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Film / The Gentlemen

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"If you smell smoke, it’s because there’s a fire. So you’re going to have to stamp that out quickly."
"The plot begins to thicken. Now, I can’t be specific about the heroes and zeros, but our protagonist is a hungry animal. There is a lot of money hanging in the balance. Our antagonist explodes on the scene, like a millennial firework. And he’s indirectly started a war."

The Gentlemen is a crime comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Henry Golding, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.

Raymond Smith (Hunnam) is a wealthy suburbanite living a life of quiet luxury. He also happens to be The Consigliere to American expat-turned-drug lord Mickey Pearson (McConaughey), whose highly profitable marijuana empire comes under threat when word comes out he's looking to leave the business. Ray has been working to watch Mickey's back and ensure his retirement comes without incident — but that all changes when a sleazy private detective named Fletcher (Grant) suddenly shows up at his house one night with an elaborate tale to spin, and an offer he can't refuse...

It is said to be Ritchie's return to the style of his earlier films Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.. It was released by STX Entertainment on January 24, 2020.


Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

The Gentlemen contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Aslan's death loop really wasn't planned. During the struggle in Noel's flat, Dave gives him a shove to get him off his back, and Aslan stumbles over the edge of the balcony.
  • Action Girl: Rosalind is no less of a Bad Ass than her husband, as shown when she remains calm and collected when confronted by Dry Eye and two of his goons, and drops said goons with surgically precise shots to the head from her tiny "paperweight" gun. When it comes down to a brawl, though, Dry Eye overpowers her.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Fletcher has a certain greasy charisma to him despite his unpleasant comments and the nature of his visit and story, such that even Ray, who is the target of his manipulation, can't help but find him slightly endearing — at least enough to accept his request for steak and wine. Averted, as the steak and wine were all part of Ray's plan to turn the tables.
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    • Played straight with Mickey and his organisation. While they clearly operate outside of the law and are not in the slightest hesitant to do some unsavory things, Mickey makes it a point of refusing to sell "hard" drugs, calling them "destroyers of worlds", and generally tries to be fair, civil and reasonable in his business dealings. If you push him too far, however, all bets are off.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Raymond. According to Charlie Hunnam, he and Guy Ritchie agreed he has a disorder like OCD, but neither gave a specific diagnosis.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Dry Eye would be just in the middle of the general scale of evilness when it comes to all the characters... if not for his desire to be the top dog and stopping at nothing to achieve his goal.
  • And Starring: As evidenced by the poster at the top of the page, it's with Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant.
  • Animal Motifs: Mickey as the Lion and the king of the jungle, naturally, and Dry Eye as the foreign Dragon seeking his territory.
  • Anti-Hero: Our protagonist is Mickey, a gangster with a marijuana empire who isn't afraid to kill people if they get in his way. However, he does have a sense of honor and is A Lighter Shade of Black than the other gangsters in London.
  • Appeal to Force: Ray tries to simply buy a cellphone with critical evidence off its owner. The owner opts to try to mug Ray with a machete instead. So, Ray wearily pulls out a submachine gun...
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Shigellosis causes fever, dehydration and diarrhea. Projectile vomiting, not so much.
  • Attempted Rape: Dry Eye attempts this on Rosalind after she uses her only two bullets to take out his henchmen. Then Mickey walks in and catches him in the act. Cue Boom, Headshot!.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A bunch of young hoodlums in silly ski masks break into Mickey's operation, having no clue what they're doing. They're confronted by a growing crowd of stone-faced hard men, ready to throw down. The film then cuts away, and you'd assume that Mickey's thugs trounced the young hoodlums. When it cuts back, however, it turns out that the hoodlums are a bunch of elite MMA prospects who so completely annihilate Mickey's thugs that they edit the footage into a music video.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: A rather lengthy one. The film opens with Mickey sitting in his pub when a hitman appears behind him. There is a shot and the viewer sees Mickey's table and his drink splattered with blood. Much later, it is revealed that Ray had entered behind the hitman and shot him as he drew on Mickey; the blood on the table being the hitman's.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: How the Toddlers blackmail Big Dave.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Toddlers. Goofy name, goofier videos, a source of comic relief... mixed martial artists good enough to take on gangsters and win, skilled enough to ambush the The Mafiya goons coming for Mickey before Mickey knew they were coming, cruel enough to kidnap a media mogul and drug him into fornication with a pig for blackmail material...
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: This is a gangster film, and there are very few altruists. Mickey himself at least has some standards, but is still a ruthless criminal mastermind; Coach is at least well-meaning, cares about his pupils, and wants to keep his criminal involvement to a minimum, but is still shown to have some shady elements to him. Then you have Dry Eye, a murdering, rapist piece of trash, and between all of these, it can be hard to decide who to root for.
