The Gentlemen: Guy Ritchie's first series on Netflix an absolute hit

Created, produced and written by Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen follows young officer Eddie Horniman (Theo James) who unexpectedly inherits his father's 500-year-old country estate instead of his older brother

by Sededin Dedovic
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The Gentlemen: Guy Ritchie's first series on Netflix an absolute hit
© Rotten Tomatoes Coming Soon / Youtube channel


There's always something secure and familiar when you sit down to watch a Guy Ritchie gangster film. There are the tousled characters, reliably foolish criminals, each with their scheme. There's that prize that can only be won through cunning dealings.

There are brilliantly edited sequences. And that soundtrack just keeps on coming. It's a filmmaker hitting all the beats and then going home satisfied not to have messed with what wasn't broken. "The Gentlemen," a spin-off of Ritchie's 2019 film of the same name, is now getting new life as an eight-part miniseries.

The difference? It now has a much broader scope, with episodes ranging from 40 minutes to over an hour. This marks the first time the filmmaker has ventured into serialized storytelling. He directed the first two episodes and co-wrote the entire season with Matthew Read.

Yet, even with plenty of time on his hands, Ritchie simply repeats his hits: more gangsters, more heists, endlessly more dialogue.

The Gentlemen | A Guy Ritchie Series© Netflix / Youtube channel

The main protagonist, Eddie Thea James, is suitably striking, polished yet discontent as his everyday job grows darker.

When he inherits the family estate and takes on the role of guardian to his arrogant brother, he begins investigating a marijuana empire nestled beneath the villa, an operation overseen by criminal boss Susie (Kaya Scodelario), who is now under threat.

Though playing a supporting role, this is definitely Scodelario's show. She gracefully navigates Susie's meaty monologues, full of elaborate business jargon and thinly veiled threats; a patient presence amidst a male-dominated army.

The Gentlemen | A Guy Ritchie Series© Netflix / Youtube channel

However, the series' adeptness at sticking to a tried-and-tested formula sometimes hampers it. The pace occasionally slows, Ritchie's trademark freneticism now unchecked, and the story stretches with too much exposition.

Some scenes with hand-drawn notes on screen feel unnecessary and distracting. "The Gentlemen" saves itself with stylish sequences like neon-lit displays of marijuana cultivation or brisk handling of vast sums of money to a soundtrack of distinctly Liverpudlian rap.

Perhaps a fewer number of episodes could have saved "The Gentlemen" from these pitfalls. Instead, the series offers minimal change based on Ritchie's already familiar successes. Created, produced, and written by Guy Ritchie, "The Gentlemen" follows young officer Eddie Horniman (Theo James), who unexpectedly inherits his father's 500-year-old rural estate instead of his older brother.

The Gentlemen | A Guy Ritchie Series© Netflix / YOutube channel

Guy Ritchie's first foray into series-making since "Snatch" might seem like déjà vu for his fans. The British director has repurposed the same name of his 2019 film "The Gentlemen" for his new Netflix spin-off, starring Theo James in the lead role.

The British actor, whom we've also seen in the second season of the hit series "White Lotus," will portray Eddie Horniman, the estranged son of an aristocrat who inherits the family estate, along with one of the largest "farms" in Europe.

The eight-episode series exists in the same world as the film, with impressive names among the cast such as Matthew McConaughey, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Charlie Hunnam, and Hugh Grant. Created, produced, and written by Guy Ritchie, "The Gentlemen" follows young officer Eddie Horniman (Theo James), who unexpectedly inherits his father's 500-year-old rural estate instead of his older brother.

The family estate and business contain more than Eddie initially thought, and he quickly discovers a cannabis farm, which is part of a much larger empire, on his land. The British actor believes his character is essentially a good person, but he corrupts when he develops a taste for violence and power.

"Guy has always spoken about the idea of Michael Corleone - someone who's good and tactical, but slowly their soul gets somewhat sucked out of them because they're seduced by violence," Theo revealed. Taking on the farm and starting a new business brings a collection of "unsavory characters" into Eddie's privileged life, and chaos ensues.

Ray Winstone plays the criminal Bobby Glass, who runs a drug gang from an open prison. His daughter Susie, played by Kaya Scodelario from "Pirates of the Caribbean," maintains the family business on his behalf. The series also includes Daniel Ings, Vinnie Jones, Joely Richardson, and Giancarlo Esposito.

"The Gentlemen" has rightfully become a new Netflix hit, currently topping the list of most-watched titles. However, this isn't the first time Ritchie has taken inspiration from a film he created and expanded its world into a series format. "Snatch," a film from 2000, received a similar treatment in 2017. Great series indeed.

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