Guy Ritchie is course-correcting. After spending the last few years churning out largely anonymous big-budget FILM seemingly to order, he has now returned to his roots. The Gentlemen is a Guy Ritchie film in the classic sense, in that it looks like a better-executed version of something that Danny Dyer would have starred in seven or eight years ago. It’s a crime caper, it’s set in London, and it stars everyone.
No, really, it stars everyone. And better yet, if the trailer is any indication, everyone gets to do doing something that’s differently but equally preposterous. Here, for your pleasure, is a ranking of all them from least preposterous to most.
OK, when I said that everyone had been given something to do, I had clearly forgotten about Colin Farrell. Because, unless I’m very much mistaken, Guy Ritchie just let Colin Farrell walk on to the set in his own clothes and act as himself using his own accent. I can’t say this for a fact, but I’d be willing to be money that Colin Farrell is currently somewhere in the world wearing this exact outfit and pointing at someone in this exact way. Not very preposterous at all.
Matthew McConaughey is also in The Gentlemen, filling the role of the Roving American Superstar. Snatch had Brad Pitt. Revolver had Ray Liotta. RocknRolla had, um, Jeremy Piven. And now there’s McConaughey. In this regard, his inclusion in this film isn’t actually very preposterous at all. However, you will note that in The Gentlemen he appears to be dressed as Guy Ritchie. It’s a bit preposterous, but not that preposterous.
Henry Golding also stars in The Gentlemen. He isn’t given a tremendous amount to do in the trailer, but based on his past work I’m going to guess that his character is dead and appears to McConaughey’s character as a ghost because McConaughey received his heart after they were both in some sort of tragic Christmas tree accident. Relatively preposterous.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Michelle Dockery is here, and at first sight all looks normal. But then she opens her mouth and, well, it’s hard to say exactly what comes out. She sounds like a TOWIE cast member, had TOWIE been set in a low-security prison. She sounds like she’s auditioning for a cartoon about wartime spivs. She sounds like the goblin who lives on Kat Slater’s shoulder and advises her in times of moral uncertainty. She sounds like Guy Ritchie told her that he’ll dock her pay every time she visibly opens her mouth. It’s great, but it’s preposterous.
And then Hugh Grant opens his mouth. Now, it is an unarguably good thing that Hugh Grant enjoys acting again. It is an especially good thing that his matinee idol looks have faded enough to allow him to become the character actor he always wanted to be. I have no doubt that the best work of Hugh Grant’s career hasn’t even happened yet. But this is just violently preposterous. He’s got a little beard. He’s got a high-pitched cockney accent. It’s as if he was aiming for Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast but coughed and accidentally ended up hitting David Beckham from 1999. It is preposterous to the Nth degree, and I am kind of here for it.
It took me until his name was literally flashed up onscreen to work out that this is Charlie Hunnam. I thought it might have been Nick Frost at first, or Shia LaBeouf, or any number of other people. Now, clearly, he looks preposterous here. But trust me, you could listen to his accent for a thousand years and still not be able to confidently place it. He might be a cockney, or he might be Welsh, or he might be from Liverpool, or he might be from Newcastle, or he might be German. There is honestly no way to tell. I’ll assume that it’s deliberate because, otherwise, yeesh.
And finally, the most preposterous of them all, Jeremy Strong as Jeff Goldblum. Incredible.