My liver, lungs, spleen, and heart bled of violence.
At the music of the opening credits my date snaps to, her legs crossed on the upholstered cinema seat, leaning way out and over the armrest upon my tensed shoulder. This is the most enthusiasm she has evinced for the night. After all, it is a Monday; the beginning of that unvaried nine to five week.
Though more inclined to stay at home, she relented to watch this movie with me after persistent badgering. It is safe to say there is pressure for the new Guy Ritchie movie, Wrath of Man, to deliver in spades.
Guns, guns, guns.
Before a plot is established, gunfire splatters and crackles and deafens, the chaotic action of an armoured truck hijacking is kicking off. A grenade explodes—auditorial and visual perceptions are stunned into astral spheres. Guy Ritchie, the master of attention-grabbing sequences, is not confusing his intentions—this is a movie about blood and guns and violence; nothing less, nothing more.
Next, the ever-reliable anti-hero Jason Statham comes on screen. He plays a mysterious new employee, known as ‘H’, starting at the Fortico company. This brooding and stoic man makes everyone uneasy. Yet, when there is another hijacking on the Fortico armoured trucks, it is H that saves the day. H is a stone-cold killer adept at murdering.
From here, the movie jumps back and forth through chopping timelines.
And from here, my date loses and gains interest. Her fingers are unnervingly picking at plastic labels on water bottles. Or, ostensibly mixing popcorn and M&Ms. She is then, at spontaneous intervals, suggesting that chewing different coloured M&Ms with popcorn brings distinctive flavours. This rhetoric is only interchanged with questions about the storyline.
“What’s going on? Who’s that guy? Why’s he doing that?”
With smokey Los Angeles as its setting, Guy Ritchie stitches together myriads of brutal scenes. H, moves through the criminal underbelly as per a dark spirit, kidnapping and torturing and violating at will. He is searching for the killer of his dead son (the victim of a botched truck hijacking). The tough-guy cast—Statham, Eastwood, et al—tries hard to assemble a story. But, without much character development, Wrath of Man falls into that mindless, action movie trap.
If my subconscious had been craving violence though, its wishes were fulfilled. My liver, lungs, spleen and heart bled of violence.
Now, at the night’s end, my date sways through the auditorium, barefoot with heels in hand, the baggy ends of her boyfriend jeans whipping at her calves. Her hair, frizzy and free, bounces on her shoulder… albeit, small bits of popcorn are lodged in between.
I asked her, “what did you think about the movie?”
“I liked the popcorn and Jason Statham’s raspy voice,” she replied.
Thus, on a date movie scale of one to five stars, I give Wrath of Man a solid four stars.