Jason Statham and his favorite director Guy Ritchie are back in the hot rod together in their fourth collaboration with Wrath Of Man, a blood-pumping crime thriller with veins of revenge that is an English language remake of the 2004 French movie Cash Truck by Nicolas Boukhrief (Silent Hill screenwriter). Ritchie employs his unique ways of storytelling this time around, but leaves the comedic quips and funny dialogue at the front door and tends to a more serious action film with a dry, yet fun Statham in tow. While it might not be as much fun or have the quirky characters that Ritchie's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch had, Wrath Of Man has a great setup and story behind its leading man, even if the film loses itself along the way by trying to stick to its mood and tone that would beg Gotham's Joker to ask, "Why So Serious?"
Wrath Of Man opens with a great heist, where a group of masked, armed men holds up a cash truck, transporting tons of money to its location. The robbery seems highly planned out and Ritchie expertly keeps the camera inside the truck, keeping the audience's vision away from anything too revealing. There is screaming, demands, money being thrown around and then a few loud booms, which would be gunshots. The scene ends and cuts to a few months later where Statham enters the picture, interviewing for a job at a cash truck company as Patrick Hill, who once he gets the job is known simply as "H". After barely passing his physical test of shooting guns and driving a car, he is the "rookie on the job", where he is constantly made fun of by his co-workers including the great Josh Hartnett.
It's not soon after he is hired that "H" displays his incredible killing skills, as he single-handedly takes out several robbers who are trying to carjack his cash truck, which leads to his new coworkers to respect him, but also question his background. As the film plays out, Ritchie revisits that first heist from different angles and perspectives as more of the story is revealed and different character's pasts and origins are discovered. through traveling to different times throughout the previous year, along with betrayals, partnerships, and a ton of blood and gunshots - which basically culminates in any Guy Ritchie movie sans the comedy, which tends to hurt it a bit.
Ritchie explores the use of the long tracking shots throughout the film to convey the action and carnage, something he really isn't known for, but he excels at it with Wrath Of Man, allowing the action to play without an escape of a quick cut that turns upside down. It was more visceral this way with each death. Statham plays the straight and narrow this time around, which is a bummer because this film desperately needed more than one or two comical lines from him, but nevertheless, he plays the part cool as ever. What the film does suffer from is the number of characters who are introduced in an excellent way that seems it would payoff somehow by the end, but that time never arrives, and instead, each and every character besides Statham is left in the dark without rhyme or reason - even Josh Hartnett, Andy Garcia, and Eddie Marsan, and that's a shame. The movie and script give them enough character traits to have fun with, but by the end, they are all but forgotten and the film rests on Statham's shoulders, which he can more than handle.
Wrath Of Man is not a film that comes with Ritchie's trademarked stylized editing, comedic dialogue, or even entertaining retro soundtrack. This is a straight-to-the-heart crime thriller with no real pizazz that is the norm from a "Guy Ritchie" film. That being said, the great director knows how to frame and shoot an action sequence with ferocity and exquisite detail, and with Statham's charisma, he can make this "H" character seem like the greatest person alive when he just comes across as a calm man who can handle himself in a fight. Wrath Of Man needs that comedic element, but survives on the technical aspects alone, along with Statham's performance.