Wrath of Man (2021): Jason Statham Protects Money and His Life from Getting Snatched

“Wrath of Man” is directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, The Gentlemen) and stars Jason Statham (Furious 7, Safe), Holt McCallany (Alien 3, Mindhunter), Jeffrey Donovan (J. Edgar, LBJ), Josh Hartnett (Penny Dreadful, 40 Days and 40 Nights), Chris Reilly (The Last Post, Game of Thrones), Laz Alonso (Battle of the Year, The Boys), Raúl Castillo (Looking, We the Animals), DeObia Oparei (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Dumbo), Eddie Marsan (V For Vendetta, Ray Donovan), and Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad, Snowden) in a film about a man who recently joined a cash truck company and is responsible for moving lots of money around Los Angeles on a frequent basis. After an unexpected incident, H wants revenge over his son’s death.

“Wrath of Man” is a movie that I nearly slept on. But with advertising for it picking up in recent times, I decided to go see it Mother’s Day weekend as it was one of the bigger films out at the time. To be quite frank, I REALLY did not know what to expect. I thought this film would be okay, but I have recently been reflecting back to a time in recent memory when my dad and I went to see “Godzilla vs. Kong.” The trailer for “Wrath of Man” came up and he said that he would probably wait until this comes out on television to watch it. I somewhat agreed as it seemed like a somewhat standard action film starring Jason Statham, but at the same time, I feel like as one who has devoted himself to the industry, I had to see this for myself as it did have Guy Ritchie’s name on it. At the same time though, even though I have not seen every Guy Ritchie film, the ones that I have seen have not specifically impressed me. “Snatch” is wonderfully paced, but I honestly don’t even remember it. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is nice to look at, but also forgettable. “The Gentlemen” was too fast and too boring. It’s amazing how many people complained about “Tenet” being the hardest 2020 movie to understand when everything is flying in your face and down your throat lickety split in “The Gentlemen.” God, that movie almost gives me a headache the more I think about it. But was “Wrath of Man” worth watching? Is it something that is worth waiting for?

Cinematically, it is marvelous. The cinematography is some of the best of the year so far, and the opening sequence of the film put me right in. But other than that, it is your basic action flick starring Jason Statham. I am not the biggest fan of Guy Ritchie films, but much like how I have noticed distinctive styles from directors like Quentin Tarantino, Zack Snyder, and Wes Anderson, I feel like one of the highlights of Guy Ritchie films like “Snatch,” specifically a flair that feels like something only Guy Ritchie could provide, is missing. This really just feels like a run of the mill action film that almost crosses the threshold for cable TV background noise.

In fact, just for context, it has been nearly a month since I went out to watch this film. I remember some of it, but the more I reflect on it, the more disposable it feels. I do like some things about “Wrath of Man.” The concept of the film, while definitely not the highlight, is intriguing. Because the main character works for a company that deals with carrying around significant amounts of money, and because money is something that we as human beings somehow equate to happiness, even though there are times where we shouldn’t, it packs a bit of stakes into the story from the getgo. The other thing I like in this film is the music, and I do not mean the score. I have nothing bad to say about it, but nothing really good either. It gets the job done. What I really like about the film is there is this one song that plays at a point, specifically Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, and ever since I heard it not only in the trailers for this film, but in the actual movie, I have the tune from it nearly ingrained in my mind. It’s almost like second nature to me at times. This sort of reminds me of another film, specifically “Thor: Ragnarok,” which despite how I think it is overrated, I will say one of the positives is that the film managed to successfully ingrain Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” into my head from one moment to another.

When I say that this is a basic action flick starring Jason Statham, I am not lying. There are elements that encapsulate that notion, but I am not saying it is a bad movie, and I think part of it is because of how Jason Statham handles his performance. Statham is, based on what I have seen from him, not exactly the most Shakespearean of actors working today, but he has this range that makes him one of the more attractive individuals for action movies. He his this gritty tone from him, one he has also shown in movies like those in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, that he also brings into “Wrath of Man.” Is he arguably playing himself? That is difficult to say, but I think for Statham, I think this comparison is kind of like Kevin Hart. I say so because I love Kevin Hart, even though he plays some incarnation of himself in almost every movie he is in. At the same time though, in the case of Hart, it is not a bad thing, because Hart has a great personality and he does his best to sell that with each go. So if Statham continues down this road where he keeps playing an incarnation of himself, I would be worried for his range, but if he keeps entertaining audiences, I will not be completely disappointed.

Without spoilers, the other main thing I really like from “Wrath of Man” is the ending. This film has a way of splitting different chapters or acts, and I think they did a really good job at setting the tone for the last chapter with the name. Now I had no idea what any of it would mean or what context the name would provide, but when I saw it play out on screen, it felt rather satisfying. I think it was a well written climax overall and I would say that Guy Ritchie did an excellent job at helming it. While it is not my favorite climax in film history, it is definitely one of the better ones I have seen in recent memory.

