THE GENTLEMEN: ROOFIES AND BESTIALITY

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The title of this article should be enough for you to decide whether or not this is a movie for you, because that scene sums up Guy Ritchie’s latest outing quite well. It is blatantly and unabashedly offensive, but if you’re willing to look past that, there is a legitimately compelling dark comedy-crime thriller here to be enjoyed that demonstrates Ritchie at his best.

In the film, Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Pearson, an American-born former Rhodes Scholar turned English druglord who begins the film looking to sell off his underworld empire to the highest bidder before retiring to spend the rest of his life in peace with his wife. As with any gangster film, this doesn’t go as planned.

Pearson runs afoul of a tabloid editor who hires a smarmy private eye named Fletcher, (Hugh Grant, perfectly cast), who serves as our framing device for much of the film. He lays out his acquired intelligence to Pearson’s right-hand man in an attempt at blackmail. Without spoiling too much of the plot, things get far more complicated from there, involving a former KGB operative turned Russian oligarch, a man literally forced to carve a pound of flesh from himself under threat of death by freezer, and the aforementioned tabloid editor being subjected to an aforementioned act of having sex with a pig.

As I said, this isn’t a movie for everyone. It does not pull any punches but, at the same time, almost every offensive aspect has a point and is woven into the – admittedly sometimes bizarre plot. The only offensive aspect that comes off as unnecessary is the steady stream of casual racism that just doesn’t seem to serve a point other than to remind us that the eponymous “gentlemen” are fundamentally bad people underneath their slick Saville Row suits. For those unfamiliar with Ritchie’s style, Quentin Tarantino is a good point of comparison.

All in all, 4 out of 5: Worth the price of admission.