Let me start by saying that although I did not know very much about this film, I knew I wanted to see it simply because of the cast. Cinemarcos had to be convinced but then again, he is not the anglophile that I am proud to say I am.
Imagine, if you will, a kid from what one might describe as lower class America, actually earning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, and then imagine said kid, combining that incredible mind and his knowledge of marijuana (thanks mom and dad), and the relationships he cultivates with his “to the manor born” classmates into his future successful empire. Mickey Pearson, becomes practically one of them due to his success and close ties. These relationships will become part of the, shall we say, secret to his success. But it also might just be part of the revenge tactics that will bring a sleazebag investigator into his, for the most part, peaceful existence, when Mickey looks down his nose at, should we say a less then desirable Tabloid owner, Frazier, played almost too realistically by Simon Barker, as he tries to lift himself out of the slime that is the thugarazzi media. Thus, begins our story, which I will not reveal much more than this about. There is just so much that will surprise you along the way, with some seemingly small side stories that will tie it all together in the end, and I just think you need to figure it out for yourselves.
I mean, come on! Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson, white trash boy, who has risen in position and relationships to call himself a friend of the upper crust. Michelle Dockery as Rosalind, wife and beloved obsession of Mickey, playing cockney nouveau riche to the hilt. Charlie Hunamm, well, what can I say? Is it sexist to say he’s my kind of eye candy when he doesn’t take his clothes off at any point but just looks amazing in an array of what I would think are Savile Row suits? What about Henry Golding as Dry Eye? Young thug working hard at trying to strong arm and negotiate his way into the big leagues? I truly got a kick of seeing him do something very different from his usual well bred, princely scion characters. His portrayal and accent truly transformed him. But to me the greatest performance, although it may be billed as supporting, was Hugh Grant. Mr. Grant, and I do believe he deserves to be called Mr., can play many roles and has done so through out his career, but as Fletcher he has totally transformed himself. I didn’t think he could play low brow cockney trash, but play it well, he did! He was smarmy, trashy and sleazy and that’s putting it lightly. I nearly forgot to mention Colin Farrell as Coach. Not because he didn’t play a good role but Colin is usually one of the greater bad guys and here his role was comedically light.
As aforementioned, Cinemarcos wasn’t really interested and just attended to accompany me, but through out the film he was laughing out loud and truly enjoyed all the action and twists this film brought about. As usual, he had to quiet me down, yes, I am one of those annoying film goers that screams and yells at the screen from time to time, but man, was it fun!
Seeing the English countryside and the beautiful Victorian architecture of some great English houses, was an added plus for this lover of all things British. The quips and witty repartee were entertaining and I am actually glad that some of the action gets played back in slowmo and explained for those of us who find it hard to keep with Guy Ritchie’s ADHD action packed scenes.
The movie is tense and incredibly fast paced but what else would you expect from Guy Ritchie? I would compare it to an amusement park ride, it takes all kinds or twists and turns and even backtracks a bit and, in the end, delivers a surprising thrill.