fresh endeavor for Hugh Grant, who plays a cheeky private investigator named Fletcher. Grant is mainly known for his lovey-dovey career in romantic comedies, but he rises to the occasion for his second film with Ritchie. Between the tinted glasses and sexual innuendos, Grant transforms into a piece of grime, something everyone encounters but does not want to touch.

Grant’s lovely acting is complemented by well-developed characters portrayed by stars. On the roster, there’s Pearson’s right-hand man Ray (Charlie Hunnam), his badass wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery), and his potential clients Matthew (Jeremy Strong) and Dry Eye (Henry Golding). The cherry on top is Coach (Colin Farrell), a tough guy with a heart of gold.

What these characters share in common is more so what they all are not: Latino. By creating a film with a predominantly white cast, Ritchie is making a statement in the world of drug-related media and narratives. Neither this movie nor the characters within it are dubbed titles related to “narco” or “drug lord.” Rather, these men get the title of gentlemen despite their brash, rough character and demeanor because of their race. 

Under the guise of witty comedy, intense action and smooth rock ‘n roll introduced by a James Bond-esque title sequence, Ritchie’s film sends more messages beyond that of its ironic title. The narrative calls into question the legalization of marijuana as well as the powers and dangers of the internet. 

Most prominently, Ritchie calls out the world of cinema itself. Fletcher, a cinephile hidden in retro clothing, makes direct jabs at cinema through dialogue that set the bar high for “The Gentlemen.” Luckily, it does not disappoint. Ritchie toys with timelines and the idea of screens to create a cinematic trip that engages the imagination and leaves a residual high.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Feature Image: IMDB

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