Wrath of Statham

“H, like the bomb,” says one of star Jason Statham’s co-workers, describing his new partner. There’s significant dialog in that vein during the first act, setting up a masculine culture within an armored truck company. They joke about sex, make homophobic comments, and generally shrug off the dangerous reality they face each day.

It’s a gruff script, and men walk around with purpose as they only do in the movies. When it’s recommended H needs therapy after an attempted heist, he’s repulsed by the suggestion. Men don’t need therapy; they recover by saying little, walking tough, and shooting things.

Wrath of Man plays out like a near parody, slicing through the alpha male mindset

Wrath of Man plays out like a near parody, slicing through the alpha male mindset to make it look ridiculous. The crew is borderline tasteless, and Statham is propped up as a be-all, end-all, jokingly even compared to Jesus. Unusually, Guy Ritchie’s signature is barely evident in terms of visual flair; Wrath of Man uses long takes, soft motion, and whatever else to make Statham into a deity among men.

Told out of sequence, Wrath of Man’s story bounces around the timeline, segmenting the pieces, developing characters, then wrapping them together. Each turn toward a different element unwinds the first act’s adamant, jovial stance. What initially looks like empty, hollow, glorifying gunplay becomes consequential. Wrath of Man’s intent wasn’t inherently to make masculinity attractive, so much as to tear it down as violence shatters lives.

That’s not to say Wrath of Man doesn’t sport intentionally “movie cool” kills, using Statham’s innate stone-face murderer archetype to display a total lack of compassion. The discussion surrounding therapy isn’t directly addressed – Statham’s H needed it more than anyone, but instead lets his anger simmer, giving in to a vicious mean streak that isn’t meant to delight so much as show the resulting brutality.

At its core, Wrath of Man is covering a basic, inessential heist movie. The planning, the in-fighting, the greed, and job; Ritchie’s touch isn’t significant. Arranged in order, it’d be even less eventful, the crisscrossing timeline establishing a minimalist mystery as a narrative hook. That’s the compelling touch, and it’s enough to create a coldly glamorous action flick.

Video

Wrongly skipping UHD in the US, this Blu-ray will have to do, and it does well. A light grain filter sits over the image, resolved easily by the encode. Peeking through is high-res imagery, reasonably sharp and pleasingly detailed. Texture stands out, facial definition strong and consistent. Exteriors of the armored truck company and its brick construction show excellent resolution.

Unique color grading flattens out, favoring warm flesh tones but almost gray, monochromatic backdrops to offset. Occasional color breaks through, like neons in a bar. Some deeper reds fill the same scenery, a tiny relief from the drained aesthetic. While there’s a slight orange/teal design, Wrath of Man finds its own visual style that’s appealing, and begging for denser deep color on 4K.

The contrast isn’t striking. Given the palette, there’s movement to flatten highlights with a warm hand. Skylines take a peach-like hue. Pure black is avoided, while still favoring nicely rendered shadows. There’s enough to get by. There’s an interrogation scene where black levels carry an odd crushing glow, a one-off that dissipates after.

Audio

Bottoming out at a nice clip, the boomy soundtrack keeps a steady, stable hand for the subwoofer to process. Guns don’t have the same pop, at least initially. As larger weapons come into play, so does the low-end kick back. Truck engines do rumble as they pass too. There’s a decent sense of size to the action, even if it’s not a premium effort.

Discrete separation bounces between speakers accurately. Shootouts send bullets around, traveling with noticeable pop as rounds ping in each channel. It’s aggressive, fitting to Wrath of Man’s masculine tone. Even ambiance inside the facility shines. Gates open, close, and buzz as characters walk around. On streets, cars pass and crowds scream in each channel. It’s fun.

Extras

Zero. Nothing. Nada.

Wrath of Man
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A crisp take on masculine movie cool, Wrath of Man isn’t unique, but sets up and tears down the usual norms.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 43 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: