It's not that the ensemble Ritchie has assembled isn't impressive. It is. I haven't even gotten to Colin Farrell, playing a boxer who's also a gangster, or Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, who plays Mickey's Cockney-accented wife. (Put her in My Fair Lady.) Everyone is trying to do a lot, none more so than Strong, who has made a choice, even if I'm not sure what that choice is exactly, with the unspecific sing-song voice and cheeky monotone he adopts here.
For all of the wacky over-the-top performances, I mostly found myself struggling to keep my eyes open during The Gentlemen, since all of the cursing and the fighting and the vomit (yes, there is vomit) amount to a whopping "WHO CARES?" By the time Ritchie himself shows up in a self-congratulatory cameo -- you see, Fletcher is trying to pitch all of this as a movie, isn't that clever? -- I wanted to throw my hands up.
At least in Serenity the twist is so crazy it almost makes your head hurt. The Gentlemen is just about a couple of dudes (McConaughey and Hunnam) getting over on all their enemies, with a little bit of "look how aware we are of gangster movie tropes" meta commentary thrown in. By the time the credits rolled, I was exhausted from the insistent stereotyping, the casual deployment of attempted rape as a plot point, and the pointlessness of it all.
It's a movie about Matthew McConaughey and weed and yet it's somehow dreadful. (Watch The Beach Bum instead!) We here at Thrillist Entertainment love McConaughey, from the weird character names to the way he says "bourbon." We also love Jeremy Strong. Succession is great! But, man, when they get together, disaster is bound to strike. We're now just waiting to see what trash they will produce next January.