Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2019. Miramax. Story by Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, Screenplay by Guy Ritchie. Cinematography by Alan Stewart. Produced by Ivan Atkinson, Bill Block, Guy Ritchie. Music by Christopher Benstead. Production Design by Gemma Jackson. Costume Design by Michael Wilkinson. Film Editing by James Herbert.
Guy Ritchie returns to the popularity of films like Lock Stock and Snatch with another fun tale told from the Boys Only Treehouse of his imagination (though we admire him for adding gay overtones and a dominant woman this time, and for doing relatively well with both). Slimy Hugh Grant shows up in Charlie Hunnam’s living room and tells him he has a script to sell him, about an American gangster in London (Matthew McConaughey) who has an impressive marijuana operation that he runs from bunkers hidden beneath some of the biggest (and brokest) country estates in England. The business has made him a millionaire but McConaughey is looking to retire to leisure with his sharp-heeled girlfriend (a wonderful Michelle Dockery); unfortunately, his dealings with his prospective buyer (Jeremy Strong) aren’t going so well, as bribes and robberies are messing up people’s relationships and bodies are piling up with alarming speed. Little by little, Grant reveals just how much he knows and verifies Hunnam’s concern that he might actually have to give him a pile of cash to keep these stories to themselves, or is there perhaps a twist or two in the near future? Enjoying the indulgence of a rich cast of characters, including a marvelous Colin Farrell as a boxing coach with a delightful collection of matching plaid track suits, Ritchie pulls this adventure off with glee, never for a moment trying to convince you that it’s any deeper than it needs to be but keeping his rapid-fire editing flash to a minimum as well. Despite surprises that are not consistently surprising, this satisfying and fun movie is juicy enough to make one feel like the labour of keeping its details and characters straight is worthwhile and pleasurable labour.