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Film / Wrath of Man

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"He's a dark fucking spirit."
Boy Sweat Dave: Do you have any idea how dangerous this job can be?
Patrick "H" Hill: Some idea, yeah.

Wrath of Man is a crime thriller film directed by Guy Ritchie, based on the 2004 French film Cash Truck, and starring Jason Statham, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, and Holt McCallany.

Patrick "H" Hill (Statham) is a new employee at Fortico Security, an armored truck service that transfers millions of dollars a month and is prime prey for professional criminals. Under the tutelage of "Bullet" (McCallany), H seems to be just another recruit, until he masterfully wipes out an entire team of skilled robbers who hit a Fortico truck.

With ruthless efficiency and cold determination, the mysterious H continues to terrorize any potential criminals who target Fortico, intent on righting a wrong from his past for his own dark purposes... no matter what it takes.

Standing out as a particularly dark entry in Guy Ritchie's filmography, the film was released internationally on April 22, 2021, and in the United States on May 7.

Wrath of Man contains examples of:

  • Anachronic Order: After a chaotic prologue that depicts an armored truck robbery from a solitary camera, the story jumps into H joining Fortico and his interactions with the rest of the crew. He fends off an attempted robbery with lethal skills at the end of the first act, and the second act then jumps back several months to explain H's motivations, eventually doing Once More, with Clarity to show what he was really doing at Fortico. Then halfway through the second act it jumps back over a year to explain the story of the criminals H is looking for, which then reveals the full details of the truck robbery in the opening scene. The third act is when everything comes together. The movie comes with chapter-based title cards to help keep the audience aware of the shifts.
  • Anti-Climax: "Scorched Earth" ends with the gang torturing a powerful figure and learning of a gang of truly vile human traffickers so powerful and dangerous even he fears them. In the next scene, the gang has already been defeated and is dismissed as relatively small-time.
  • Anti-Hero: "H" is actually a crime lord. Though he seems to operate with a code of honor, he's not beyond using brutal violence on those who deserve it to get what he wants.
  • Asshole Victim: Several. Namely, Jan, Bullet, and the pedophilic traffickers Heargraves murders.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Bullet, the seemingly upbeat and snarky Fortico employee, is actually an active part of Jackson's gang of robbers. As if to solidify his deceitful nature, during the final shootout, he uses his friendships with fellow guards to lull them into trusting him long enough to murder them all without hesitation.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: H may be a ruthless killer and crime boss who will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals, but he's up against the psychopathic Jan and his partners.
  • Blood Knight: The robbers are motivated primarily by money, but some of them also want to relive the excitement of being in a combat situation once again.
  • Boom, Headshot!: H kills many of his targets this way. Bullet executes his fellow security guards with shots to the head as well, then gets his karma when Jan murders him the exact same way.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Both the guards and the robbers wear good quality vests which protect them against most body shots. However, they do not protect against head and neck shots which is how most of the fatalities occur.
  • The Cameo: Post Malone plays one of the robbers in the first robbery H has to deal with. He's also helpfully the only one without his mask on. He's also killed near the end of his one scene.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: The climax of the film leaves very few named characters alive.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Heargraves subjects various criminals to horrid beatings and torments in an attempt to find his son's killer, to little avail.
  • Colliding Criminal Conspiracies: Once the backstory of the events is revealed, it turns out that everything was caused by two different gangs trying to rob the same armored car. One gang had better intel and did the robbery first, with Heargraves and Dougie getting caught in the middle and being shot.
  • Contrived Coincidence: H just happens to be in the very truck that his old comrades rob.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: H deliberately scored the bare minimum on firearms and athletic tests to avoid suspicion from the other guards, but some are still curious that a well-built man who clearly knows firearms only passed with the bare minimum. After H single handedly manages to ward off multiple robbery attempts with obviously lethal skills, he claims the adrenaline kicked in, but it only furthers the questions.
  • Darker and Edgier: Noticeably one of the darker entries of Guy Ritchie's filmography, with a constant undercurrent of brutality. While the World of Snark and Snark-to-Snark Combat that's a trademark of his Signature Style is littered throughout the movie, little of it is Played for Laughs like it usually would. Hill is a Nominal Anti Hero at best and almost every character winds up dead by the movie's end.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: H scores a 70 on his entrance evaluation, the lowest passing grade, in order to avoid drawing attention to himself.
  • Downer Ending: The movie ends on a grim note as Jackson's gang is all dead along with a majority of the innocent Fortico guards. Heargraves gets his revenge, but that doesn't bring back his son.
  • Enemy Mine: The Detective helps out Heargraves by giving him a list of suspects and telling him he will look the other way as much as he can, as they are all scumbag criminals that would be better off the street. He even tells two detectives "let the painter paint" when they clearly identify who he is during an investigation.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Nasty gangster he may be, Heargraves undeniably cares for his son, and the entire movie goes down because he's out to avenge the boy's death.
    • Jackson is the leader of a team of armed robbers who are willing to kill if need be, but is also a genuine family man who cares deeply about his wife and kids.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Heargraves may be a cold and cruel crime boss, but even he expresses disgust at a group of pedophilic human traffickers.
