Summer is here, and with the rona on the run (though riot season is still on), people are itching for some cinematic escape. Of course, the studios are lining up the fare, notably Miramax with their Guy Ritchie-directed Jason Statham vehicle, Wrath of Man.
It isn’t often I break form and move away from somewhat-eloquent verbal takedowns of murderous bureaucrats, and eminently-practical reviews of gear you should have in your kit as a Second Amendment Radical and armed citizen. But, once in awhile, I’m up for something different, and thus, I’m going to do a little movie review – from the perspective of a somewhat-knowledgeable firearms owner.
Let’s be fair, Hollywood often gets firearms completely wrong. In the spirit of fun though, we’ll fisk the plot and watchability of Wrath of Man, and then take a dive on the “gun angle…”
FYI – I’ll get to the pistol brace bullshit in the next article. In the meantime read the revolting details at savethebraces.com
It’s been a hot minute since we last heard from Guy Ritchie. In my humble opinion, his last “Ritchie” film was RockNRolla in 2008. Since then, he’s done a reboot, some Sherlock Holmes flicks, and a kids’ movie. I get it, we all have to pay the bills, and sometimes, well, almost always, artistic integrity has to take a backseat to reality and making a few bucks. Mr Ritchie has a lovely wife (thankfully not Madonna this time – ewww) and 3 children to take care of, after all.
This year, Mr Ritchie decided to get back to business, with Wrath Of Man.
Reuniting Ritchie with frequent collaborator and assuredly good friend Jason Statham, Wrath Of Man is a loose remake of the 2004 French film Le Convoyeur .
Wrath of Man takes place in present day Los Angeles, where Statham portrays Patrick Hill, a former private security guard who takes up employment at Fortico Security, an armored truck company. Under the supervision of Bullet (Holt McCallany), Hill gains the nickname “H” (as in the bomb or Jesus H, as Bullet puts it) after passing his qualifications (barely!) and being welcomed to the crew of cynical private gunslingers at Fortico.
The crew doesn’t know what to think of H at first, since he divulges few personal details about his mysterious past. Things get a little more muddled when H’s truck is held up during transit, and H’s supposedly so-so skills with a GLOCK 17 suddenly become damn-impressive, and contrary to company protocol (they’re just supposed to give up and take one for the team), H dispatches the attackers with surgical precision. Though a hero back at the truck depot, some suspicions are raised by Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett), and Jan (Scott Eastwood – yes, Clint’s kid…) about H’s reticence to speak about his past.
As the movie plays out, we’re treated to some impressive action sequences and heavy gunplay in the streets of Los Angeles (an allusion to Heat maybe?) and quite a few twists and turns – a Ritchie trademark. In addition, the movie itself is staged non-chronologically, though to be fair, it all ties together in the end. I won’t divulge too many more details, if possible, but it’s way more than a “Jason Statham Kills Everyone” piece.
Fans of Ritchie’s earlier works will appreciate all this. Though filmed with Sony CineAlta Venice cameras, Panavision Primo Artiste lenses (which cost more than a car, per lens!), and recorded in 6K resolution, Ritchie and his team edited and graded Wrath Of Man with that gritty filmic look of his earlier pieces like Snatch and Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels. The only thing really lacking is the trademark humor and banter of those two prior films. To be fair though, a film which contains a grisly interrogation scene set to Johnny Cash would be kind of strange with too much humor.
Oh, and for added flavor, we have a scene with 2A enthusiast Post Malone in it. Ironically in Wrath of Man, Post is a horrible shot – whereas in real life he’s pretty damn good.
4 Out Of 5 Stars
Though a loose remake of a French film, Wrath Of Man has a lot going for it, especially if you haven’t been out to the theatre in awhile. Yes, it’s available for streaming, but do yourself a favor and get out of the house to see this. It’s a violent thriller with some great action and some fun plot twists. You have to “think a bit”, but it all makes sense in the end. Solid, though standard acting, a decent script, and a gritty aesthetic, it’s definitely worth a watch. Grab your favorite cinema snack and get to it.
