3.5 out of 5 stars
Guy Ritchie has managed to do something in the film industry that few directors can replicate. The Snatch and Aladdin director makes films that have a look and feel with all of the creative fingerprints that point back to his unique storytelling ability. One actor that has been a mainstay of his projects has been Jason Statham. This man fits neatly into the humour and violence that defines a Ritchie movie.
Their latest partnership is based on the French heist film, Cash Truck. The newest hire at Fortico Security Trucks is a man of mystery and skill, even though his presence is understated at the beginning. H (played by Stratham) comes with all of the proper credentials for the job, but proves to be overqualified once he hits the field. This becomes even more apparent by his new work colleagues when he shows his skills during an attempted heist of his truck. After saving his team from injury, he becomes a hero to most and brings questions for some about his actual background. Regardless of his training, one thing that becomes apparent is that he wants to discover who was behind the killing of his son.
Fans of the famed director may wonder how his style will translate outside of his English playground. The look and feel of Los Angeles are diametrically opposite from the misty streets of London. Still, he makes it all work to his advantage. By putting his trust in the harsh and violent hands of his fellow Brit, the transition becomes complete for a convincing heist film with a revenge element on board. Reminiscent of The Heist and The Italian Job, which Ritchie even gives the nod to with Statham’s nickname (Handsome) from the later film added in for good measure. This outing is brutal, intense and pulls no punches for those looking for this aspect of the Ritchie filmography.
What it does lack is the witty banter that tends to be a trademark of a Ritchie film. Not that there is no humour to be had in the script, but most of it is subtle and takes a backseat to the action. To make up for this aspect is a disjointed timeline that allows keeping the true identity of Statham’s character an enigma for as long as possible. This allows the director to stretch his artistic voice and show that he can write convincing action screenplays that do not hide behind their clever banter. Something that will frustrate some fans, but does show that this artist has depth and can break free from the familiar and make great films.
REEL DIALOGUE: Where is the line between revenge and justice?
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
Definition of revenge: to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit
Definition of justice: the administering of deserved punishment or reward or the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings
Can you see the difference? Which of these do you seek when someone does you wrong?