Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man sits comfortably within the director’s wheelhouse. It’s a gritty, no-frills action/revenge story set in the real world. While this film may not be among his best, it features some of the more exciting visuals of his filmography. From the very first frames, this film showcases sweeping drone footage, which gives it a sense of scale within its urban setting. On that note, the film takes place in modern-day LA. Ritchie effectively captures the city in a way that complements the story. Ultimately, the film’s visuals do the heavy lifting of the storytelling.
The very first shot of Wrath of Man is a high-altitude drone shot. It moves slowly and establishes the setting of the city. From there, the camera quickly pans down and zooms into the focal point of the scene. The film features several similar shots. It seems like Ritchie is overtly embracing the drone-like quality of the footage. In many cases, aerial shots set within urban landscapes often mimic helicopter footage seen in police chase news footage. In this film, Ritchie seems keen on displaying the type of drone shots we’ve come to recognize. It adds an interestingly modern approach to cinematography.
City of Angels
Los Angeles has served as the backdrop for thousands of films throughout the years. In Wrath of Man,the city complements the film’s story exceptionally well. The film deals heavily with armored cars and their drivers. There is a dramatic story set within those elements, but many of the plot details expand from there.
With the story in mind, Ritchie effectively captures the urban sprawl of downtown LA and captures some of the city’s underbelly that only locals would recognize. We see lots of obscure back alleys and side streets that are typical of the area. All of that accentuates the maze-like qualities of the city as the armored cars navigate the urban jungle. Ritchie’s choice of color adds extra grit to the visuals, highlighting the polluted air of the city. It’s a visual choice that’s iconically Ritchie.
While Wrath of Man may not rank amongst the top of Guy Ritchie’s films, its cinematography and overall visual style offer an effective complement to an already intriguing storyline.