    • Jackson's gang all express shock and outrage at Jan ruthlessly executing defenseless security guards and an innocent teenager.
  • Evil Pays Better: Jackson's crew are all former military who returned and tried to integrate back into society. Most of them ended up under- or unemployed, like Jackson whose job doesn't cover his family's living expenses. Their robberies are mainly intended to cover their necessities and set them up for retirement.
  • Evil vs. Evil: H is a Noble Demon kingpin who has a truce with the police but is willing to get brutal whe necessary. Jackson's gang are disgruntled military veterans who soon become perfectly comfortable slaughtering as many people as is necessary to score a jackpot. They fight it out.
  • Forced to Watch: A man who refuses to talk under torture by Heargraves is quickly convinced to give a name when his captors start smothering his wife.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As part of the Walking Spoiler, Hill's behavior does not come across as someone who is a capable but unextraordinary security guard — he is able to land headshots under duress, knows to feign weakness to get the enemy's guard down, and seems to botch just enough of his tests to get a merely passing grade. This all makes sense when you realize he's the head of a criminal empire, and is far more capable than he lets on.
    • Early in the film, it looks like H completely botches his marksmanship test. But as an eagle-eyed viewer can see, he hits the target where the lungs, heart, spleen and liver are.
    • After killing the first gang, H goes from corpse to corpse and pulls off their masks. He's obviously looking for somebody, specifically Jan.
    • The second group that attempts to rob H's armored car stop completely and run off once he steps out of the back, clearly recognizing him from somewhere. They're his old gang.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Jackson's gang is a group of disgruntled ex-soldiers who have turned to a life of crime.
  • Genre Refugee: The movie is basically a heist movie, but if the entire job was derailed by the crew having accidentally pissed off a London Gangster along the way.
  • He Knows Too Much: Jan's mask is knocked loose during a robbery. He has to kill two guards and Dougie to prevent anyone identifying him.
  • Hero of Another Story: The gang who pulled the hiest that killed H's son are a group of combat veterans who couldn't adjust to civilian life and used their training for bank hiests. Who were evidently quite successful until H came along.
  • Hidden Depths: On his first outing, H calms the frantic Dave (who's freaking out over Bullet's capture) by coaching him on what to do, and then ordering him to play along with the robbery for the time being, as he doesn't want to "leave a man behind". When the robbers reveal themselves, H deliberately feigns stupidity to have them drop their guard, then proceeds to eliminate the entire enemy force, saving Bullet's life (and the money) in the process. This is because he's actually an extremely-capable crime boss who's 'dumbing himself down' to get in with the Fortico staff.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: H fully reveals that he intentionally passed his entry exams with the bare minimum required score when he single-handedly headshots the robbers led by Post Malone.
  • Informed Ability: While they turn out to be right, H's co-workers at Fortico observe that he's overqualified for their job. Nothing particular stands out to support their suspicions, as H intentionally holds himself back for the entry exams and so far had only participated in a transport that goes off without a hitch.
  • Inside Job: The whole reason as to why Heargraves became a guard at Fortico. They were getting nowhere trying to find the guy who killed his son, leaving them to believe it was an inside job. So he got hired there to try to find out who it was. It was Bullet.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: The plot of the movie occurs because a drunk driver had an accident with a motorcyclist. This forced Heargraves to scout the Fortico route, which got Dougie killed.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Jackson is the leader of the most villainous robbers in the film, but Heargraves' real tussle is with Jan, one of Jackson's underlings.
  • Made of Iron: Heargraves walks out of the hospital under his own power after taking six bullets which required three separate surgeries. He barely seems to rest at all after that point, and just months later ends up taking even more bullets which he immediately gets up and walks away from.
  • Mangst: Heargraves never shows any outward emotion following Dougie's death. But it's clear through the amount of people he hurts, kills, and manipulates that he is very angry about the loss of his boy.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Heargraves masquerades as "Patrick Hill" and fools pretty much every major character in the story, all to find his son's killer.
    • Bullet plays his part as a lovable, friendly truck guard to a T, successfully being Jackson's inside man and helping his team pull off truck robberies by leaking info.
  • The Mole: Jackson's gang has an inside man at Fortico. It's Bullet.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: A darker cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" is used in the trailer and the film itself.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's subtle and only for a split second, but Jan seems to show at least an ounce of shock and possible remorse at killing Dougie. This was apparently confirmed by Word Of God.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: In the climax, Jackson tries to betray and shoot Jan for being a loose cannon, but Jan slits his throat first. Mere moments later, Bullet also tries to kill Jan to keep the fortune for himself, only for Jan to, once again, get the drop on his treacherous partner and shoot Bullet first.
  • Noble Demon: Hargreaves' gang seems to operate with a sense of scruples. They're disgusted by a gang of smash-and-grab rapists and gift cash payouts to people they think are due. They also seem to deliberately act within boundaries set by the police, limiting their brutality to other hardened criminals.
  • Not Me This Time: We get a sequence of various crooks being tortured for information about the robbery, but they all protest that they had no involvement in that particular crime.