  • Blackmail: Fletcher, whose attempts to blackmail Mickey form up the Framing Device.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Eventually attempted. It ends up becoming a subverted type-two, Raymond using Fletcher's story to locate the true Man Behind the Man and make sure Fletcher is Out-Gambitted... but Fletcher has a backup plan for his backup plan. However, this doesn't save him in the end, making it a Double Subversion.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Matthew gives Mickey a good will gift: a derringer that has been gold-plated so it looks like a paperweight. Mickey gives to his wife Ros for her office, where it later becomes a literal Chekhov's Gun.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: And beer. The opening sequence ends with a gunshot that sprays blood into a glass of beer; slowly staining the beer a darker colour. This then bleeds (literally) into the opening credits.
  • Bound and Gagged: Coach delivers Phuc to Ray as peace offering, bound and gagged with duct tape in the boot of his car.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Toyed with every which way.
    • A couple of chavs try to cut in line in front of Coach, and eventually pull a knife on him, ending in their humiliation. Lampshaded in that they didn't realize it was Coach until after the fight, and seem almost honored to be beaten by him.
    • The Toddlers break into one of Mickey's weed farms... it doesn't end well for Mickey's farmers, who very much thought they were the dragons in this situation until the Toddlers break out the mixed martial arts and wipe the floor with them.
    • Later a Defied Trope by Coach, who recognizes that this is a smaller part of a larger organisation, and offers to make amends with Mickey to prevent the inevitable out-of-scale retaliation.
    • You can count the number of times that junkies, Chavs, and no-name low-level gangsters pick fights with or try to intimidate someone way above their grade, and it almost always ends as expected.
    • Fletcher himself, arguably; he's just a lone Private Detective with no army, no money, and no real support network (that we know of) trying to blackmail one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the UK. Somewhat averted, as Fletcher knows this and has multiple safety nets in place. Once they're all gone by the end of the movie, the last one by pure, stupid luck, Fletcher is fully aware that he's hosed.
  • Call-Back: Fletcher refers to Ray as 'Raymundo' several times throughout the film. When Ray surprises Fletcher in the cab at the end, he greets Fletcher as 'Fletchermundo.'
  • Can't Stop the Signal: Fletcher is Genre Savvy enough to plan ahead and mention his "Insurance" to Raymond's face. Eventually Defied, as Raymond hunts down and destroys the other copies and has the editor Fletcher was going to talk to "dealt with".
  • Carrying the Antidote: Mickey has Lord George's tea poisoned, then leaves him with the antidote: the point having been to demonstrate that he could get to Lord George anywhere.
  • The Cavalry: Mickey is abducted by a pair of Russians gangsters pulling a Not My Driver. As they are about to to shoot, a van swerves in front of the car. The back door opens and the Toddlers open up with automatic weapons, killing the Russians. An earlier conversation with Coach had made it sound as if they were planning to kill Mickey.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Fletcher at one point stands in front of a very large, very obvious poster of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., also directed by Guy Ritchie and which Hugh Grant himself featured in.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Naturally.
    • A literal example: a certain 'paperweight.'
    • The death of the Russian addict midway through the film sets up the climax.
    • Paying close attention to Fletcher's absurd demands, as they explain how badly Raymond screws him over.
  • The Consigliere: Raymond's position as this to Mickey is lampshaded by Coach, who actually refers to him as such.
  • Country Matters: Used 26 times by multiple characters, in very colourful ways. Raymond seems to be particularly fond of this one.
  • Creator In-Joke: When Michael returns to his pub a Gritchie Brewery van can be seen outside. Gritchie Brewing Company is owned by Guy Ritchie.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Oh yeah. Notably, it's a rare modern example that doesn't end with Mickey's death, while still not making light of the downsides of life as a gangster.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Raymond is keeping Aslan's body in his freezer. Just under the steaks.
  • Defeat Means Respect: The Toddlers are initially dismissed by Mickey's goons as a bunch of punks with colorful masks before being trounced by the Toddlers in the ensuing fight. One of the goons reports this to Mickey, and, while still bloodied and bruised from said fight, praises the Toddlers for their fighting abilities.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Played for Laughs with Fletcher, whose come-ons are mostly done to piss off Raymond rather than any real interest.
  • Disaster Dominoes:
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mickey doesn't accept Big Dave's hand for a shake in front of the gentry he hires Fletcher to dig up some juicy dirt on him to ruin his life and operation. It doesn't work out too well in his favor...or Fletcher's, for that matter.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Downplayed with Dry Eye: He kills and overtakes Lord George, taking his place as head of the Triads in the area, but he himself is still a patsy for another ringleader.
  • Eagleland: The only American representative in the almost entirely British cast is expatriate main character Mickey Pearson (played by Matthew McConaughey)
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Ray arrives home to find Fletcher waiting for him, and casually drinking his 150-year-old scotch. Later during their very strange interaction, Fletcher asks Ray to cook a steak for him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Coach has the clearest one. He's introduced at a carry-out restaurant scolding a group of knife-wielding young ruffians and then beating them up. When they learn who he is, they all react in fear and run away (though not until they express almost excitement that it was Coach who beat them.)
