Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)
OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE (2022)
Starring Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, Hugh Grant, Eddie Marsan, Peter Ferdinando, Lourdes Faberes, Max Beesley, Bestemsu Özdemir, Kaan Urgancıoğlu, Antonio Bustorff, Tim Seyfi, Nicholas Facey, Sam Douglas, Ergun Kuyucu, Oliver Maltman, Matthew Hawksley, Aksel Ustun, Zaid Muhammad Lashin and Amy Jackson.
Screenplay by Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies.
Directed by Guy Ritchie.
Distributed by Lionsgate. 114 minutes. Rated R.
You basically know what you’re going to get with a Guy Ritchie movie. There will be a team of wise-cracking British toughs (usually criminals or spies) traipsing across some spectacular locations, spinning some slightly sketchy plans, shooting up the place in an attempt to achieve their mission – which usually involves a boatload of money, drugs or black-market arms.
And the leader of the pack will usually be Jason Statham.
Statham is not necessarily the world’s most nuanced actor – in fact, to paraphrase an old quip about a different actor – he runs the emotional gamut from A to B. Which is okay in this type of situation, Statham stays in his lane and is very skilled at this type of role.
He always plays a tough guy who never quite raises his voice, but he has a way with a one-liner, and he can beat the crap out of a whole army. His character here, super-spy Orson Fortune, is allowed some quirky character traits – he is a fine wine connoisseur, believes in holistic living and needs to have an expensive vacation after every mission – but otherwise it’s pretty much standard Statham.
You know what you’re getting from the guy and thus, even though he is usually the lead in the film, it usually falls to the supporting cast to make the film either stand out or fall down.
Luckily for him (and for us), Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre has a strong supporting cast. More specifically, just four actors basically raise this above the formula film that it otherwise would be. Those actors are Hugh Grant, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett and Cary Elwes. They are – by far – the most entertaining parts of Operation Fortune.
Which is lucky, because honestly without them, the movie would be pretty underwhelming – a slick but formulaic action thriller which we have seen (and seen done better) often before.
However, because each of those supporting players brings something different and eccentric to the party – particularly Plaza and Grant – Operation Fortune turns into a relatively amusing way to spend a couple of hours.
The plot – as if it really matters – has a group of British spies (Statham, Plaza, Bugzy Malone and Elwes) using a Hollywood star (Hartnett) to infiltrate the lair of a billionaire philanthropist who just may be an arms dealer on the side (Grant). However, they are thwarted at every turn by the billionaire’s staff, criminals, and a nemesis group of spies.
Grant’s cockney billionaire Greg Simmonds is an odd mix of ruthless and fanboy, and Grant seems to be having a blast drilling into his contradictions. Plaza’s snarky computer hacker brings a much-needed burst of Americanness and estrogen to the proceedings. And Hartnett good-naturedly lampoons his own role of a shallow Hollywood action star.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre will not make anyone forget Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but in Richie’s very inconsistent body of work, it turns out to be one of the better ones. And really, what more can you ask or even expect at this point in the filmmaker’s career?
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2023 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 3, 2023.