‘The Gentlemen’ 2024 Review: Guy Ritchie’s Crime Saga Brilliantly Continues on the Small Screen

The Gentlemen
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Diving into Netflix’s ‘The Gentlemen’ series feels like stepping back into the familiar, yet exhilarating world that Guy Ritchie masterfully created with his 2019 film. This adaptation not only carries the torch further but does so with a flair that’s unmistakably Ritchie’s. The series weaves a complex narrative that’s both a nod to the original and a standalone masterpiece, offering a deeper dive into the gritty, yet stylish crime universe we’ve grown to love.

The story centers around Theo James’ character, Eddie Halstead, who finds himself at the heart of a sprawling criminal empire after inheriting his father’s estate. The cast is a roster of talent, with Kaya Scodelario as the formidable Susie Glass and Daniel Ings playing the troubled Freddy Halstead. The inclusion of Vinnie Jones as Geoff Seacombe adds a layer of gravitas, reminding us of his iconic roles in Ritchie’s seminal works, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’. Yet, here he presents a character who’s a beacon of stability in the chaotic world that Ritchie is known for. The ensemble cast brilliantly captures the essence of Ritchie’s storytelling—complex characters caught in a web of intrigue, betrayal, and, surprisingly, humor.

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Theo James stands out with a performance that signals his readiness for leading roles in the industry. His portrayal of Eddie Halstead is both nuanced and compelling, showing a range that we glimpsed in his role in ‘White Lotus’. His dynamics with Kaya Scodelario’s Susie Glass are particularly captivating, as they navigate the murky waters of their intertwined fates with a mix of tension, alliance, and underlying conflict. Their performances, along with the rest of the cast, anchor the series in a reality that’s as much about the characters’ internal struggles as it is about their external conflicts.

The narrative structure of ‘The Gentlemen’ allows for a more expansive exploration of its themes compared to the constraints of a film format. Each episode is a carefully crafted piece of the larger puzzle, with Ritchie’s signature style of storytelling—quick-witted dialogue, intricate plot twists, and visually striking scenes—on full display. The series doesn’t shy away from the over-the-top elements that fans of Ritchie’s work have come to expect, but it balances these with moments of genuine emotion and depth. The backdrop of the English countryside, with its stately homes and verdant landscapes, contrasts sharply with the dark underbelly of the characters’ dealings, adding a layer of visual storytelling that enriches the overall narrative.

While it’s tempting to compare the series directly with the film, it’s important to appreciate the series on its own merits. Yes, the film boasted an impressive cast led by Matthew McConaughey, alongside other heavyweights like Charlie Hunnam and Hugh Grant. However, the series doesn’t merely ride on the coattails of its predecessor, it carves out its own identity within Ritchie’s universe. The characters are fleshed out with backstories and motivations that make them feel real and relatable, despite the often outlandish situations they find themselves in.

In conclusion, ‘The Gentlemen’ series is a testament to Guy Ritchie’s enduring appeal as a storyteller. It captures the spirit of his cinematic world while expanding on it in ways that only a series format can allow. The performances are top-notch, with Theo James leading a cast that brings depth and complexity to their roles. The series manages to strike a balance between the humor, drama, and action that fans of Ritchie’s films have come to expect, making it a compelling watch from start to finish. While it may not outshine the original film for some, it stands as a worthy continuation of the story, offering a fresh perspective on the themes of crime, loyalty, and the blurred lines between right and wrong.

SCORE: 8/10

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