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mickey and Matthew are both happily married, and the Russians are motivated by the death of their boss's son.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Mickey, ruthless gang-boss and marijuana provider, holds heroin dealers in contempt, and it's one of the sticking points between him and Dry Eye.
    • Played for Laughs with a certain blackmail video, where both Coach and Raymond are comically disgusted by what the Toddlers did, to the point of slight amazement.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Coach is, well, a boxing coach, and is only referred to as such in the dialog. And in the closing credits.
  • Evil Is Petty: While compared to some of the people involved, Big Dave is practically a saint, he is out to destroy Mickey just because Mickey refuses to shake his hand at a party in front of a lot of Lords (due to Big Dave humiliating a gay friend of his with some nasty headlines). Even Raymond finds this a little hard to believe.
  • Famed in Story: Coach is apparently well known among the denizens of his neighborhood. Mickey is also quite the society darling.
  • Fauxshadowing: Fletcher approaching Raymond instead of Mickey himself (combined with the opening scene) are likely meant to indicate that Mickey is dead and Raymond took over. This could not be further from the truth.
  • Fluffy the Terrible:
    • The local gang of MMA-fighting Chavs is called "the Toddlers". They're a hell of a lot tougher than you'd expect from the name.
    • Raymond employs a massive, intimidating, heavily muscled Mook called... Bunny.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the opening credits, you've got a stylized shot of the Toddlers performing a drive-by. The ending is far less surprising if you remember that detail.
    • Dry Eye's dialogue right after the attempt on Mickey's life indicates that he’s going to use Rosalind as a hostage against Mickey, providing an early hint that he wasn’t the one trying to kill him.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Downplayed (and subverted in Raymond’s case, despite his grim, stoic demeanor), but Fletcher and Matthew are both bespectacled, smug men with criminal habits who are eventually revealed to be even more amoral than they seem on the surface.
  • Framing Device: The start of the film involves Fletcher discussing his blackmail with Raymond, and the long-winded explanation thereof.
  • Gambit Pileup: This is a gangster film, so this is a given; Mickey wants out, and wants to sell his business to the highest bidder, and there are a lot of parties who want a piece of him. By the end of it the master plan of almost every major player has clashed into each-other at once.
    • Mickey himself just wants out of the game, and is looking to sell at a fair price. His "gambit" is simply trying not to be screwed over by any of the others.
    • Matthew, the aforementioned Highest Bidder, wants to buy out Mickey's empire after indirectly sabotaging it, thus lowering the "market price" and buying it out cheap. He does this by "leaking" the location of the sole drug lab he toured with Mickey's blessing to a rival gangster, leading to a raid (by a third party, but he couldn't have predicted that), giving him grounds to lowball Mickey on the price.
    • Big Dave wants to destroy Mickey for snubbing him at the party and humiliating him in front of the privileged people and attempts to sink his reputation by hiring Fletcher.
    • Lord George has no stake in Mickey's affairs, but is dragged into it by Dry Eye acting behind his back. He's forced to take action to make Dry Eye back off, before his actions cause a Mob War.
    • Dry Eye, by comparison, wants at first to buy out Mickey, but when that fails, he starts taking more direct, aggressive action, all-too-eager to start an open war with Mickey to take his wealth and his territory.
    • The Toddlers just want to leave their mark and impress Coach, though they have a very shortsighted way of doing so. It's implied it's not the first time they've done unlawful actions, but they stepped on the toes of a very powerful man, and they look for their own (equally-shortsighted) ways of dealing with it.
    • Coach for his part wants no part of any of the events, and wants to make amends to Mickey for his Toddlers' actions. He ends up pledging his service to Mickey until the debt his Toddlers' invoked is paid.
    • Finally, Fletcher wants to blackmail Mickey and Raymond for an obscene amount of money, or else he'll make the combined Gambit Pileup of every party public knowledge. He has a backup plan; turn in Mickey to the Russian mob for one of his associate's Accidental Murder of a powerful Russian oligarch's son, leading to their almost-certain-assassinations. He loses his blackmail money... but he has a rough draft of a movie script based on the movie's own events ready to go, and hopes to profit off that, instead.
  • Graceful Loser: The morning after some of Mickey's farmers are beaten up by the Toddlers, one of them notes with a respectful tone "whoever trained them knew what he was doing. Just saying".
  • Gratuitous Rape: Dry Eye's attempted rape of Rosalind has no particular build-up, and mostly serves to heighten the dramatic tension between him and Mickey (and afterward, Mickey and Matthew), even though Dry Eye kidnapping Rosalind as planned would be reason enough for Mickey to put a bullet in his head. What makes it especially stupid on Dry Eye's part is that he wastes time doing the deed in Rosalind's office when he should be escorting her to a secure location from which he can safely negotiate with Mickey later. As a result, Mickey has a window of opportunity to come to the rescue.
