It's about time it got more love!
Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie — they’ve collaborated a few times, did you know that? Yeah! Apparently they don’t hate each other. The Transporter owes a lot of his early exposure to roles in Ritchie flicks like Bacon in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the smooth-talking Turkish in Snatch, and his upcoming turn as an international spy in Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre. But in spite of proving a popular pairing for film nuts, one of Statham and Ritchie’s most recent collaborations — last year’s heist action thriller Wrath of Man — didn’t get a lot of the love it deserved. The opportunities provided Jason Statham by the streaming world is changing that, however — Wrath of Man is on Amazon Prime Video and it’s in the service’s Top 10 movie chart at #6; between the 1932 classic The Most Dangerous Game, and Prime’s own popular animated sequel Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.
Wrath of Man isn’t your average heist flick. The film is split into four parts, with the beginning of most of the sections circling back around to a violent heist in which a number of armored truck guards and bystanders are murdered. Five months after the robbery Patrick Hill (Jason Statham) applies to Fortico Security — the company that lost two of its guards in the heist — and just barely passes the requirements to become a security guard. When robbers take one of Hill’s co-workers hostage, it becomes clear that the mysterious new Fortico employee is much more capable than he made himself appear to be.
In the subsequent chapters we learn the Jason Statham character has indeed joined Fortico security because of the deadly attack it suffered months earlier, and his reasons are deeply personal. We also eventually learn more about the men who performed the heist, why they did it, and why everything went sideways and turned bloody.
Wrath of Man did not hit theaters in the best time in the world for films. The Jason Statham led thriller bowed in May 2021, while the theater industry was still struggling to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, Wrath of Man managed to make $104 million worldwide against a $40 million production budget, which is a more than respectable profit margin for a film in the COVID era. Thankfully for everyone involved, its only competition was the Billy Crystal/Tiffany Haddish dramedy Here Today.
In spite of enjoying a diehard fanbase, Guy Ritchie has never exactly been a favorite of critics and as far as that’s concerned, Wrath of Man didn’t break the mold. On Rotten Tomatoes, its reviewer score is 66%, which is dangerously close to green splat territory. Critics thought the Jason Statham thriller was fun and little at least a little bit interesting because of Ritchie’s signature style and his storytelling techniques, but that overall it was the proverbial silk on a pig. Audiences, on the other hand, felt a lot differently. Wrath of Man proved to be one of the cases where the audiences strayed far from the reviewers, giving the flick a 90% score on RT — making it one of Ritchie’s most beloved films according to the aggregate site.
Regardless of what Jason Statham’s audiences in theaters or on streaming think of Wrath of Man or any other of his collaborations with the director, he’ll likely continue to work with Guy Ritchie for years to come. On the other hand, he apparently no longer wants anything to do with the franchise that made him a big name in the U.S. — The Transporter. While Statham made three films in the franchise, in 2015 he gave the thumbs down on returning to the role of Frank Martin. In a recent interview, Statham revealed that the studio had the gall to offer him less money for The Transporter 4 than the previous entries and that they wouldn’t let him review the script before signing on.
If you want to find out what you think of Wrath of Man, the Jason Statham thriller is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Along with Statham, it stars Josh Hartnett (Penny Dreadful), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven), Niamh Algar (Raised by Wolves), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter), and more.