When I think of Jason Statham movies, I don’t get overly excited. I love action films like most, but he is usually hit or miss. To me, the trailers seemed a little too cookie-cutter than normal. However, the supporting cast seemed well-rounded. (Josh Hartnett sighting) and I then realized this is a Guy Ritchie directed film.
Snatch being the best of these films. Statham and Ritchie have worked together in four previous films. (Wrath of Man is also based on a French film from 2004 called Cash Truck (very original name.) My co-reviewer missed out this week but spoiler alert she would have scored this higher than me. I don’t want to be mean with the review – Abby.
Onto the film.
Immediately the score of the film adds tension to the scenes playing out in front of us. I was impressed with the way the film was shot throughout, and it started in the beginning. We are positioned in the backseat of an armored truck. We hear morning banter between the driver and his co-worker.
Tension filled the truck as they drive to their next pickup. We see the truck is stopped by construction. (OF COURSE) These construction workers are imposters, and they attack the armored truck, kill the guards, and make off with the money.
We then cut to sometime later and meet our lead Patrick Hill (Statham) who is looking for a new job. He goes through an evaluation and gets training and is hired onto the same company as the men from the previous robbery. He is a man of few words. From the beginning, I questioned his motives.
The film keeps his backstory in the dark on purpose and it works, but they almost try too hard to show this. Don’t ask any questions about “H.” He is brooding and menacing. However, the film picks up when the entire crew is introduced to H. I immediately liked his superior they called Bullet (McCallany) and the chemistry from Bullet and H shown through immediately. As you can see in the cast list, we also have Boy Sweat Dave (Hartnett.) He plays a nice foil to Statham’s character.
The first 45 minutes take off slow compared to the opening robbery. It feels as if something is brewing, and I found myself wishing they tightened this up. You care immediately about some of the cast, and the others it didn’t matter if you had three hours of runtime with backstories they just didn’t work.
Without giving too much more of the plot, a kidnapping takes place and H is thrust into action. This is where the cookie-cutter plot I worried about started. We see revenge needed for various reasons and it became a mix of action films we’ve all seen before. Go find X and take them out. Protect this person. Rinse and repeat.
The film is saved by the editing and score. As we opened inside the truck the director Ritchie utilizes different camera angles to provide a different perspective. This was appreciated and helped. The action scenes of course worked. It’s Jason Statham fighting. If you’re going to see this film, you know to expect that.
The other downside however was the dialogue. Thankfully the cast was top notch, because throughout some of the quips and monologues were so cheesy, I wasn’t sure if they were trying to be laugh-out-loud funny or lazy. I will give Scott Eastwood props as Jan though. He’s Clint Eastwood’s son and actually plays his role with a touch of grit. You ALMOST believe he is on the same level as Statham.
If you’re a fan of the action genre, you’ll enjoy this. You will notice the plot twists before they happen, but it is still a fun watch. Go grab some popcorn and a drink and sit down for this one. HOPEFULLY, we get a break from mediocre films soon. I am personally excited for Spiral in the coming weeks (A reimaging/sequel to the Saw franchise.) 2 ½ stars out of 5