(director/writer:Guy Ritchie; screenwriters: Marn Davies/Ivan Atkinson/based upon the film “Le Convoyeur,” written by Nicolas Boukhrief, Éric Besnard and directed by Nicolas Boukhrief; cinematographer: Alan Stewart; editor: James Herbert; music: Christopher Benstead; cast: Jason Statham (H), Alex Ferns (John), Holt McCallany (Bullet), Scott Eastwood (Jan), Jeffrey Donovan (Jackson), Laz Alonso (Carlos), Josh Hartnett (Boy Sweat Dave), Niamh Algar (Dana), Andy Garcia (Agent King), Laz Alonso (Carlos), Raúl Castillo (Sam), DeObia Oparei (Brad), Post Malone (thug-rapper), Eddie Marsan (Terry); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Guy Ritchie, Bill Block, Ivan Atkinson; MGM/Miramax release; 2021-USA/UK)

“A frantic vengeance thriller.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A frantic vengeance thriller by Brit filmmaker Guy Ritchie (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”/”Snatch”) that shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  It’s a remake of “Le Convoyeur,” a 2004 French thriller by director Nicolas Boukhrief. The story shifts to Los Angeles, making this more an American heist film than a Brit one. It’s flimsily written by Richie, Marn Davies and Ivan Atkinson. It tells a familiar story of greed, betrayal, and dishonor among thieves. It seems to be having a blast with all the twists it lets out of the bag, other wise is just a generic revenge crime film that couldn’t be more predictable. This is the 4th time Ritchie and Statham have worked together, and all their films were entertaining even if they were mediocre.

Spoiler: in next paragraph.

The brooding, tight-lipped  and angry H (Jason Statham) is hired as a security guard for an armored truck company (Fortico armored car delivery company), as he replaces one of the two drivers killed in a botched bloody violent robbery that takes place while he’s being interviewed for the job (H’s son was the teenage civilian killed). H covers up his tracks of who he is until later in the story, as things will be revealed about his past, his real identity and agenda.

We note how H’s good with a weapon, loves tossing around quips and is a top-grade driver. His boss (Eddie Marson) feels pleased with the hire, especially after he thwarts a robbery a week later by blowing away all five of the robbers. H teams-up to drive with his trainer Bullet ( Holt McCallany), who now feels safer.  But H’s other company driver, Boy Sweat Dave (Josh Hartnett), is wary of him.

In one flashback after another we observe H’s encounters with an ex-soldier Jackson (Jeffrey Donovan) and his quick-tempered protégé Jan (Scott Eastwood), who held up the same trucks he’s now protecting. The soldier is planning to score big on a last heist for him, with Jackson using a number of southern California soldiers from his former military squad in Afghanistan.

There’s  lively banter between the set piece action scenes. You can also add on the presence of FBI agents to the picture and watch their cynical boss Agent King (Andy Garcia) go into operation mode.

The macho film has little emotionally to offer, as it doesn’t seem to matter who lives or dies, or walks away with the loot from the robbery. The characters are all one-dimensional.

The action scenes are built around gunplay and car chases, as the film lives or dies by its action and the likability of Statham. Even when things eventually get explained, it still doesn’t make much sense.

REVIEWED ON 5/10/2021  GRADE: B-