"The Gentlemen" Review: Quintessential Guy Ritchie Sprinkled With Casual Racism

The Gentlemen is a return to form for Guy Ritchie movies and while all of that works the casual racism sprinkled throughout the entire movie just cannot be ignored.

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"The Gentlemen" Review: Quintessential Guy Ritchie Sprinkled With Casual Racism

There are a lot of things that can kneecap a good movie. Sometimes it's a little thing like a supporting character just doesn't work or the soundtrack is distracting or any number of things. It's a shame when it happens but it does and there isn't getting around it. For The Gentlemen the thing that kneecaps the production is that, for some reason, Ritchie decided to sprinkle a whole bunch of casual racism in his movie for no real reason. They aren't there for character or story reasons and some of them are framed like they are supposed to be jokes.

The most egregious of these is probably the moment where Colin Farrell explains to a young black man why being called a "black cunt" isn't racist but there are several moments throughout the entire movie that make no sense. There is no reason for these moments to happen and they add absolutely nothing to the movie. That is unless Ritchie was trying to show off how low key racist white people still are over in England then job accomplished? If that was the case you'd think he'd spend some time addressing it in some way but, again, they are framed as jokes when they aren't funny.

It's a shame that this is present throughout the entire movie because it's a good movie besides that. Ritchie winks at the audience so hard that he full-on breaks the fourth wall at one point. The cast is clearly having a great time with the standouts being Charlie Hunnam reminding everyone that he can play the guy that is dangerous just by his body language for the first time since Sons of Anarchy. Hugh Grant is the one that people aren't going to recognize as a dirty journalist and clearly having a ball doing it.

There is a lack of women in this movie which is always a shame. They have Michelle Dockery plays the wife of the weed gangster played by Matthew McConaughey and they actually give her a very interesting setup. She runs a high-end car shop employed by women for women but the movie doesn't do anything interesting with the concept. It's there as a background note and then the movie moves on without acknowledging it.

The script, when it isn't making racist jokes, is set up in a fun way with a framing device that really keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen and how reliable the information we're getting really is. It isn't looking to blow your mind with how creative the script is and it isn't doing anything particularly new for the genre but it is a solid version of what you expect from this. It's completely absurd in a good way, moves along at a good pace, and you're never bored as you're watching it.

The Gentlemen isn't going to break the wheel when it comes to gangster movies and is a ton of fun while watching it. However, the racism that is present throughout this movie, which is being played for humor, cannot be ignored. Whether or not that is a dealbreaker is a personal decision entirely.

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About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com
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