Here we have the latest film from director, Guy Ritchie; the man responsible for a couple of titles I consider classics - 'Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' and 'Snatch' as well as Robert Downey Jr's 'Sherlock Holmes' movies (the first of which was far superior). He's a bit of a hit and miss director in my eyes, a lot of the time I tend to meet his films in the middle, and this is such a good example of one of his most middle-ground movies to me.
The film flows a bit like 'Pulp Fiction' in as much as it's divided into four parts, all surrounding one particular event - the armed robbery of an armoured truck, killing two guards and a civilian. Five months later, we meet our mystery man lead, Patrick Hill, or more commonly, "H" (Jason Statham), who applies for a guard job at Fortico Security (the company we see get robbed in the beginning). His superior, Terry (Eddie Marsan) mentions the robbery, and warns him of the conditions of the job while the age-old cliche of H's new co-workers ripping on the new guy plays on. Among them, "Bullet" (Holt McCallany), who's responsible for showing him the new guy the ropes; the cocky guy who decidedly hates the new guy, "Boy Sweat" Dave (Josh Hartnett), and Dana (Niamh Algar) the token woman whose sole purpose is to emasculate all of the men.
In the midst of a training pickup, Bullet is taken hostage, but H manages to rescue him showing phenomenal skill that suggests he held back during his training. As the film unfolds, we get to learn about just why H has become a part of the armoured trucks team when he's clearly overqualified. The result is basically a revenge film that offers a twist here, a turn there, and leaves you guessing about things along the way. The overall execution can get a bit confusing at points, however, and while the idea is pretty cool, it's still another revenge film, and I feel like I've seen better - even this year with 'Nobody'. I still enjoyed myself, but this is another case where I feel there's simply better material out there.
I think if you're a Statham fan, this is a good time, especially since he's back to playing a strong silent type. Speaking for myself, this felt like a good example of another video game movie that isn't officially a video game movie. A lot of that isn't even about the action of it all so much as the way the characters interact. The whole opening locker room scene made me think of any game where you play the silent rookie, interacting with various people in the main hub before going on your mission. A lot of that is the dialogue, which I have to admit, I found pretty corny. I don't know if my description does it justice, but check it out, and you'll probably grasp what I'm trying to get across.
This just happened to be an action flick that didn't entirely succeed on having my on the edge of my seat. This isn't like watching 'John Wick' where you watch the fighting with wide eyes and are somewhat blown away. This one's a touch more real-world about things, but it doesn't really do it with the same dose of comedy Ritchie's other films do. The comedy action is the real draw for me, but this was much more serious. While there's nothing wrong with that, I have to say I expected something else I didn't quite get. Still, it's not bad, and I wouldn't recommend avoiding it or anything either. If you wants some serious shoot-'em-up action with Statham behind the wheel, I say go for it. But I'll stick with Ritchie's other material.