THE GENTLEMEN – Review by Susan Granger

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Catching up with Guy Ritchie’s violent crime caper recalls his London gangster-comedy roots, particularly Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

Sporting a goatee, thick-rimmed glasses and a campy Cockney accent, Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is a smarmy private investigator who specializes in digging up dirt about the filthy rich. As the narrative evolves, he pays a late night visit to Raymond (Charlie Hunnam), right-hand man to American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey).

While studying at Oxford, enterprising Mickey made money as a drug dealer to impoverished British aristocrats who agreed to hid his cannabis plantations on their country estates.

Apparently, tabloid newspaper editor Big Dave (Eddie Marsan) wants to take Mickey down as he prepares to sell his illegal marijuana empire to fellow Yank Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong), much to the chagrin of ambitious rival gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding).

But a bold raid on one of Mickey’s hidden weed sites by social-media savvy thugs called the Toddlers ignites a chain of retaliations, as the Toddlers report to a tartan track-suited mentor/boxing Coach (Colin Farrell).

What smirking Mickey, sporting a sparkly ear stud, wants is to retire rich and enjoy the rest of his life with his street-smart wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery).

“If you want to be the king of the jungle, it’s not enough to act like the king – you just be the king,” he declares in a voiceover.

Writer/director Ritchie concocts a complicated, contrived, often confusing plot that’s filled with bloody bickering and betrayal, augmented by clever twists, along with a total disregard for political correctness, since one character is offensively referred to as “the Chinaman” while another is “the Jew.”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Gentlemen” is a slick 7, a fast-paced romp for die-hard Richie fans.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.