Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Gentlemen --- 2 1/2 Stars - Opens January 24, 2020

Director Guy Ritchie returns to his crime caper roots in "The Gentlemen."  A loony plot revolves around suave Matthew McConaughey who oversees a marijuana empire hidden beneath some of England's grand "Downton Abbey" style estates.  The cast includes barely recognizable Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Jeremy Strong, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding and Michelle Dockery.  Essentially a shaggy dog story, with guns and a sense of humor.  2 1/2 Stars "R" 
I don't expect much from movies released in January, the month when studios burn off their duds.  "The Gentlemen" starts a little too cute.  A shockingly un-glamorous Hugh Grant explains the plot as if pitching a screenplay.  It seems McConaughey might sell his weed farm business to Jeremy Strong, but the Chinese Mafia led by Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) want in as well.  Colin Farrell and a group of street toughs add great comic relief.  Multiple twists and turns pay off as the story progresses.  "The Gentlemen" feels like a cross between "Pulp Fiction" and the British crime thrillers of a couple of decades ago such as "Sexy Beast."  Think of it as Tarantino with a cockney accent in a thriller so full of word play it might need subtitles.