In the end, “Wrath of Man” is pretty entertaining, but it does come with some basics that make the story and walkthrough of the film feel somewhat familiar. In fact, parts of it kind of reminded me of the recent film titled “Honest Thief” starring Liam Neeson. Although, I will admit, the way Jason Statham carries the film makes it all worthwhile. It almost feels like there are select scenes written with him specifically in mind, which is a good thing if you ask me. Would I watch “Wrath of Man” again? Not instantaneously, but I would not shy away from it either. If I do not buy the Blu-ray, I would at least give it a quick glimpse if it shows up on a cable network. For all I know, it may be worth your time as well. I’m going to give “Wrath of Man” a respectable 7/10.

Thanks for reading this review! As you may have noticed, I have been outrageously busy creating a full week of “Star Wars” content through my 7 Days of Star Wars event. This has been a pleasure to work on, even though there may have been moments where I wanted to pull out my hair because of how painstaking it may have been to meet certain deadlines, but if you want to check out those reviews, the links are listed below. I hope you enjoy the reviews as much as I enjoyed creating them.

THE PHANTOM MENACE: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/23/star-wars-episode-i-the-phantom-menace-1999-worst-for-chronologically-first/

ATTACK OF THE CLONES: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/24/star-wars-episode-ii-attack-of-the-clones-2002-a-revisit-to-my-first-star-wars-movie/

REVENGE OF THE SITH: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/25/star-wars-episode-iii-revenge-of-the-sith-2005-my-favorite-star-wars-prequel-ever/

STAR WARS/A NEW HOPE: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/26/star-wars-1977-an-ageless-adventure/

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/27/the-empire-strikes-back-1980-i-love-you/

RETURN OF THE JEDI: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/28/return-of-the-jedi-1983-i-see-the-good/

THE FORCE AWAKENS: https://flicknerd.com/2021/05/29/star-wars-the-force-awakens-2015-the-biggest-blast-in-the-galaxy/

ROGUE ONE: https://flicknerd.com/2016/12/16/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-a-movie-built-on-hope/

THE LAST JEDI: https://flicknerd.com/2017/12/15/star-wars-episode-viii-the-last-jedi-2017-another-year-another-star-wars-movie/

SOLO: https://flicknerd.com/2018/05/25/solo-a-star-wars-story-2018-somehow-this-star-wars-movie-exists/

THE RISE OF SKYWALKER: https://flicknerd.com/2019/12/20/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-2019-the-final-word-in-the-story/

But speaking of reviews, I have plenty of reviews for new movies coming soon including “Profile,” “Army of the Dead,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” and I will also be seeing “In the Heights” tomorrow so I will have my thoughts on that too. I do not have any set days, but my next review should be up by Saturday at the latest, so stay tuned. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook page so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Wrath of Man?” What did you think about it? Or, of the four collaborations between Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham, which is your favorite? I’ve only seen this one and “Snatch,” so… I don’t know if I should participate. Either way, if you do want to participate, leave your thoughts in the comments section! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Honest Thief (2020): About a Man with a Wicked Set of Skills

“Honest Thief” is directed by Mark Williams and stars Liam Neeson (Taken, The Commuter), Kate Walsh (The Umbrella Academy, Grey’s Anatomy), Robert Patrick (Scorpion, True Blood), Anthony Ramos (Trolls World Tour, Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Jeffrey Donovan (Sicario, Burn Notice), and Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad, Divergent). This film follows a bank robber who meets a girl, falls in love, and aspires to spend his life with her. Although, because he wants to live a clean life, he requests to turn himself in for a reduced sentence, only to have every moment of his be interfered by two FBI agents.

There is not much playing in theaters right now in regards to new content, but “Honest Thief” did just debut this past weekend, and I managed to see it on the first Thursday it was playing. So, I consider myself lucky in getting to review another movie during a year which nothing really has happened. “Honest Thief,” marketing-wise, comes off as another cliche action flick starring Liam Neeson, and as far as the final product goes, that is pretty much what it is. If you’ve seen other action flicks starring Liam Neeson, this will seem stylistically similar to those. This is not exactly a punch to the face as far as this movie is concerned, because I will admit, I did enjoy myself from start to finish. This is not Shakespeare, but it is a damn good time, and worth the price of admission if you choose to support the film during its theatrical run. I am one of those people who will state that every movie is better in a theater, but I think many people would agree that action flicks are pretty much essential viewing on the big screen.

This movie has it all! Combat, shootouts, chases, and so on! This movie is worth it all the way through if you want to see some fun action scenes. Neeson carries the film quite well and I almost cannot imagine anyone else playing his character, even though this movie takes place in Massachusetts and almost embellishes that from start to finish. So if this is remade in 5 or 10 years, who knows? Maybe Ben Affleck, Chris Evans, or Matt Damon could step in. They’re competent actors from the area! Why not give them a shot? This is not a complaint against Liam Neeson. Again, he portrayed the lead role with excellence.