  • No, You: After Post Malone's robber character tells H to suck his dick, H's responsive Pre-Mortem One-Liner is to tell him to suck his own dick.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: For a character who seems, on the surface, to be very capable material for a security guard, Hill either unintentionally (or deliberately) botches several aspects of his proficiency tests, such as backing into a stack of boxes during a vehicle obstacle. This is because Heargraves (pretending to be Hill) is playing himself up to be just barely capable enough to pass the tests — under fire, he's an incredible marksman.
  • Oh, Crap!: A gang of robbers attack an armored car and force the guards to surrender. They then see H step out and they panic, drop the money and run away. They are working for Heargraves and recognize H as their boss. They have no idea what he is doing dressed as a guard, and are terrified what he might do to them for messing up his plans and pointing guns at him.
  • Once More, with Clarity: It's a Guy Ritchie movie. And twice more, in this case. The opening robbery is shown three times, with each subsequent time adding context to the event.
  • One Last Job: Sarge plans a final job that will either bring in enough money for his crew to retire or get them killed: Robbing Fortico's truck depot.
  • One of the Guys: Dana. She even makes a comment about someone critizing her for being in the male changing room.
  • Paper Tiger: Dave acts like a tough guy on introduction, but the moment there's danger he becomes a nervous, jittery mess.
  • Pet the Dog: After executing a ring of human traffickers, Heargraves stops to check on their underage victims and orders they be given the $2.5 million his gang just seized.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After being told by a wounded enemy to "suck (his) dick," H coolly responds by telling the man to "suck (his) own dick" before executing him.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Crime boss Heargraves has the marksmanship and ruthless combat experience to back up his leadership of his organization. And most of his time at Fortico trying to find Jan is all done without assistance from his underlings.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Heargraves' mooks clearly fear that he will blame them for Dougie's death but he recognizes that only he and the killer are to blame. He even outright apologizes to one of his men for adding stress as they go through the list of possible suspects.
    • Everything Terry Rossi says is correct. He's conscientious of the effects of PTSD on his staff and notices that H is suspiciously callous while his own boss and the men just see him as a badass hero. During the final shootout, he desperately tries to talk sense into Hancock, who ignores his advice twice and gets shot twice, the second time fatally.
  • Red Herring:
    • When H is introduced to the other guards, they are presented in ways that seem to suggest that one or more of them might be working for the robbers. Some are clearly disgruntled about their job, one seems to have a gambling problem, one appears particularly creepy and another is pissed off about being demoted. The only female guard is not happy about having to always prove that she belongs in the job. One guard suspiciously called in sick when the last robbery took place. In the end only Bullet is working with the robbers and the others are just normal working stiffs not happy about their jobs.
    • After going through every possible gang they can think of, Heargraves' men dig even deeper and interrogate a major figure they would have otherwise not touched. He tells them about a truly evil gang of human traffickers that will kill him if they ever know he mentioned them. The group is not connected to Dougie's death at all.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Heargraves bluntly informs Dana that he knows where her family lives, and if he sees cause to believe she is working against him, he won't hesitate to target them to keep her in line.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Jackson isn't shown in the trailers or ads.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Two members of Sarge's crew show different forms of this. Brad has failed to adjust to civilian life and is itching for the thrill of a mission, caring little who gets hurt in the process. Jan seems more unstable than anything and has poor impulse control which leads to him murdering Sarge and Bullet to steal the money. Bullet also shows signs of this, given his complete lack of emotion while killing co-workers he personally trained and his failed attempt to double-cross Jan.
  • Spanner in the Works: The entire depot job would've most likely gone over smoothly if it weren't for H's involvement with Fortico.
  • Suspicious Spending: Jackson warns his crew to only spend their stolen money on necessities and not buy anthing flashy that would bring attention on them. Jan ignores this warning, much to Jackson annoyance.
  • To the Pain: Heargraves gives Jan the coroner report of Dougie's death, making him read about how the bullets he fired hit Dougie's liver, lung, spleen, and heart. Heargraves then proceeds to shoot Jan in those exact organs to avenge Dougie.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The Reveal that H is actually a crime boss named Heargraves out to avenge his son comes at around the halfway point of the film. The trailers, more specifically the red band trailer, completely spoils it.
  • Tranquil Fury: Heargraves barely emotes beyond a scowl or raise his voice above Jason Statham's signature Cockney Guttural Growler voice as he kills his way to finding Jan. When he finally does him in, he's just as cold and calm.
  • Unknown Rival: It's not entirely clear if Jan remembers Heargraves as the man he shot after killing Dougie.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Had Jan not shot Dougie during the botched armored tuck robbery it is unlikely that Heargraves and Jackson would have ever crossed paths, and the Fortico robbery would have gone as planned.
  • Walking Spoiler: A significant number of tropes concerning the main character, Patrick Hill, revolve around The Reveal that occurs midway through the film, where the audience learns that H is actually Heargraves, an amoral crime boss who has deliberately got himself hired by Fortico to investigate The Mole.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jan executes an innocent teenager during the prologue robbery: H's son.
  • You Killed My Father: Inverted. The plot is about a father avenging his murdered son.