Not the Jason Statham/Guy Richie film you were hoping for.
“Wrath of Man” is not only a remake of the French film “Le Convoyeur” (translated “Cash Truck”), but it’s also the fourth collaboration of Jason Statham and director Guy Ritchie, after “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” “Snatch,” and “Revolver.” Unfortunately, this is not one for the books, because of the story, characters, and bullets, which go all over the place, and takes us to familiar territories.
The movie presents the same scene from different perspectives of the victims, witness, and villains. You’re interested to see what the main protagonist’s deal is, and you’re excited to see him in action, but the way “Wrath of Man” handles the results doesn’t keep you involved. It’s a major disappointment, and a boring one at that.
Statham portrays Patrick Hill, better known as H, who gets a security job at the Fortico company in LA, which transfers money. The owner of the company is the enthusiastic Boss Blake Hall (Rob Delaney), his manger is the cynical Terry (Eddie Marsan), and his coworkers include the seemingly nice guy Bullet (Holt McCallany) and the wisecracking and sissy Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett).
The last money transfer was hijacked by criminals, who murdered the two guards on duty, but the next transfer is saved by H, who takes out the bad guys without a single scratch on him. The whole company is shocked and impressed, and even Hall gives H a promotion. And truth be told, he is actually tracking down the people who murdered his son (Eli Brown) during that same robbery.
The bad guys, who claim to be soldiers with retirement dreams, consist of the leader Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan), the pompous Jan (Scott Eastwood), Carlos (Laz Alonzo), Brad (Deobia Oparei), Sam (Raul Castillo), and Tom (Chris Reilly). They’re the one responsible for the recent robberies, Jackson is the one making the plans, and Jan is the one who murdered H’s son. You’re probably mad at me for giving away the story, but I’m not recommending the movie. I’m saying you money on better films.
“Wrath of Man” only works when Statham handles the bad guys and wants revenge for the death of his character’s son. I also liked Donovan as the head of the criminals, as well as his henchmen’s cool suits, which change their voices during the third act. These scenes are watchable, compared to others, which aren’t interesting or vivid. They’re more of the same stuff, and it’s difficult for you to comprehend the whole story. The original version was written by Eric Besnard and Nicolad Boukhrief, and the 2021 screenplay is by Ritchie, Marin Davies, and Ivan Atkinson. You have heroes, villains, traitors, and wolves in sheep’s clothing-all required in an action thriller.
Two weekends in a row, I dealt with two disappointing action movies that relied on commercials and shootouts to tell a story: “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse” and now “Wrath of Man.” I expected more out of those films, if they were made by some of the best and most ingenious filmmakers of our generation. Ritchie is a genius, who can take crime films to different heights, and I know this one is a remake of a French film, but last half of “Wrath of Man” feels like I’m watching someone play a video game without letting me have a turn. And not even Andy Garcia’s FBI character could shake things up.