  • Greed: Fletcher's first, second, and last vice is how greedy he is. As a paparazzi he takes prime commission for any material he might dig out and once realising what he's dealing with, he casually demands 20 million. At the same time, he sells information about Aslan's killer to the boy's father, essentially trying to extort people that he sets up for being killed mere minutes after the extortion is done by a third party. Then he goes as far as proposing the whole story as a movie script to a Miramax executive.
  • Greedy Jew: Matthew Berger. So greedy, in fact, that he tips off the location of one of Mickey's weed farms to Dry Eye just so Dry Eye can raid it and Berger will then be justified in demanding a much lower offer for the whole enterprise. Ironically, should he just pick the first offer, he would easily make a pretty penny on it without a hitch. Instead, he ends up 270 million dollars and a literal pound of his flesh short, gaining nothing.
  • Groin Attack: Mickey responds to Dry Eye's lowball offer for his empire by blowing his balls off with a handgun, then finishing him with a Boom, Headshot!. This turns out to be an invention of the Unreliable Narrator Fletcher, who was just embellishing for dramatic effect.
  • Hammerspace: Ray pulls out an enormous, silenced submachinegun from his coat, which almost certainly would have been obvious through the last several scenes if it had been there the whole time. When he slips it back underneath his coat, the barrel is still visible below.
  • A Handful for an Eye: When one of the kids in the cafe attacks Coach in the cafe, Coach grabs a squeeze bottle of vinegar and squirts it in the kid's eye.
  • Hate Sink: Dry Eye is an enforcer in the Chinese mob. Introduced receiving humans to potentially traffic for Lord George, Dry Eye gives a veiled threat to the seller when he does not have the money to pay him. The crime syndicate Dry Eye works for distributes heroin, which leads to the fatal overdosing of the teenager Laura Pressfield. Dry Eye helps Matthew Berger to try to undermine Mickey Pearson's own cannabis business for a lower price, but threatens him when he decides he wants it only for himself instead. Dry Eye then has Lord George killed when he confronts him about his betrayal and then later threatens and attempts to rape Mickey's wife Rosalind when she fights back. Despite mob violence from others as well, Dry Eye is the coldest and most uncaring by comparison.
  • The Heavy: Despite appearing to be a simple (and fair) buyer for Mickey's marijuana empire, Matthew's subsequent scheme to devalue the empire and buy it out cheap ends up setting up a massive chain of events that causes essentially ALL of the other schemes, and the many deaths that result, to occur.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: While trying to retrieve the phone with the incriminating footage on it, Dave holds one of the chavs off the side of an overpass until he gives up the phone.
  • How We Got Here: The film stars with Mickey sitting down for a drink and a pickled egg in the pub, before he gets shot in the head. Except it turns out it was a Bait-and-Switch Gunshot, thanks to Raymond. We then cut to the Framing Device.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Exploited by Mickey. In return for the money needed to maintain their crumbling estates, Mickey receives the space and privacy he needs to run his drug empire.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: A variant where it's done by proxy; Fletcher imagining an elaborate beating conducted by Mickey to Dry Eye for his attempts to buy him out, and is immediately corrected by Raymond, who would know the truth as he was there.
  • In Vino Veritas: Downplayed. Letting Fletcher drink his expensive whiskey was part of Ray's plan, since the alcohol would loosen his lips and make him less suspicious, allowing Ray to learn what he needed about his insurance policies. But more importantly, it would force Fletcher to go to the bathroom eventually, allowing to slip a tracker into his boot.
  • Informed Judaism: When introducing him, Fletcher mentions Matthew is Jewish. The only fact in-story which may reflect this are his bodyguards nicknamed "Mossad Crabs" (which may just be a joke from Fletcher). Mickey's wife Rosalind is also Jewish, but describes herself and Mickey as such only in passing.
  • It's Personal: Mickey tells Matthew that the damages he's having him pay for the undermining of his empire aren't personal, as "it's money, and [he doesn't] get emotional over money..." but what is personal is the Attempted Rape of his wife (by Dry Eye) as an indirect consequence of Matthew's actions. That one Mickey is very emotional about, and no amount of money will settle that debt.
    Matthew: Business is business, Michael. It's nothing personal.
    Michael: And while I am not emotional about the money, there is a price indebted to me for the blood I've gotten on my hands restoring order to the untidiness you've created...and that price, according to you—-400 minus 130—-is 270 million dollars, and I'm keeping the business...while you are getting in the freezer, and you will make that transaction if you want to get out of the freezer. It is 25 below zero in there, so I assume you'll last hour. That said, I wouldn't fuck about, as frostbite is very expensive on the fingers and toes, so I would type as quickly as possible while you have the use of them.
    Matthew: Uh—-
    Michael: After you've tended to that indiscretion, you can then deal with the next consequence of your shortsightedness. As stated, I am not emotional about the money. But I am emotional about the fact that someone laid their hands on my wife. MY WIFE!!! No amount of money on God's green earth can pay for that transgression, Matthew. No, for that...I want a pound of flesh.
    Matthew: A pound of flesh?
