Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Wrath of Man
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Written by Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, and Nicolas Boukhrief
Foreign cinema is ripe with great films. Often times these great films end up getting not-so-great remakes for the United States such as the brilliant Oldboy 2003 Korean Director Park Chan-wook versus the horrible 2013 remake by Spike Lee. I have not seen the French film, Cash Truck, on which this film is adapted from. Considering Guy Ritchie’s last film, The Gentleman, was such a superb film I had high hopes that this film would be solid as well. The film does have some good sequences and tense moments, but like most American films I feel this one was just too ‘neat’ of an ending with all loose ends tied up nice and pretty.
Here comes the spoilers.
Patrick Hill (Jason Statham) begins his job at Fortico Security, a armored truck company. He gets assigned to train under Bullet (Holt McCallany) who nicknames him ‘H’. During a route run the truck gets attacked and H saves the day by killing everyone with expert marksmanship. On another attempted heist the robbers use tear gas and when they come face to face with H they back off and stop the robbery much to the surprise of his colleagues and the FBI who investigate. It gets revealed that H has a FBI informant who is keeping agents off H’s back to allow him to continue doing what he is doing.
The film jumps to several months earlier to show H picking up his son to spend a day with him. H gets a call to assist his team with surveillance of an armored truck. He reluctantly agrees and tells his son they will make a stop on the way to their event and the truck he is surveilling ends up getting robbed at the construction site by where they stopped. H sees them with his son out of the car and he runs to yell at them and sees one of the robbers shoot his son several times. Then the man who shot his son shoots H in the chest several times. H wakes up later in the hospital and finds out his son is dead. Next the film goes in a series of scenes which frankly are the best of the film. H is revealed to be a crime boss and he orders his loyal crew to find the ones behind the heist so he can have revenge for his son’s death. The grim sequences here are brutal and show a stoic H devoid of all emotion. His team exhausts all measures and H heads off to London to clear his head. Yet he doesn’t clear his head. Instead he gets someone to set him up with a clean new identify of Patrick Hill and his son’s autopsy report. This now brings us up to speed of who H is and what he is doing working for Fortico Security. He believes the heist was an inside job and he is determined to find out who the mole is.
The film goes on to show the robbers who are all former military veterans led by Jackson (Jeffery Donovan). The wildcard Jan (Scott Eastwood) is the one who shoot H and his son in the previous heist. They are trying to setup one final heist so they all can part ways and live their lives. The final heist is planned for Black Friday where the Fortico Depot will have a large amount of cash. The morning of Black Friday, Bullet reveals himself to H as the mole and tells H he will be killed if he doesn’t cooperate. H complies and gets his weapon taken and his hands tied while they setup the truck to enter the depot. Things go array in the depot and during the heist H gets free and attacks the robbers. His bravery inspires other guards to fight back, but Bullet betrays their trust and kills the guards fighting back. Some of the robbers are killed and injure din the depot heist, but a few manage to getaway. Jan kills off an deathly injured Jackson and he and Bullets take the money through underground tunnels to their getaway car. Bullet is about to kill Jan, but Jan quickly fires first and is the last man of the heist standing. Jan is later at his apartment with all the cash in a robe and happy with how everything turned out. Lamp turns on and we have H sitting in a chair with a gun.
Okay here is the problem. That is simply too clean of a ending. This film needed to surprise the audience and serve up something unexpected. This is what needed to be changed to take this good film to great status – H dies in the depot heist shootout. Not before he earlier sends a text to his crew alerting them that should something happen to him to track his phone and kill everyone involved with the heist by shooting them according to the autopsy report. This wouldn’t be shown till the end reveal in flashback form. When Jan is home celebrating and the loyal crew of H’s is there turning on the lamp to exact the revenge for H. Film ends with the FBI informant recovering the cash. American audiences can handle the death of the hero. We survived the ‘Thanos snap’ and the death of Tony Stark…we can survive this. Plus we needed to see H’s crew again as they were part of the best scenes of the film earlier. So much time in the film past that the audience would have forgotten about them. This would’ve made a rousing audience cheer moment for Jan getting his due karma. That is a change-up ending that would’ve made this film much better.
Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.