Two words that could be used to describe the best elements of just about any great Guy Ritchie movie: “fun” and “British.” Though the main character of Wrath of Man, H (played by usual suspect Jason Statham) is a proper limey, the Los Angeles setting and casting of faces like Scott Eastwood mean that Ritchie’s latest effort is a true-blue American opus.

All of this, of course, calls into question the other descriptor. Though Wrath of Man bears some Ritchie hallmarks — brutal action, flashbacks, byzantine plot structure, quasi-ensemble cast — it is utterly devoid of fun.

This is somewhat to be expected given the more somber nature of the plot, the details of which are best left unspoiled. In short, H is the mysterious new hire of Fortico, a cash transport and armored truck outfit still reeling from the murder of two of its drivers some months prior. As H’s past and motivations come into focus, so too do Ritchie’s: he wants to enter his blue period.

The result is far more somber than anyone really wants it to be. While it original starts out with some of the wit and levity longtime Ritchie fans may have come to expect, this quickly dissolves into unjustifiable self-seriousness. What could have been a thrilling romp through L.A.’s most unseemly corridors is instead stale and lifeless.

Still, it’s Guy Ritchie we’re talking about here. The action is, for the most part, thrilling and the story’s several threads all come together in an expectedly satisfying fashion. It’s just a shame that the whole thing couldn’t have the verve that an early cameo from Post Malone seemed to suggest.

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