Let’s get this out of the way: This is Guy Ritchie’s best movie since Snatch.
The story is complex and filled with twists and turns as well as double and triple crosses. However, the real strength of this fun movie is its characters/performances of which there are many. Instead of writing out a plot synopsis that is going to spoil everything I think I’ll just describe some of these characters instead.
Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey): Mickey is an ex-pat American that controls the marijuana business in Britain. He left the States to attend Oxford and turned his knack for botany into a crime syndicate of his own design. He wants to sell this business to the highest bidder and live the good life.
Rosalind Pearson (Michelle Dockery): Rosalind is Mickey’s cockney, tough as nails wife. She runs a “Gas Monkey” style auto shop that customizes high-end cars.
Raymond (Charlie Humman): Mickey’s right-hand man. He does Mickey’s dirty work and is good at but he’d rather be eating a delicious steak on his barbeque, or anything else really.
Coach (Colin Farrell): An Irishman that owns a gym where he trains fighters. Some of the fighters he trains are this group of idiots called “The Toddlers” who videotape themselves beating up random people and posting it on YouTube.
Lord George (Tom Wu): A Chinese crime boss that controls the Heroin business in London.
Dry Eye (Henry Golding) and Phuc (Jason Wong): 2 of Lord George’s henchman that want to buy Mickey’s business.
Fletcher (Hugh Grant): A sleazy tabloid photographer that is trying to blackmail Raymond and thinks he’s 5 steps of everybody else (Spoiler: He isn’t).
Big Dave (Eddie Marsan): Fletcher’s boss. He hates Mickey for insulting him at a swanky party and wants to ruin him.
Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong): A Jewish American crime boss that wants to buy Mickey’s business, but only wants to pay a fraction of the actual value.
Over the course of this movie, these characters all converge and interact in a myriad of unexpected and interesting ways that drive the narrative forward.
A final thought on the movie is it isn’t as funny as Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels but it’s much closer stylistically to those than something like Sherlock Holmes, The Man From U.N.C.L.E (which I enjoyed) or any of his other mainstream Hollywood movies.