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The Gentlemen lacks cinematic etiquette

Director Guy Ritchie returns to the small screen after two decades with a spin-off series titled "The Gentlemen" based on his 2019 hit movie. Ritchie collaborates with the streaming giant Netflix for the project.

Eddie Horniman (Theo James), a British military man, is taken aback when he unexpectedly inherits his father's vast country estate, a picturesque property in their family for generations. The estate is home not only to his mother, Lady Sabrina (Joely Richardson), but also to his siblings, brother Freddy (Daniel Ings) and sister Charly (Jasmine Blackborow). Eddie is excited to take up residence and start a new chapter in his life. However, things take an unexpected turn when he meets Susie Glass (Kaya Scodelario), a savvy businesswoman who grows and sells cannabis on an industrial scale.

Eddie discovers that the estate is part of a vast cannabis empire that has been cleverly concealed over the years. The lucrative and illegal business has caught the attention of several unsavory characters from the criminal underworld, and they are determined to get a piece of the operation. Eddie is determined to protect his family and their home from these threats. To outsmart the gangsters, he tries to play their game but quickly realizes that he is way over his head.

As Eddie delves deeper into the criminal world, he discovers a world of violence, deception, and betrayal. He is torn between his loyalty to his family and his growing fascination with the world of the criminals. Eddie is forced to make difficult choices as he tries to extricate his family from the clutches of the gangsters. However, as he navigates this dangerous world, he finds himself drawn to it, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and his family.

One of the first things I want to point out to potential viewers is that if you're expecting to see any of the big names from the film in the series, prepare yourself for a letdown. I'm generally a fan of Theo James, but having to carry an entire show doesn't suit him, and he gets outshined by his supporting cast. In particular, Kaya Scodelario works her magic to anchor the show truly.

Par for the course is a delightfully understated performance by Ritchie's longtime friend and frequent collaborator Vinnie Jones, as well as brief appearances by masters of the trade such as Giancarlo Esposito and the late great Ray Winstone. However, not all supporting roles solidly hit the mark - Joely Richardson is only here for a check, while Micael Vu is nothing more than a tired stoner cliche.

"The Gentlemen" also has its share of fleeting subplots and sporadically appearing characters, which unfortunately do little to craft a compelling story. Finally, for this to be a Guy Ritchie project, the action comes in spurts, and when it does, it arrives; it's very tame.

Despite any shortcomings, fans loyal to Ritchie's work will likely still enjoy the series.

Final Grade: C+


The Gentlemen" is available to stream on Netflix, Thursday March 7th.

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