American expatriate Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) has made a name for himself as a highly profitable marijuana kingpin in London, but after 25 years is looking to get out of the game and retire. He courts fellow American expat Matthew (Jeremy Strong) trying to persuade him to buy his empire, however, as news of his plan to sell up shop spreads around town, Mickey finds himself faced with a number of enemies who come out of the woodwork to take him down. From newspaper editor Dave (Eddie Marsan) to rival gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding), to the Coach’s (Colin Farrell) ragtag bunch of young boxing misfits, there seems to be no villain left in London who’s not interested in getting a piece of the (extremely dapper) Mickey.
Despite McConaughey’s stylish screen presence, it’s shady investigative journalist Fletcher (Hugh Grant) who steals the show, with Grant employing every trick in the book to ensure his character is as slimy as possible – a far cry from his heyday of back-to-back awkwardly charming rom-com roles.
Fletcher narrates the story, weaving an elaborate and often dramatic version of events to Mickey’s loyal number two man, Raymond (Charlie Hunnam). Their back-and-forth is easy to watch, each playing off the other in a cheeky manner.
Farrell too, offers a delightfully humorous performance as the Coach.
The Gentlemen is a return to form for writer/director Guy Ritchie, who veered off-course from his comedy crime classics Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, to direct the likes of Sherlock Holmes and the recent live-action Aladdin.
A little clichéd here and there, and not as fast-paced as Ritchie’s previous flicks, The Gentlemen is an imperfectly fun ride, full of swagger, smart-talking and style.
Watch it at Dendy Canberra