Jason Statham and director Guy Ritchie collaborate for the fourth time in Wrath of Man from United Artists Releasing. A loose remake of the 2004 French film Cash Truck, Wrath of Man, finds Jason Statham in the role of H, a loner who has just taken on a job at a cash truck company in the City of Angels. H's shift supervisor, Bullet (Holt McCallany), takes an immediate liking to the new hire, while co-workers, including Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett), don't think much of H.
One day in what appears to be a routine job, H, Bullet, and Dave find themselves ambushed in a robbery attempt. To the surprise of his co-workers, H takes down the robbers with ease. The event causes a domino effect as H becomes the golden boy of the company, even impressing the company's owner. Secretly, H is hunting for the people who murdered his son during a similar robbery that opens the film and plans to use his new position to set traps for every would-be robber in the city until he finds his son's killers.
One of the best things about growing up in the eighties was experiencing the joy of action films from the Cannon studio. Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, and Sho Kosugi were just some of the stars who did work with Cannon. The movies were cheap, but the action was always on point. I expected Wrath of Man from the film trailers to take that route with Guy Ritchie making a hard R popcorn movie and Statham just kicking ass. However, during the opening credit roll of Wrath of Man, as I basked in the glorious cinematography, I realized the film would be more in the vein of To Live and Die in L.A.
At its core, Wrath of Man is an action movie with the violent shoot-out fans will love. On the flip side, the film is a slow burn that reveals the layers of its plot through unique title cards. That said, Wrath of Man is an action movie that I would advise you to check the film one out blind outside of the initial trailers. The enjoyment for me was the way that the film's script connects everything. One solid plot involves a down on their luck former military unit, including actors Scott Eastwood and Laz Alonso. Jeffrey Donovan leads the team, and how they figure into the plot is handled quite nicely.
Jason Statham is notorious for being a one-note actor, and that's fine as I never expected groundbreaking theatrics from a former athlete and black market dealer. Statham enjoys his typecasting as an antihero and ass-kicker, so I'll never knock someone for getting a check for following their passion. For the most part, Statham delivers just what his want fans in Wrath of Man.
As much as I enjoyed Wrath of Man, I had a few minor gripes with the film. The first is the lack of a hand-to-hand combat scene for Statham and a formidable opponent. Statham takes down most of his enemies with a gun in his hand. Secondly, there is a reveal of a bad guy that I could see coming a mile away. I do wish that the script for the film would've set up more of a red herring type reveal. Josh Hartnett also has a throwaway role, and there was something about his acting in the film that didn't sit well with me.
Nevertheless, Wrath of Man currently ranks as my second most enjoyable R-rated action film of 2021 thus far and is highly recommended.
Final Grade A -
Wrath of Man is showing in theaters now.