The mid-budget action thriller has been immune to a certain extent from the devastation that the Coronavirus pandemic’s been wreaking on the theatrical industry, at least when it comes to the genre’s biggest names.
Liam Neeson became the only actor of the COVID-19 era to headline two movies to open at the top of the domestic box office, and his last effort The Marksman is the highest-grossing title of 2021 in the United States that wasn’t distributed by a major studio. Gerard Butler’s Greenland, meanwhile, hauled in over $50 million last summer when cinemas all across the world were largely shuttered, and Jason Statham‘s latest, Wrath of Man, debuted at number one a few weeks back and will have passed a global tally of $75 million by the end of this weekend.
Reuniting with Guy Ritchie for the fourth time, and first since 2005’s unwieldy Revolver, the pic sees Statham doing what he does best by scowling and growling his way through an efficient crime story. That’s not a knock on the leading man by any means, and the film is a lot more violent and nihilistic than many were expecting given Ritchie’s penchant for the snappy comic caper, but it does take an inventive chronological approach to a narrative that’s decidedly formulaic at its core.
It’s one of the better B-tier Jason Statham efforts to arrive in recent years, while Ritchie is clearly having fun casting his banterous bad boys to one side in order to sink his teeth into a straightforward revenge story where levity is kept to an absolute bare minimum. Having done decent business in multiplexes everywhere, Wrath of Man is now available on VOD, and should be appointment viewing for action fans.