    Michael: It matters not to me where on your anatomy it is withdrawn from. If you don't have the stomach to take it for yourself, big Bunny here is very adept with a knife and, as you can see, he's dressed for the weather, but...a penny short...or a gram shy...and that freezer door does not open. Am I clear? ...Good.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Big Dave's bodyguard makes an attempt to take a stand against the Toddlers, but quickly realized how outclassed he is and backs off.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Fletcher is doing it continuously, as the Framing Device is him telling the story of all the events, first to Raymond, then to a Miramax executive, as if pitching a script for a film.
    • When Raymond and Coach are discussing the blackmail tape they've got with drugged Big Dave having sex with a pig, they name-drop Nightmare Fuel and how this can't be unwatched once seen.
  • Land Poor: Discussed Trope. Mickey explains to Matthew that while Britain's aristocrats may still have plenty of property, they have to sink a lot of cash into maintaining it, which is where he comes in. He rents the land at top dollar to use for his weed empire. He and Britain's patricians all make bank and become good friends in the process.
  • Last Disrespects: After first telling him that he is going to piss on his grave, Dry Eye shoots Lord George dead and then pisses on his corpse.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Fletcher describes a lot of the plot in cinema terms and has written the film's plot into a screenplay that he tries to sell to a filmmaker with Guy Ritchie's own The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on his wall.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Mickey is a gangster, but he has a personal sense of honor and takes pride in the fact that the merchandise of his criminal empire, marijuana, doesn't kill people.
  • Little Useless Gun: Matthew gives Mickey a gold-plated derringer as a peace offering, of a caliber so small the bullets look like tic tacs. Mickey gives it to his wife Ros. When Ros eventually pulls it on Dry Eye when he invades her office, he is incredulous that it is even a gun. Ros demonstrates how effective it can be at point blank range by killing his two bodyguards with single-shot through each of their foreheads. Unfortunately for her, it only has two shots.
  • London Gangster: Being a Guy Ritchie film, this is to be expected. Especially since it's set in London.
  • Machete Mayhem: The flashback explaining the 'bad things' Mickey did to carve out his place in the underworld shows him wiping out a gang of rival dealers with a machete. A gang of teen chavs later on also are wielding machetes.
  • The Mafiya: Aslan's father is a former KGB agent turned crime lord.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: A variant with Coach, who insists that the Toddlers are good lads in a bad situation, even as they deliberately embroil themselves in crime and he almost literally has to beat it into them to aim for better things.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Matthew's second punishment at the end is in retaliation for the assault on Mickey's wife, something that (while the instigator of the conflict) Matthew had no direct involvement with or way to predict.
  • Mob War: Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) winds up fighting one against Dry Eye (Henry Golding).
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Fletcher has a transcript of a lipread conversation in Cantonese involving one speaker who is not fluent in the language, that has then been translated into English. The results are unusual at times, including Matthew apparently saying that he does not want anything to "stroke his mouse fur".
    Fletcher: We think he means "jeopardize his operation". But, I will admit, it is a bit of a googly.
    • However, it is later revealed to be not the fault of the lip-reading or translation, but Matthew's horrible Cantonese, making it twice as funny — someone did read his lips properly and translated what he said, word by word.
  • Neat Freak: This is Ray's defining characteristic. He's very particular about his home. The one time he loses his temper on Fletcher is when Fletcher tries to smoke inside. When Fletcher returns inside, Ray insists that he remove his shoes (though this turns out to be a ploy). Ray also strongly resists doing a job for Mickey because it will be dirty.
  • Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters:
    • Downplayed. Mickey still deals drugs, sure, but he focuses on marijuana and looks down upon those that deal rougher drugs like heroin, calling it "the destroyer of worlds."
    • Also deconstructed. Sure, Mickey cares about the nobles whose homes he looks after — but this started as purely Pragmatic Villainy — his loyalty to them came later. In addition, this attitude leads to a lot of trouble down the line.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Ray chases one of the kids on the estate, trying to get his phone. The kid runs to a gang to back him up, and at which point Ray offers to buy the phone for a wad of cash. One of the gang pulls out a machete and says that they'll just take the cash and keep the phone. With a look of resignation, Ray pulls a submachine gun from under his coat and fires it in the air. The gang flees, while the kid throws Ray the phone and then bolts as well.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Part of what makes Fletcher so creepy; he mentions he might even like being subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture, hell, he might even get off to it.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Mentioned by name. Raymond's attempts to reclaim a patrician's wayward daughter leads to them gaining the attention of Fletcher, a chase with some of the chav witnesses, the death of an addict, and an assault by the Russian mob, including the father of that dead addict.
  • Nothing Personal: Matthew smugly reassures Mickey that this is the case when he tries to buy him out with a lowball offer after encouraging Dry Eye to wreck his business. Mickey doesn't disagree, but loudly informs him that it became personal when Dry Eye attempted to rape his wife and that only a literal pound of flesh can satisfy that debt.
