The Dove Take:
McConaughey presents a solid performance, but as a greedy gangbanger, his character offers little more than foul language and violence.
A British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires.
The Gentlemen is not a gentle movie. It is more of a gangster movie with the main villain, Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), being a drug lord rather than a gentleman. That’s not to say that Pearson doesn’t have some good characteristics–he is an intelligent guy with a beautiful wife, Rosalind (Michelle Dockery). He comments that his wife is a “Cockney Cleopatra to his cowboy Caesar.” He even races across town to save his wife when her life is in danger.
However, the drug world is his world, and this is the substance that destroys lives. He is even known as the “King of Marijuana,” and threatening people seems to come easy to him. He will do what it takes to keep his money and power.
Pearson plans to sell off his British marijuana empire to a gangster named Matthew, but there are those who don’t want Matthew to have it. They want it and will go to great lengths to get it, even if it means killing Pearson. But he’s not easily intimidated. In one scene, he points a gun at one of his opponents and says, “When the lion’s hungry, he eats!” That metaphor pretty much sizes up Pearson, who will kill if he has to in order to keep his social standing and money. Needless to say, when some of his “stuff” comes up missing from a warehouse, he is none-too-happy.
There are some solid actors in the movie, including Colin Farrell, who trains teen M.M.A. (Mixed Martial Arts) students. This part of the plot seems a bit out of place but Farrell is good as always. He stands up for his fighters when a false accusation is thrown their way. Hugh Grant also appears in the film. There’s enough action and mystery as to how it will all go down to keep the movie from totally falling flat.
It is a bit intriguing to watch these well-dressed men turn into lethal machines when they deem it necessary. But the film doesn’t come close to being family-friendly. Although not shown on screen, there is a scene involving a man watching himself on video when he once committed bestiality. The language is rough throughout the film with constant use of the “F” word, and the film shows the lengths some people will go to in order to gain wealth. At any rate, due to the excessive violence and language, the movie falls short of receiving our Dove seal.