It’s not exactly The Real RocknRolla, but we’ll certainly take it!
Where to start with Guy Ritchie…
Well, let’s start from the beginning and spotlight his influential and endlessly energetic directorial feature debut, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Before this, he’d helmed the 1995 short The Hard Case, but the aforementioned film’s emergence in 1998 was genuinely a game-changer.
Many declared it the film of that year, announcing the arrival of an ambitious and singular talent. Two years later, the release of his sophomore effort Snatch confirmed that Guy was the real deal. It remains iconic, limitlessly quotable and so much fun; a true gem of British cinema boasting the most remarkable array of talent.
It’s widely considered his masterpiece, but he’s also helmed such riotously entertaining efforts as 2008’s RocknRolla – very much in the vein of his first two features – and 2009’s revisionist actioner Sherlock Holmes. Recently, his filmography has raised a few eyebrows, but the unveiling of the trailer for The Gentlemen has the attention of fans both recent and old…
Guy Ritchie unveils… The Gentlemen
Plenty of his admirers will consider his lesser-known efforts such as 2005’s Revolver missteps. However, in the last five years, his output has been wildly conflicting. His work used to be quite cohesive, but of late we’ve seen him direct The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (which went down pretty well for fans), critical dud King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the 2019 remake of Aladdin – yeah, we couldn’t quite believe that last one either.
The live-action Disney blockbuster is the last thing you’d expect Guy Ritchie to approach, but the forthcoming action film The Gentlemen, on the other hand, has his fingerprints all over it.
Set for release on Wednesday, January 1st 2020, the film centres upon a British drug lord who attempts to sell his empire to an assemblage of billionaires. The trailer is incredibly promising – give it a watch below:
Let’s talk about Charlie Hunnam
Arguably, Guy Ritchie is not only well known for getting the best from his actors, but for reaping unexpected results.
There are so many film fans out there who don’t like Jason Statham who enjoy him in Snatch, and similarly, those who dislike Gerard Butler but like him in RocknRolla, and so on. Guy gets results and allows his actors to have a lot of fun, but honestly. it really didn’t work with Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur…
The 39-year-old English actor has been regarded as bland and uncharismatic by a number of sceptics over the years, and his last Guy Ritchie venture did little to sway them onto his side. In The Gentlemen trailer, all of the actors – from Colin Farrell to Hugh Grant channelling his inner Don Logan – appear to be having so much fun within their respective roles. Then there’s Charlie Hunnam who already appears to be the weakest link. For the most part, it’s because Charlie can hardly be considered a comedic actor, whereas the aforementioned performers and the likes of Matthew McConaughey all have a playful and humorous side to them.
The jokes he delivers in the trailer sort of fall flat, whereas the others land theirs with ease. Of course, it’s all opinion, but perhaps Charlie just isn’t right for Guy Ritchie’s house tone.
Can he change our minds?
Now, we’re not saying that he’s a bad actor.
In fact, he proved a warm and likeable presence in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak (he played Dr. Alan Michael) and has impressed in the likes of The Lost City of Z (Percy Fawcett) and Sons of Anarchy (Jax).
However, with so many actors we’d like to see appear in something like The Gentlemen (Jack O’Connell etc.) we’d have liked to see the cast get a bit more adventurous. Even if they wished to play it safe, we could definitely envision Tom Hardy in Charlie’s role pretty easily, and he and Guy have already worked together previously on RocknRolla.
There is still a chance that Charlie may shine in the role; it’s too early to predict just yet. However, right now we’re simply not sold on his seemingly central presence in The Gentlemen. Let’s hope it’s back to form for Guy Ritchie though!
In other news, is Mo Gilligan married?