Guy Ritchie put Jason Statham on the map with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, while The Transporter series made Statham a global action star. Both elements come together in Wrath of Man, a clinical and bloody crime thriller that is loosely based on the French movie Cash Truck.

Bereft of Ritchie’s trademark London humour and editing gimmicks, the movie sees Statham as a grim reaper on a mission so pressing that he never once cracks a smile or lets slip a wisecrack.

Over 119 minutes, Statham does what he does best, while Ritchie shows that he can rein himself in and disappear into the anonymity required to direct a film led by taut and tense action set pieces.

Statham plays the mysterious Patrick Hill, the new employee at a company that transports vast amounts of cash across Los Angeles. Patrick’s real purpose, revealed through a flashback, leads up to a high-stakes heist that involves his colleagues, a rat on the inside and a gang of highly trained robbers.

The action is brutal and fleet, the character shading is kept to a minimum. The writing, by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, is sparse to the point of being prosaic. Patrick Hill is nicknamed “H”, like “the bomb or Jesus H”, a character declares. He’s a “dark horse” who has “history”, says another.

The focus is on the highly effective gun battles, with the climactic heist being a highlight. The movie’s big flourish is the brooding background score by Chris Benstead.

Apart from Statham, the notable actors include Holt McNally and Josh Hartnett as Patrick’s colleagues and Scott Eastwood and Jeffrey Donovan as the conspirators. Andy Garcia floats in and out of view as one of the few men who know the reason behind the wrath of the film’s lonesome and humourless anti-hero. The movie is being streamed on Lionsgate Play.

Wrath of Man (2021).