Opening 29 Jul 2021
Writing credits: Nicolas Boukhrief, Éric Besnard, Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
Principal actors: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Rocci Williams, Josh Hartnett, Jeffrey Donovan
Director Guy Ritchie certainly knows how to catch, and hold, audiences’ attention, particularly in crime-action thrillers he packs with nasty characters. The screenplay, co-written with Marn Davies, is loosely based on Le Convoyeur (Cash Truck), a 2004 French film. Wrath of Man’s tautly built suspense whips around editor James Herbert’s timeshiftimg timeline to the present when it hits pay dirt.
Weekly Fortico, a privately owned armored truck company, moves hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles. As the film opens, a cash truck’s routine, in the blink of an eye, turns into a murderous armed robbery whereby thieves vanish with millions. Months later Fortico hires, then trains Hill (Jason Statham), a strange uncommunicative man; during his inaugural ride as security guard, he singlehandedly stops another holdup, thus saving respected employee/trainer Bullet’s (Holt McCallany) life. That elevates H—nicknamed by Bullet—stature among the ranks: "Boy Sweat" Dave (Josh Hartnett), Stuart (Alessandro Babalola), Dana (Niamh Algar), “Hollow" Bob (Rocci Williams), Armourer (Gerald Tyler), et al. FBI agents question H’s story, but their boss (Andy Garcia) O.K.’s “letting the fox in the chicken house,” for the time being. Fortico’s manager, Terry (Eddie Marsan), has misgivings about the incident, but the owner (Rob Delaney) decides company policy. The mysterious H’s feats may inspire co-workers, but what motivates H is grievous deadly payback. In any event, on Black Friday all comes to a crashing, satisfying climax. “Are we done?” “We’re done.”
The continuation of a preludial ominous rift in Christopher Benstead’s music swells and swirls around the flow of action as tensions ramp up and bodies pileup, alongside Alan Stewart’s graphically grave cinematography, plus bang-up opening credits all add to the overall tonality of Cash Truck. Stratham leads the consummate cast in their faultlessly depicted, mostly heartless characters. Ritchie rewards audiences by letting the chips fall where we most want them. (Marinell Haegelin)