  • Not My Driver:
    • Mickey leaves the fish market and gets into the Range Rover, only to receive a text from Ray telling him not to get into the car; a few seconds too late. He looks up and finds his driver Dave has been replaced by a couple of Russian thugs.
    • At the very end of the film, Fletcher gets in a black cab to go to the airport only to find that Ray is sitting in the driver's seat. And the back doors won't open...
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Coach upon getting a tip who exactly his boys robbed. His reaction is to instantly force them to pack everything up and personally go with a plea of unconditional servitude until the debt is paid just to save their skins.
    • The look on Dry Eye's face when he hears Rosalind utter the words "Hello, babe", and he knows that Mickey has just arrived and discovered him about to rape his wife.
    • Matthew has an epic one after his grand scheme blows up in his face, and what he expected to be a total victory turns into a worst-case scenario in a matter of minutes. Arguably counts as a Villainous Breakdown.
    • Fletcher has one when he steps into the cab to get to Heathrow, only to find Raymond at the wheel and his door locked shut.
  • One Last Job: Coach insists his help is "one time only" and once he's made amends, he's out of there. Despite this, he ends up saving Ray's life from Russian hitmen near the end of the film, after stating they were already square.
  • One Steve Limit: There's both Big Dave, Fletcher's boss, and Mickey's driver Dave.
  • Only Sane Man: Coach is this to the Toddlers. And it's not just him being a mentor for bunch of troubled kids, they really should know better. He spends most of his screen time trying to save their lives for the ungodly retribution that might otherwise fall on them.
  • Out-Gambitted: Since it's ultimately Mickey and Ray that come out on top, everyone else has to have their plans fail for one reason or another:
    • Matthew's scheme to sabotage Mickey's business to lowball him on the cost fails thanks to Fletcher ratting him out as part of his blackmail scheme. As if that weren't bad enough, Matthew's chosen patsy Dry Eye's Attempted Rape of Mickey's wife ends up making the consequences of the scheme's failure far worse than they would have otherwise been.
    • Big Dave is quickly taken out of the picture by Raymond ordering the Toddlers to drug him and film him committing Beastiality with a pig to make him go away.
    • Lord George's efforts to assert his authority and make Dry Eye back off of Mickey ends with him dead at Dry Eye's command, thanks to a Bodyguard Betrayal.
    • Dry Eye draws Mickey's very personal wrath by going after his wife Rosalind, all the way up to attempting to rape her; he earns three bullets in the skull for his trouble.
    • Coach and the Toddlers peacefully resolve their beef with Mickey, with Coach doing dirty work for Mickey to repay his debt, and cemented when they each end up saving Ray and Mickey's lives, respectively, at the end of the film.
    • Finally, Fletcher loses his first insurance policy thanks to In Vino Veritas allowing Ray to track down and remove all of his evidence cache backups, and the bullet point directly above this one leads to his second insurance policy, siccing The Mob on Mickey and Ray, failing, as well. He runs for his life, and seemingly gets away, opting to pen the script of the whole ordeal as a movie and profit off that. Then he realizes that the driver of his cab is Not My Driver...
  • Outside-Context Problem: Aslan's father is a Russian mobster that didn't take lightly his first-born fell off a window. His enforcers are a serious disruption to the grand scheme of things and almost manage to kill Mickey twice without anyone even realizing who they are and why they are after everyone.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Inverted, with poor communication-saving Mickey's life when the Toddlers kill the hitmen who’d just abducted him. They were looking to clear Coach’s debt to Mickey, but it is unclear if they meant to do it by killing Mickey himself or repay it by killing the associates of the man who’d tried to kill him in the restaurant. Either way, they did not know that Coach was just talking with Raymond about having already cleared his debt with the work that they’d done so far.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Given the caliber of the gun used to inflict those, somewhat plausible.
  • Private Detective: Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is one... and is less than heroic, being both comically sleazy and wanting a multi-million payout from the gangsters for not going to the press with his information.
  • Product Placement: Subtle, but it's there. That barbecue table that Fletcher was so fascinated with? Guy Ritchie customized it himself and sells it. Also, the opening scene in the pub is part of Ritchie's brewery.
  • Properly Paranoid: Ray, who virulently hates dealing with junkies and chavs, brings along a submachine gun hidden under his coat to the council estate that saves him from a gang of teen chavs planning to rob him.
  • Pun: Coach slips up when he's talking to Phuc, whose name sounds like the 'f-word': "Alright, Phuc, calm the Phuc down."
  • Punk in the Trunk: Coach delivers Phuc to Raymond Bound and Gagged in the boot of his car.
  • Rags to Riches: Michael "Mickey" Pearson started out as American trailer trash, then got a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford in England, where he worked his way up from "low-level weed dealer with a wealthy clientele" to "kingpin of a thriving drug empire."