OK, now for some nerd shit. Warning, there’s going to be a few spoilers below, so if you haven’t watched the film yet, you can stop here, and circle back for some nerdery later on. If, for some reason, this review ranks high in the Googleverse, and you find yourself reading this – hey, it’s a gun blog, so we’re gonna talk about guns.
Hollywood almost never gets guns right. Due to time constraints, agendas, editorial concerns, or just plain ignorance, in most films where real-world firearms are depicted, it’s just not done correctly.
To be fair, an indoor gunfight depicted accurately – i.e. sporadic shooting, and a lot of “What?” “Huh?” and “I’m deaf as shit from all the gunfire, say that again?” would not play well on the big screen.
So, like most films, if you’re a Second Amendment Radical and armed citizen, you’ll have to check your education and sensibilities at the door with regards to the use of firearms in Wrath Of Man.
We’ll do this in kind of spiffy random-ish order.
**Captures sourced from The Internet Movie Firearms Database. Credit where credit is due.
Heckler & Koch MP7 Use
One of my dream guns is the Heckler & Koch MP7. Chambered in the proprietary HK 4.6x30mm cartridge, this little submachine gun is the definition of a PDW-class weapon come true. Compact, with a forgiving recoil and decent accuracy, it’s just a great little blaster. But, because of weird German export laws, and completely demented American import laws, it’s a rare find outside of government and manufacturer circles.
Now while I’ll allow for the fact that on occasion, government armaments, from pistols all the way up to nuclear weapons are stolen or just plain go missing, it’s really a stretch that two members of even a well-equipped organized crime gang would be able to acquire these guns on US soil. Laws or no laws, the gun is just too damn rare over here. I’m willing to bet none have been stolen, either. The numbers don’t add up.
In another robbery scene (yes, the one with Post), one of the attackers uses an UZI, which is definitely far more commonplace – and it’s actually very likely that even full-auto UZIs are in criminal hands in this nation. It is what it is. Plus, an organized crime gang would actually think things through a little. 9mm UZI? Or some weird German gun you can’t find ammo for? Beyond street thugs, criminals do think a little.
TL:DR – for more realism, stick to the UZI, Mr Ritchie.
Loaded Gun vs Unloaded Gun
As the movie plays out, we find out that Bullet is the “man inside” Fortico, in that he has been assisting an outside hit squad of military veterans looking to beef up their finances by hitting cash-in-transit vehicles, where supposedly the corporate policy is for the driver and “messenger” to just comply and give up the goods. By this time in the film, we know H’s motives for being employed at Fortico (through a cleverly-forged background history and documentation) and that he’s just not there for a paycheck. H is an experienced firearms user, with a fair amount of shooting history behind him.
In the final segment, where the “big heist” is to occur, we find that Bullet, who is H’s driver for the day, has taken the ammunition out of H’s company-issue GLOCK 17 before it being signed out to him that day.
OK, if someone hands me a weapon, they should do one thing – clear it. That way I know it’s unloaded. In a professional environment such as a armored car company, I sincerely doubt firearms are handed to the employees in a loaded and ready condition. In the “real” world, the procedure is most likely that H would have been handed an empty gun, which he would have loaded and made ready, and properly holstered for his daily tasks. At no point would H have not had control of the gun for that day while working.
Now, if in cinema-world, loaded weapons are handed out, H, an experienced marksman, would have immediately noticed the weight difference between an unloaded GLOCK and a loaded one. Like, it’s really noticeable. Enough that even a novice would spot-check and figure out what was up.
TL:DR – for more realism, hand him a normal GLOCK 17 and just mention that if he makes a sudden move, it may end up badly for him.
