The Gentlemen, Guy Ritchie’s latest film starring Matthew McConaughey, is a fun movie featuring the twists, turns, and gangsters we grew accustomed to from the British filmmaker who made Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It’s bombastic and oftentimes unexpected with stellar performances by McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, and others in the star-studded cast.
It received a decent 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, but the reviews against it were REALLY against it. In fact, some were borderline unhinged as they attempted to not just give it a poor review but to tarnish anyone involved in the film. It wasn’t the glorification of the drug dealing world that got to them. It wasn’t the violence, murder, or profuse use of foul language. It was the “casual racism” that triggered them, as Christian Toto noted at The Daily Wire:
Film critics will accept plenty of flaws in our movie anti-heroes.
Professional hit men? Sure, as long as they love dogs as much as John Wick does. Strippers? Assuming they drug and steal from men to battle the patriarchy, no problem.
Heaven help films that show shouting racial stereotypes, though. We’re learning that with the release of “The Gentlemen,” a film beyond the pale for select critics.
Toto lists some of the examples of utterly offended reviewers lambasting the film’s use of common racist tropes. There were many more. One could argue that the movie would have scored in the 90%-95% range if it were more woke in the way it handled racism, but the jokes and passing comments that triggered the critics were enough to keep them from enjoying and recommending this highly entertaining film.
As with many Ritchie films, the surprises came following not-so-subtle hints scattered throughout, and while it had its share of plot holes, it delivered on being fun to watch and oftentimes shocking in how the underworld of top-level British drug dealing dealt with each other.
Farrell was exceptional in his supporting role, though don’t expect any award mentions next year. The same goes for Grant who plugged in an uncanny east London cockney accent as a sharp contrast to his standard posh diction and flow. As for McConaughey, it was him playing him if he were an American drug lord in England, which was as enjoyable to watch as it sounds.
The things that used to trigger movie critics, namely too much sex, violence, or foul language, are no longer a concern to this new breed of Hollywood kingmakers. But throw in a joke or two about race and their virtue-signaling erupts.
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