For the third chapter of the series, I would like to discuss a director that, in my opinion, has gone from being a very underrated talent to a household name. And now that he is a household name, he may be the most underappreciated major directorial talent around.
GUY STEWART RITCHIE
I often find that many directors around get a lot of critical acclaim and are consistent in the quality of their work. However, I find it increasingly rare that someone has such an idiosyncratic cinematic voice that we, as an audience, know what it means when a particular name is attached to a particular type of film.
Most of us know what a Wes Anderson movie is, a Tarantino movie, or a Scorsese movie. If you are a true connoisseur of modern-day Cinema, you know precisely what a Guy Ritchie film is. I’ve always found that they feel pretty good going down with popcorn.
Without further ado, here is……
THE GUY RITCHIE TIER LIST
|What the f*** is this garbage? 🤮|
LOCK, STOCK, & TWO SMOKING BARRELS
We don't give this film enough credit for bringing a fresh take to the crime film subgenre, especially when it comes to the 1990s. Every gangster film that came out of that decade was just so... Serious. This felt fresh and original. The Guy Richie style of gangster film was born here. Granted, it wasn't very polished, the accents might be way too thick for the casual viewer, and retrospectively speaking, it's a bit slow-paced in comparison to quite literally everything else Guy Richie did afterward.
To take symbolism from Goldilocks and the three bears... This was the cold bowl of porridge. It tasted nice; you knew you wanted to taste it again; it just needed to be warmed to the perfect temperature.
The middle bowl of porridge, the one that was just right in every way. Snatch is as perfect a film as Guy Ritchie will ever make. It is one of the most rewatchable films I've ever seen, even when it's cleanly edited on American cable television. A very quotable film with many iconic scenes and a top-10 Brad Pitt performance ever. Ever. I'm tired of arguing that with people btw.
ROCK N' ROLLA
The third bowl of porridge is rock n' roll, a movie many people forget about. A film that just went a little bit too heavy on the style and flash. This was Guy Ritchie's first film back from his "Kabbalah phase" of storytelling (more on that later), and he tried to find the same magic that he did with SNATCH 8 years earlier. He came pretty close. He managed to get an even more impressive cast than SNATCH, and the soundtrack to this movie is better than the soundtrack to snatch. This movie is better than what you remember it to be.
WRATH OF MAN
Part of me feels like this was Guy Ritchie's tribute to 1970's style crime films. This is such a grimy and almost entirely unpredictable story that is well-written. This is also the best performance that Jason Statham has ever had. This kind of tough guy is something that he should play a lot more often. The violence is not fun, nor is it flashy. It's very brutal, usually quick, and very ugly. He doesn't have too many movies that get this dark.
THE COVENANT (Not Pictured)
SEE REVIEW HERE
You must admire the IRON COJONES for taking on this live-action film with Will Smith replacing Robin Williams as the genie. That was a tremendous risk that paid off incredibly. To me, Aladdin is one of those classic Disney movies that has nothing but great songs (Outside of "A Whole New World." That song is trash and remains trash), and this film makes absolutely brilliant renditions out of all of them and really gives them a new identity from what came before.
This is the best live-action Disney remake that there has been so far. And I don't know if it's even that close.
You know, it dawned on me that Since the McConaissance (the fantastic streak of TV shows and films helmed by Matthew McConaughey that revitalized his career) began back in 2013, I don't think there was one showy, scene-chewing, movie star-type role that he was a part of. Sure, there were outstanding performances in very serious movies, but nothing screamed movie star as opposed to just being a great actor. Except this. The movie has a lot of stuff you've seen from Guy Ritchie films before, just with a flashy, good-looking movie-star-swagged-out performance at the front of it all. He's entertaining to watch in this one.
THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Think of this movie as kind of a Diet Pepsi version of a James Bond film, storing the man who had a strong argument in his favor to be next in line to play the role.... If you didn't have all of that ridiculous Superman muscle left over from before. Henry Cavill looks like a bodybuilder in a tuxedo in this film, which fits this role more than Bond ever would. But take a closer look, he has everything that the good James Bonds have, and I'm glad it was put on display here.
BOTH SHERLOCK HOLMES MOVIES
This might be a cheap move, but I will lump both of these movies together because they're just mid at the end of the day. The strength of the first film was the chemistry between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr and the action sequences. The second movie strengths were having a better villain, Rachel McAdams (although thoroughly underused in the film), and more of a tentpole-type feeling overall in a positive way.
I know it's kind of unfair to say this, but after seeing the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock series on BBC, the rewatchability of these films is very low to me.
This is a comedy more than it is anything else, and for that, it does do its job. This is a pretty impressive cast for the type of comedy that Guy Richie goes for. The first act is a chore to get through due to some horrendous pacing issues, but once it picks up steam in the second act, it's pretty fun.
WHAT THE F*** IS THIS GARBAGE 🤮
You'd have to be out of your mind not to respect Madonna as a musical artist. She's one of the most inventive pop acts there has ever been and one of the most influential figures in the history of pop culture.
I feel the need to say that because when it comes to her acting, outside of the musical biopic of Evita Peron that came out in 1996.... I have vehemently abhorred every single solitary performance she's had on film, and this is no exception. I won't really type a full three page diatribe explaining my distaste for her performance in this film, but just know that this film is in fact so bad that a lengthy diatribe is completely possible.
The potential was through the roof here. There are so many things this movie has going for it...... But it's doing too much. This thing is way more complicated than it has any right to be, the big twist towards the end of the movie is something you can predict towards the middle of the movie, and Andre Benjamin's performance is really really bad. He's been better in other films, but for some reason he sounds like he's reading off of a teleprompter every time he speaks.
I love Andre Benjamin so much as an artist that I went back and watched this again to try and make myself believe that this performance was good and it just wasn't.
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
At first, this was a solid entry in the Meh category. This was a cinematic equal to the King Arthur movie made back in 2004 by Antoine Fuqua. Both films I kind of liked and appreciated their take on the King Arthur story... And then the third act happened.
The third act of this movie is an absolute thermonuclear cinematic disaster. The action got clumsy, the CGI snake usage was really f****** awful, and for some reason, Charlie Hunnam's performance became complete dog s*** when it wasn't before. I don't understand. How did it get this way all of a sudden?
FOREMOST CINEMATIC MOMENT
A new addition to this series will highlight what I feel is the signature moment in the entire cinematic history of the subject I'm talking about. Sometimes it comes from a masterpiece; sometimes, it's just the one really great thing about a garbage movie. But signature moments happen like that.
In the case of Guy Ritchie...
His signature cinematic moment is THIS SCENE from SNATCH.
Everything he does well as a director is fully displayed in this scene.
Versatility is the name of the game for Guy Ritchie. The man can direct anything he sets his mind to, no matter the genre, and he's proven that time and time again. He's one of the best directors around.