  • Reaction Shot: The video of Big Dave having sex with a pig is obviously never shown, but we've got his own terrified reaction upon watching it, and later, Raymond is somewhere between shocked and amused by it, commenting with Coach how this is something that's impossible to "unwatch once you've seen it".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mickey and Raymond are understanding of failures due to circumstances beyond their subordinate's control, with no trace of taking it out on them. It's one reason they are able to get honest information from them when it's critical. Raymond also notably takes full responsibility for the death of Aslan, despite the fact that it was actually one of his men and he wasn't even in the room at the time.
  • Retirony: Mickey's life heats up only when he starts working to get out of the game. Justified in that the man he's trying to sell to is deliberately antagonizing his empire in order to drive down his prices.
  • Saying Too Much: Ros telling Dry Eye that her gun only has two bullets, right before she's forced to use both of them on his henchmen, which leaves him confident enough to attack her.
  • Sequel Hook: In-Universe, Fletcher suggests this as the reason to leave Mickey's fate ambiguous after the Russian hitmen holding him at gunpoint are gunned down by the Toddlers, in the script version of the movie's events he's panning to a film executive. Averted by the movie itself; Mickey is not only shown to have survived the hit and come out on top, but Fletcher himself is implicitly killed in the ending, as well. Mickey does have a few loose ends on his plate; the Russian oligarch who controlled the hitmen is still alive, Matthew may be coming back to take his revenge and Dry Eye was taking orders from a shadowy figure in a limousine at Lord George's funeral, who may retaliate for his death. But for Mickey, that's just another day in paradise.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man:
    • Mickey and Ray both dress in immaculate and stylish suits at all times.
    • Berger dresses in fashionable clothing as well, but with more variety than Mickey and Ray. Mickey compliments his style.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Fletcher likens the surveillance he did on a conversation to be just like The Conversation, though he says he didn't like the film much.
    • Mickey being surprised by the Russians in the car is a direct homage to the ending of The Long Good Friday, right down to the eyes in the rear mirror.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Michael demanding a pound of flesh from Matthew, who like Shylock is Jewish, is a clear reference to The Merchant of Venice.
  • Sissy Villain:
    • Fletcher, who keeps flirting with an unappreciative Ray.
    • Matthew Berger has an effeminate demeanor and is a noted fashion enthusiast, despite being married to a woman.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Matthew is full of condescension towards Mickey as he constantly tries to point out reasons to cut down on how much he should pay Mickey despite how good of a deal he’s getting. The Reveal only emphasizes this, as does the implication that Mickey was onto him from the start.
    • Dry Eye is also pretty full of himself, believing that Mickey is going soft and that he will be easy prey. Ultimately, that doesn't go all that well for him.
  • Social Media Before Reason:
    • The chavs on the council estate are closing in on Too Dumb to Live territory when they hang around to take selfies with a dead body that's just fallen from a tower block while four irate London Gangsters are trying to clear up the scene.
    • The Toddlers try to become viral celebrities by filming and uploading their MMA raid on Mickey's weed farm (complete with a rap video). Coach has to stick his neck out for them to make the problem go away.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Fletcher himself ends up being this to Matthew, as Fletcher's blackmail ended up blowing the whistle on Matthew's schemes to undermine Mickey's empire, ensuring its failure (Mickey won't sell if he knows the buyer is screwing him on the price).
    • In a twist of fate, Coach and the Toddlers end up being this to Fletcher himself. After his first insurance plan fails (after Ray tracks down all of his stashed copies of his evidence), his backup backup plan, selling Ray and his crew out to the mob for the Accidental Murder of a Russian oligarch's son, fails entirely because Coach saves Ray in an act of altruism, and the Toddlers gun down Mickey's assassins (in what is implied to be an attempted hit on Mickey himself). Thus, despite all his preparation, Fletcher is left as meat on the plate due to pure coincidence.
  • Straight Edge Evil: Lord George, the leader of the Chinese crime syndicate, refers to horse betting as his "only vice". Even though he runs a heroin empire, he refuses to partake in his own product. Mickey calls him out on this, claiming that spreading something as deadly as heroin makes him very much complicit in the vice he's facilitating.
  • Subverted Catchphrase: Meta example. The line "There's only one rule in this jungle! When the lion is hungry, he eats!" is featured very prominently in the trailers and various promotional material. The only time it actually appears in the film is in an Indulgent Fantasy Segue by an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Mickey has Lord George's tea poisoned, then leaves him with the antidote; the point having been to demonstrate that he could get to Lord George anywhere.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The teenage chav gang who attempt to stab Coach at the snack bar merely for telling them to wait in line, and the other teenage chav gang Ray deals with to obtain their phones which contain condemning evidence. Given who they're up against, neither gang has a chance.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Coach is both horrified and frustrated when he learns that 1) his students just stole a lot of marijuana, 2) they used his van for the robbery and are unloading the dope at his gym, 3) they posted a video of the crime on YouTube, and 4) that the stolen gear belongs to Mickey Pearson, the biggest and most notorious pot dealer in the entire country. Those four moments are drawn out over two nonconsecutive scenes, but it's clear that he's aware of how badly this is likely to turn out from the very beginning.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: A Western variant, Lion vs Dragon, with Mickey as the Lion and Dry Eye as the Dragon, tying into their animal motifs and nationalities nicely.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The Toddlers get the bright idea to rob a random, well-hidden drug lab they only just learned the location of, with no knowledge of the owner or danger involved. They don't even go in armed. Their MMA skills downplay that last one, but still, bringing (well-trained and dangerous) fists against what could be armed guards wasn't the brightest move. That alone would be bad enough ... but then they record themselves whupping the asses of Mickey's Mooks, make a rap music video of it, complete with dramatic character introductions (some of which use their real names!), and then upload the music video to social media. They at least had the common sense to keep their masks on, but this brazen act of stupid boasting is what leads Coach to offer unconditional service to Ray and Mickey as a way of making amends.