I will say once again, this movie is not Shakespeare, but it does not mean I failed to get attached to anyone on board. Liam Neeson’s character, Tom, is very likable. His love interest, played excellently by Kate Walsh, is also pleasing to watch. Their first scene together, is admittedly a little sappy, but that also brings me to one of my biggest compliments about the film. Despite how this film is a masculine adrenaline rush of an action flick, I was still able to feel some sense of emotion all the way through.

I also really liked the film’s antagonists. I will try not to spoil too much about the film, but I will point out that the antagonists are these two FBI agents who meet with Tom as he is trying to turn himself in. The police reveal that plenty of people have called them trying to claim they were the bank robber they were looking for, and when these two FBI agents find out this guy is for real, they try to take advantage of his earnings. I kind of like their motivation and the depth behind their backstories, especially when it comes to the character of Ramon Hall, played by Anthony Ramos. He’s got a kid, and it is brought up that when it comes to the amount of money at stake, one would probably want it all just to take care of a kid without a worry in the world. This movie is not going to be remembered as the greatest story ever told, but this side story from one of the villains did add something to the film itself.

I don’t know what it is about recent action films and dogs, I mean, “John Wick” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” if you can call it an action film, have become iconic because of their dogs and the scenes they’re in. Some of the best chemistry in this film comes from this tiny little dog, and Jeffrey Donovan. This comes from a guy who loathes dogs in real life, but even I will admit that every moment these two were on screen together amused me.

I will point out once again, “Honest Thief” is a pretty good action film, but that does not mean it does not come without flaws. For starters, despite how good it is, it really just covers the basics. Yes, you’ve got a kick-ass Liam Neeson who is not really phoning it in. You’ve got some slick-looking action. You’ve got a story that goes from point A to point B. But there’s nothing really that changes the game. It’s familiar content. Familiar is not always the worst adjective however, I enjoyed the familiarity of this movie. This movie is like that one cheap pizza place you may end up always ordering from. It may not be the best, but with the close location and inexpensive options, it makes itself pretty attractive. It’s a good pizza that gets the job done, nothing more. If you want to watch a good action movie, watch “Honest Thief,” but if you want to watch a great action movie, I don’t know, here’s another example with Liam Neeson, put on “Taken!” Skip the sequels, just watch the first one. Although parts of the third one are good. …Just, skip “Taken 2.” I’ve pretty much forgotten almost all of it by now.

If I had to state any other notable cons, it would probably just be one particular scene two thirds the way through the movie. I know that this movie does not have the biggest budget in the world, but given how it is 2020, the effects that a movie has should look at least somewhat real. To be completely honest, there’s this scene past the midway point of the movie with this really big explosion, the fire effects in that scene, especially towards the end, looked like they came from a middle of the road movie that came out in 2003.

Liam Neeson’s character of Tom, otherwise known as the In and Out Bandit, which… WHY DID THIS MOVIE NOT TAKE PLACE IN CALIFORNIA? What a missed opportunity! You know what? This guy’s from Massachusetts! He should be called the Dunkin and Dunkout Bandit! He’s on the run on Dunkin’! Anyway, this character took a lot of money from banks. Thankfully, this movie did not feel as if it was robbing me from start to finish. If you have a chance, give it a shot! I’d give it a thumbs up.

In the end, “Honest Thief” is a bit basic, somewhat familiar, but is entertaining enough to pass the time. Is it worth seeing in the theater? Well that depends. There’s not much playing at the cinema, and I know not everyone wants to go to the cinema. If you don’t want to see this in a cinema, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is out for home viewing by sometime next year. But if you choose to go to a theater and you want something big and loud, this is almost your best option unless “Unhinged” and “Tenet” are playing somewhere near you. If you are a fan of Liam Neeson, you like action, and you just want to see somebody kick some asses, this may be a good movie for you. Just because it has been done before, does not mean it is terrible. I am going to give “Honest Thief” a 7/10. So far I’ve seen two Liam Neeson movies this year. This one, and “Made in Italy.” I’ve stated positive thoughts on both films, so in my book, Neeson is 2 for 2 in 2020. Well done!

Thanks for reading this review! My next review is going to be for an unusual film. That my friends is the brand new animated musical “Over the Moon,” which hits Netflix October 23rd. Right now it is playing at select theatres if you want to see it early. I played a song from the movie on a loop as I did my review for “Honest Thief.”

…Take that as a hint for how good this movie is. I cannot wait to talk about it!

Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Honest Thief?” What did you think about it? Or, what are your thoughts on the “Taken” franchise? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!