High Profile Security Companies Would Not Have Automatic Weapons
Much like automatic weapons themselves, the private security industry in the United States is strictly regulated and controlled. Sure, there exists an informal security apparatus where an employer may allow his or her employees to be armed on the premises of the business consistent with local and state laws governing carry (the liquor store near me has an openly-armed cashier, for example), but for those who do cash-in-transit and other “real” security tasks, the industry is highly regulated. Even unarmed guards require licensure. Observe and Report falls under the purview of the almighty bureaucracy.
Some guy with some trucks hauling cash isn’t going to be permitted to allow “his boys” to guard the goods, especially when dealing with high-profile and corporate clients.
In Wrath Of Man, Fortico Security is presented as a high-profile armored truck business, with strict rules and regulations governing it’s operation. Uniformed employees, marked trucks, and high-tech controls abound. In the beginning, it’s even mentioned that H passed his “background check” and that his permits were in order.
Anyway, in most jurisdictions, even Florida, the type and configuration of weapons permitted while working in security, the “regulated profession” in government parlance, is controlled. For example, in the Gunshine State, if you are working as an armed guard, you’re only permitted to utilize certain calibers of pistol, and long gun use requires additional paperwork.
On a national level, private security firms utilizing automatic weapons is pretty much a no-go, unless the company is guarding nuclear reactors.
In the film’s climactic final action sequence, the raid on the depot itself, the employees manning the Fortico armory reach for Heckler & Koch G36 rifles and just start sending 5.56mm projectiles downrange, in full auto.
Nitpicking? Yes. But hey, I warned y’all this was some nerd shit. Unless there’s a nuclear reactor at the Fortico depot, the guys would not legally possess machine guns, much less G36s. And definitely not in Los Angeles, where I’m sure the private security industry is even more heavily regulated than here in the Gunshine state.
Though in the interests of dramatic license, it’s plausible the company purchased semi-automatic G36s, such as those offered by Tommy Built (want!) and had someone convert them on the down low, and stipulated the guns were reserved for use during an “unthinkable” event where the depot itself was raided by a heavy armed force, such as depicted in the film.
TL:DR – private security companies can’t legally possess full auto in the course of their business. In an invasion scenario, even if the opposition has machine guns, aimed fire with semi-auto can accomplish a lot. FYI – the NFA still sucks and I want the M4A1 I have every right to bear.
Body Armor Doesn’t Work That Way
In the same climactic final firefight, the opposing force of attackers on the Fortico depot are utilizing highly advanced armored suits and voice-changing helmets. The “prop armor” was basically fancy riot gear and Ops Core bump helmets, but it did look super cool.
Anyways, true to form, the attackers do what they do – attack, and absorb an amazing amount of firepower during their incursion, without really slowing down.
Bullet-resistant material and body armor simply doesn’t work that way. The material prevents penetration and traumatic damage to the organic matter beneath it, but the wearer still feels it. Even with Level IV plates and material, you’re still going to get nasty bruises and most likely fall down. Plus broken bones, etc. And repeated hits on body armor will cause it to fail.
In the scene, the attackers, again, absorbed an amazing amount of incoming fire. By my back-of-the-napkin estimates, most of them should have been rendered relatively non-functional. For combat veterans, they should have been way more schooled in cover/concealment, as well as urban/indoor combat.
Instead, they walked in like they owned the place – of course until H decides to take things into hand.
TL:DR – body armor doesn’t work that way. Instead, Ritchie should have presented the scene with more of a nod towards modern urban and indoor combat techniques, something our fighting forces have experience with.
Face it, unless Colion Noir and his crew get their chance at cinematic fame, we’ll probably never see a movie that is 100% “on” with regards to firearms use.
Sure, let’s nerd out and nitpick, it’s what we do when we’re not fighting for individual rights and freedoms. But don’t let it ruin a good time at the movies.
Wrath of Man is a fun and exciting cinematic adventure, and firearms weirdness aside, is well worth the watch.
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Source link: https://regularguyguns.com/2021/06/07/Movie-Review-From-A-Gun-Perspective-Wrath-Of-Man/ by Regular Guy at regularguyguns.com