The Gentlemen: Royalty meets money, guns, drugs and...Jesus?

BD gentlemen

The Gentlemen is an action, crime, and comedy television series created by Guy Ritchie. PHOTO | POOL

A spin-off, a book or television series that follows and is connected to a previously successful book, film, or television series.

I was momentarily confused when The Gentlemen, a series on Netflix, was announced. This confusion stemmed from the fact that a movie with the same name, directed by the same director, was released back in 2019. When the trailer for the series was released last year, I was surprised by how closely it resembled the 2019 movie.

Despite different actors, it maintained the same look, tone, and concept. It became clear the series was going to be a spin-off. When it comes to spin-offs in Hollywood, I have my doubts. Recently, John Wick got a spin-off which, for lack of a better word, was weak. Therefore, I was naturally sceptical going into The Gentlemen, despite my genuine love for the original movie.

The Gentleman

This series is a Guy Ritchie production, brace yourself you are going to hear me repeat this statement a lot. The best way to describe it without referencing the 2019 movie is, a bit of the HBO hit show Succession, a touch of (in terms of the protagonist arc) Better Saul and a lot of any other Guy Ritchie gangster movie.

The Gentlemen is an action, crime, and comedy television series created by Guy Ritchie (writer, and director) for Netflix. It serves as a spin-off of Ritchie's 2019 film of the same name. The series stars, Theo James, Kaya Scodelario, Daniel Ings, Joely Richardson, Vinnie Jones, Giancarlo Esposito, and Ray Winstone in lead roles. While Guy Ritchie directed a few episodes, the other directors did a commendable job maintaining his style and creative approach throughout.

The story

When aristocratic Eddie inherits the family estate, he discovers that it's home to an enormous weed [cannabis] empire, and its proprietors aren't going anywhere.

A Guy Ritchie Story

What constitutes a quintessential Guy Ritchie story? For those unfamiliar with him think of creative editing, British gangsters, fast-paced, witty, and well-written dialogue, British pop/hip-hop music, abrupt bursts of violence, intriguing utilisation of slow motion, distinct British/Scottish accents, eccentric multicultural yet still British characters, a pronounced sense of fashion, numerous moments of epiphany, and drug-related themes.

His portfolio includes movies like Snatch(2000), Lock , Stock and two smoking Barrels (1998), Revolver (2005), RocknRolla (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009 and the 2011 sequel), Alladin(2019), The Gentlemen (2019), and Wrath of Man (2021) among many others.

The good stuff

This is a quintessential Guy Ritchie production. The costumes, like any other Guy Ritchie production, are visually striking. If you're looking to introduce a teenager to gentleman fashion, this is it. It especially stands out with the character of Stanley Johnston with a "T", played by Giancarlo Esposito.

The show is highly entertaining; each episode is a well-written and paced story that effectively utilises the 50-minute runtime for each episode, The sequences of events are meticulously planned out, ensuring that tension steadily builds.

The performances, thanks to solid casting, are excellent and complement the strong writing. Being a Guy Ritchie production, the show features a plethora of eccentric and over-the-top British characters who effectively drive the story from humour to moments of tension. I could dedicate the rest of this review solely to discussing the characters, as each one is distinct in their characterisation, outfits, and mannerisms.

While the story may not offer anything entirely new, given its similar tone and theme to the 2019 film, it works exceptionally well due to the time spent developing the characters and the world. The protagonist's arc and motivation are clear and easy to follow, and although the story is complex, it never feels overwhelming. The plot mechanics, setups, and development effectively engage the viewer as the story unfolds.

The cinematography presents cinema-quality visuals, but this time with a grounded but still remaining stylish.

There are several memorable and genuinely funny moments throughout the show, from a scene involving a "chicken" to encounters with gipsies and even a Hitler reference, all delivered with impeccable comedic timing.

The music, coupled with clever editing, is utilised effectively, embodying the quintessential Guy Ritchie style.

What you might struggle with

If you're not already a fan or haven't seen anything by Guy Ritchie, you may initially find his storytelling style disjointed, especially in the first episode. However, once you grasp it, the experience becomes more enjoyable.

The true value of most Guy Ritchie stories lies in the dialogue. If you're a casual Netflix viewer who spends time on TikTok and Instagram while watching, you might not fully appreciate it. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and laden with clever wordplay. It's the kind of dialogue that you remember later on and find yourself randomly laughing out loud.


This is a fantastic show, especially if you loved Snatch, The Gentlemen, and any other gangster stories from Guy Ritchie. For casual viewers, this is one of those shows that keeps getting better as it progresses. It is exceptionally well-produced and offers a refreshing alternative if you're feeling weary of the formulaic productions typically found on Netflix.

X: @stanslausmanthi

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