    • Aslan somehow thought it was a good idea to talk back to someone who is quite evidently a seasoned London Gangster and attack one of his massive Mooks with a hammer. The latter gets him almost immediately killed.
    • The chavs who try to take selfies of themselves with Aslan's body while four irate London Gangsters (or rather, one irate London gangster and his three mooks) are trying to clean up the mess.
    • Dry Eye's second bodyguard, who seconds after watching Ros put a bullet right between the eyes of his colleague, decides it's a good idea to attack her. Even though he knows she's only used up one of her two shots. She immediately kills him in the exact same manner.
    • Dry Eye doesn't make the smartest decisions throughout the movie, but his crowning achievement that leads to his death is trying to rape Mickey's wife. For no particular reason other than being a cunt.
  • Toyota Tripwire: The kid running away from Bunny on the estate is on a bike and keeps looking over his shoulder and shouting mocking comments. Until Ray opens the door of the Range Rover and slams him off the bike, that is.
  • Trenchcoat Warfare: While doing business in sketchy areas, Raymond carries a sub-machinegun under his expensive cashmere trench coat. This comes as a nasty surprise to the gang of chavs who attempt to intimidate him with a machete.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Dragon Head Lord George and his underboss Dry Eye, forming the antagonists of the movie. Well, one set of antagonists...
  • Trunk Shot: When Coach opens the boot of his car to show Ray the Bound and Gagged Phuc, the shot is from Phuc's POV of the two threatening individuals staring down at him.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Mickey and Rosalind have a happy marriage, and also both happen to be hardened criminals with zero hesitation in getting their hands dirty.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Fletcher, to a minor extent. He does tell the story as it is, for the most part, but he's not as omniscient as he'd like to think, and occasionally makes wrong guesses about how events went down (or deliberately spices them up for story-telling purposes), and occasionally deliberately delays a reveal such as Dry Eye and Matthew's alliance by moving on to something else.
  • The Unreveal: Fletcher's final fate after being surprised by Ray in his taxi is never revealed. Given that their last interaction involved Fletcher admitting he sold Ray and Mickey out to the mob to save his own hide, something that they both only survived due to outside intervention, followed by Fletcher fleeing for his life after barely escaping from a metal container he's been locked in ... and that Fletcher is now trying to pen a movie script of the film's events, his future isn't looking too bright.
    • The last we see of Matthew is him being locked in a shipping crate with one of Mickey's cronies, with a choice: both wire an obscene amount of money to Mickey (for the damages to Mickey's empire that Matthew's schemes caused), AND cut off "a pound of flesh", (as payback for Matthew's underling Dry Eye causing Mickey's wife's Near-Rape Experience), or else freeze to death in the below-freezing temperatures of the container. We never see the outcome.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Matthew has a silent, but very visible one once he springs the culmination of his scheme and tries to lowball Mickey on his business, only for Mickey to flip the script and provide evidence that he knows Matthew was responsible... as well as detailing exactly what he's going to do as a result.
  • Villain Protagonist: Mickey and his crew, naturally. Arguably Fletcher as well, in the sense that he serves as the point-of-view character in the Framing Device.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: After being poisoned by Mickey, Lord George rather graphically projectile vomits over the table. Multiple times.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Big Dave gets kidnapped by Coach and the Toddlers, drugged, and wakes up in the back of their van naked under a blanket, in close proximity to a pig. What he sees on the video they've recorded horrifies him about as much as it does everyone else.
  • What You Are in the Dark: At the end, Coach saves Raymond from the assassins he notices are coming for him, despite them posing no threat to him, and how he had nothing to gain by saving Raymond and in fact might have been saved some trouble in case Raymond ever did try to demand more from him. That being said, he does wordlessly emphasize that You Owe Me.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Being cornered by Dry Eye and his two goons, but only having two bullets, Ros shoots the goons, rather than their boss. Considering they have absolutely nothing to gain on attacking or kidnapping Rosalind once he's gone, the choice of targets is purely for the plot to happen.
  • Wrong Insult Offence: Ernie is furious at being called a "black cunt"...
    Coach: But you are black. And you are a cunt.
    Ernie: Me being black has got nothing to do with me being a cunt!

"There’s only one rule in this jungle! When the lion is hungry, he eats."