Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the return of Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the kind-hearted Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
Richard joins Ryan Doyle and Jay Michaels of the NewsTalk 1010 afternoon show to talk the murky origins of the Mai Tai, a drink that became so popular in the 1960s it caused a worldwide rum shortage! We also talk about what to watch on the weekend!
Richard joins NewsTalk 1010’s Jim Richards coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “Showgram” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse like these movies?” This week we talk about the Jason Statham shoot ’em up “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the quirky Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD) and the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital).
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the return of Jason Statham in “Wrath of Man” (theatres this week, on digital May 25), the kind-hearted Tony Hale comedy “Eat Wheaties!” (VOD), the nostalgic documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (VOD/Digital) and the family dramedy “A Bump Along the Way” (VOD/Digital).
A remake of Nicolas Boukhrief’s 2004 French film “Le Convoyeur,” “Wrath of Man,” now playing in theatres and coming soon to VOD, is a revenge/heist flick that sees director Guy Ritchie reunited with his trademarked tricky storytelling style, Jason Statham and the ruthless violence that made his early movies such eye poppers.
Statham plays “’H’, like in bomb,” a man of few words with a mysterious past. Big surprise there. They should call him Gazpacho because he is the coolest of cool cucumbers. No matter what, this guy’s pulse rate never rises above 50 beats per minute.
When we first meet him, he takes a job as a security guard for Fortico, a Los Angeles armored car company. A recent robbery left three people dead and made the surviving guards edgy and uneasy. “Do you have any idea how dangerous this job can be?” a coworker named Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett) asks him. “We ain’t the predator, we’re the prey.”
When some very bad people attempt to rob one of the company’s cash trucks “H” reveals a special set of skills to the shock and awe of his co-workers. “It doesn’t feel right,” says security guard Bullet (Holt McCallany). “It’s like he wants the trucks to get hit.”
As the bodies pile up “H’s” lethal past is exposed and it becomes clear that he didn’t take the gig at the armored car company simply because he needed a week to week pay cheque. “I can do in two weeks,” “H” says to the shadowy Agent King (Andy Garcia), “what you wish you could do in twenty years.”
Told on a broken timeline and sectioned-off into chapters with names like “Bad, Animals, Bad” and “Scorched Earth,” the movie’s plot can be boiled down to one line. “I do bear a grudge,” “H” says, summing up the film’s raison d’etre as bullets fly and bodies pile up. A nihilistic story about revenge decorated with a tense heist subplot, it’s a riff on Statham’s earlier work in which he usually played either Character #1, a “loner with a past who must protect a loved one,” or Character #2, the “loner with a past who must protect a youthful innocent.”
Here he shakes things up by showing a disregard for the lives of some while avenging the loss of a loved one. Gone is the jokey Statham of “Spy” and his over-the-top “Fast and Furious” work. This is a back-to-basics performance that sees him settle on one facial expression, as though his chiseled face is encased in amber, to convey the character’s one deadly motive. The taciturn thing has worked for him before and it works well here. “H” is no laughing matter. Danger follows him around, and Statham’s coiled spring performance, no matter how basic, suggests that ultra-violence could erupt at any moment. It gives the movie much of its edge as Ritchie navigates the grim but stylish goings-on.
Are there plot holes? Yes. I can’t go into them without giving the story away but let’s just say “H’s” resilience is impressive.
Somewhere buried deep in the gunplay there is an elegance to “Wrath of Man.” Ritchie’s tough-talking film is tautly crafted, and, for those expecting “Snatch” style editing tricks, quite restrained.
The editing, not the violence.
Shot through a hail of bullets, the movie builds to a tense “Heat” style climax that doesn’t waste time or ammo. The jittery atmosphere is amped up by an angrily effective score from composer Chris Benstead.
On the downside, Ritchie’s taste for macho posturing doesn’t add much to the film’s early scenes. There are barely any female characters, save for Niamh Algar’s security guard Dana and assorted wife characters, and the hard-boiled dialogue between the often men borders on parody.
“Wrath of Man” is bleak and the characters are all, at best, anti-heroes, but for those with a taste for adrenaline pumping action set pieces, “Wrath of Man” delivers.
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including feel-good “From the Vine,” the based-on-true-events thriller “Target Number One,” the hybrid barumentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” and the forlorn romance “Dirt Music.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the tonic for the soul travelogue “From the Vine,” the quirky comedy “The Sunlit Night,” the journalism thriller “Target Number One” and the hybrid documentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.”
“Target Number One” is a Canadian true crime story, but no, it’s not a retelling of Bill Miner’s railway robbery or the great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist of 2012. It’s a gritty look at investigative reporter Victor Malarek’s fight to uncover the truth behind a heroin bust orchestrated the Canadian Security Intelligence Service put an innocent man in jail.
A the-names-have-been-changed-to-protect-the-innocent retelling of the case of Alain Olivier, called Daniel Léger (Antoine Olivier Pilon) in the film, the movie stars Josh Hartnett as Malarek, a Globe and Mail reporter whose dogged determination reveals how the CSIS framed Léger, sending him to a Thai jail for eight years. “I’d be very careful before you print anything about this case,” a high-level cop tells Malarek.
Telling the tale on a broken timeline, director Daniel Roby skip through the details, building both sides of the story simultaneously until the two threads meld, but “Target Number One” isn’t an action movie. There is tension as Léger‘s situation worsens but the compelling part is Malarek’s search for the truth. It’s a procedural the takes its time putting the puzzle pieces in place.
Hartnett does a good impression of the driven reporter and Steven McHattie turns in another of his trademark edgy roles as Frank Cooper, a crooked RCMP officer, but it’s the work of Jim Gaffigan and Pilon that are memorable.
Gaffigan ditches his affable stand-up comic persona to create a medicine portrayal of Glen Picker, a drug dealer and police confidant.
As Léger, Pilon as an arc. From lowlife criminal, whose big score is ripping off a gas station for a full tank, to someone who can navigate survival in a squalid Thai prison, he’s simultaneously vulnerable and edgy and that makes him the film’s most memorable character.
“Target Number One” is a low-key thriller, short on action but long on intrigue.
In theatres now:
Now playing in Vancouver, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick