If you’ve been following the latest developments in AR (Augmented Reality) gaming, you’ll know that the big AR/VR (Virtual Reality) companies have been going head-to-head, trying to reach the first mainstream hit. And while there have been a few attempts, with mixed results, the title that’s been getting the most attention lately is Wrath of Man (2021), a competitive online shooter that incorporates VR technology from the S21, the latest in Samsung’s line of VR gaming systems.
A new game has been released that is sure to be a smash hit. The game is called Wrath of Man and is set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by giant robots. It is the story of two heroes who must fight their way through the hordes of robots to save the world. The game is a great combination of RPG/Action platformer that is sure to make you scream in delight as you defeat wave after wave of robot enemies.
Wrath of Man was the first movie I saw in the theater after Lockdown started – the local theater near me doesn’t do this kind of nonsense of putting on masks throughout the movie – and I chose it specifically because I wanted to see a fun action movie with Jason Statham taking unholy revenge on the forces of evil. I got something very different than I expected, and it turned out to be the perfect film to return to. The Man’s Wrath surprised me, made me think, challenged my preconceptions about who almost all the characters were, and showed more clearly than ever what a huge hole the loss of cinema leaves in society during a major breakup. (Oddly enough, the last movie I saw in the theater before the lockout and the first one I saw after my return were both by Guy Ritchie, a director for whom I am rather ambivalent.) On a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles, a British immigrant, Patrick Hill, walks into the office of an armored car service and applies for a job. He struggles with the physical demands and gets the job, earning him the nickname N from his new colleagues. But when a heavily armed gang tries to hijack his truck, HH’s reaction reveals that he is much more than he pretends to be, and his employers and fellow security guards are divided between loving and fearing him. If this summary seems hollow, it’s because a lot happens in The Rage of Man and I don’t want to give any of it away. When I first saw the trailer, I thought it gave the whole plot away, but thankfully I was wrong. Orientation and Parole H uses the first half hour to teach viewers how money transport works, down to the details, such as the fact that the driver and his partner must identify themselves to a surveillance camera before the camera will let them into the warehouse. G realizes these things as the plot progresses, so it doesn’t feel like an exhibition just for the audience, even if it is for the most part. Once the action starts, it’s clear that we don’t know everything, but the beauty of this film is that no one knows everything, and the way Guy Ritchie unfolds the plot is ahead of some characters and behind others. Direction has a lot to do with narrative success. The film Wrath of Man is not linear; it jumps around in time, it leaves the main characters for long periods of time, and it shows certain events multiple times, from different points of view. The fragmented story avoids tedium and allows our questions to be answered over time and not immediately, leaving the mystery almost to the end. And just as important: It’s not confusing; you always know where you are in the story to stay involved. And the camera work is just as carefully prepared. In Rage of the Man, Ritchie offers spectacular images, but different from his usual hyper and slow motion images. Here he shoots from unexpected angles, revealing exactly the information he wants to reveal in a particular scene, while keeping some secrets hidden for later. The heist at the beginning of the game is a perfect example: It is crucial to know who can see and who cannot. Even the small moments that seem insignificant and unnecessary eventually pay off, as do all the angles from which they were filmed. This is probably the most mature work by Ritchie I’ve seen, and I consider it the strongest because it has no reflections. (Honestly, I never got to the end of Swept Away.) The score could have been stronger, though. It’s good, and it effectively wraps the film in a sense of dread, but it’s also monotonous and repetitive, and it gets boring fast. Behind the plot and direction of Rage of Man is a whole gallery of characters, far more complex and interesting than you might expect. Jason Statham is perfect for the role of N. because of his familiar on-screen persona; he’s the strong, silent male type, and he and N. make good use of that. Statham is masterful in his role, saying everything he needs to say with a snarl or a look, and he occasionally delivers a sentence – usually some sort of insult – with as much finesse as necessary. It’s not just male toughness; there’s a scene where he sits there while someone scolds him, and his silence is the perfect summary of how he feels, more powerful than a hastily typed dialogue could have been. (Another sign of Wrath of Man’s excellent direction is the incredible lighting in this scene; Statham’s accuser is bathed in daylight while he himself is shrouded in darkness.) As for my personal preference, I’d rather see more hand-to-hand combat than shootouts, because that’s where Statham is most interesting, but it’s not the movie’s fault if I want candy. The rest of the cast does not play well. N.’s colleagues are a group of alpha males – and one female alpha male, who has a few funny, subtle moments – and they are alternately repulsed and fascinated by the masculinity of their new recruit. Wrath of Man’s biggest weakness is in some of these scenes, as the teaser camaraderie between the Guardians is repeatedly overwhelming. Some moments feel genuine, and there are some good lines – most of which are Statham’s – but after a while it gets too forced, as if the writers decided everyone needed to say something clever all the time, but they ran out of clever things to say. Other characters become important too, but Wrath of Man works best when you don’t know who they are. The performances turned out to be ambiguous: Andy Garcia, Darrell D’Silva and Babs Olusanmokun are quite effective, while Josh Hartnett, Scott Eastwood and some of the youngsters are overplayed and a bit boring. The other actors are adequate, but nothing special; Jeffrey Donovan, Holt McCallany and Neve Algar are good, but anyone else could have done just as well. The Wrath of Man is a trippy film that lures you in with the promise of fun action and knocks you over with a complex crime story with layered characters and a Swiss watch plot. The cinematography is impressive without being overly stylized, and although some of the acting and dialogue leave something to be desired and the score gets boring after the same notes are repeated for the ninetieth time, it is an exciting film that manages to challenge and entertain you.
The Wrath of Man is a trippy film that lures you in with the promise of fun action and knocks you over with a complex crime story with layered characters and a Swiss watch plot. The cinematography is impressive without being overly stylized, and although some of the acting and dialogue leave something to be desired and the score gets boring after the same notes are repeated for the ninetieth time, it is an exciting film that manages to challenge and entertain you.
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