A Guy Ritchie movie is made up of three things: lightheartedness, lightheadedness and a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel feeling that some good will come out of so much bad.
In “Wrath of Man”, however, Ritchie substitutes this usual Quentin Tarantino-like directorial staple in favor of something less easy to sink one’s fangs into.
Instantly, the angry emoji vibe about this movie comes at you in the form of an antihero named Patrick “H” Hill (Jason Statham).
His surname rhymes with kill and, if you’re dating a slay queen, “nil” to represent what’s in her head and what’s in your pocket after you’ve bought the first round of drinks.
Hill’s coworkers at Los Angeles’ “Fortico” armored car company call him “H,” presumably because “P” (for Patrick) could also be used to denote the dangle between his legs or the opening between a slay queen’s thighs.
So “H” will have to do.
“H” always looks wrathful, like somebody stole his lunch money and now he has to stare at everyone else enjoying soda with sandwiches while his stomach partakes of the empty taste in his mouth.
To make things worse, he barely passes the driving and shooting tests he takes to get the job.
Even though he’s mediocre at his best, however, his supervisor Bullet (Holt McCallany) is satisfied because he (Bullet) might be the one who stole H’s lunch money and this is his way to make amends.
One thing’s for sure, though, is that a bloody heist claimed multiple lives, including two Fortico guards, right before “H” was hired.
Wait a minute, could “H” also be short for “Hired”?
Well, Bullet seems to think so as he quickly recruits the rookie.
“H” first comes across as the newbie who can’t even tie his own shoelaces, and then we start to realize that Hill is not some over-the-hill transporter who would be dead in the first scene of the movie, The Transporter.
He is at Fortico; it appears, to investigate something sinister.
To be sure, Fortico’s trucks keep getting attacked by robbers and so there must be an inside man pulling the purse strings in favor of routine heists.
Statham, as we all know, is giving nothing away.
His acting skills center on the expressionless face of a man who feels the same before and after he learns of the tragic disappearance of his lunch money.
It makes you wonder who “H” really is, and why he doesn’t use credit cards when buying lunch.
Then, just as we’re getting lost in the shallows of his ill-formed character, he singlehandedly guns down a number of would-be robbers.
H’s partner Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett) sits there, as “H” executes a bunch of baddies, shaking with fear like he’s just realized “H” actually stands for Hell.
I know: creepy, right?
Wait till you hear H’s taste in music.
His cellphone’s ringtone is a sample from Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” so we know he’s probably not into Cardi B.
Nevertheless (always the more, as Ludacris would say) “H” reveals himself as ruthlessly ready to set aside any emotion so he can deprive anyone who gets in his way of a pulse.
While he’s doing so, a law enforcement boss known only as The King (Andy Garcia), looks the other way to allow “Let the painter paint”.
Remember how Robert De Niro’s character “painted houses” in The Irishman?
“H” brings the same murderously artistic sensibilities to this neo-noir crime thriller.
Although “H” is unsmiling throughout the movie, he has the depth of a puddle. So we never really feel the full extent of his wrath.
By the close of the movie, you might feel that “Wrath of Man” is really a biographical representation of the anger you’ll experience from feeling that this movie could’ve offered a little more.