It was a few years ago I said that Guy Ritchie was one of the most Hit or Miss directors of the last couple of decades. This was coming off of the heels of the 2017 flop ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ which was yet another low point for his career.
Every time Guy Ritchie tries to branch outside of his wheelhouse, the film always falls on his face.
With that said Richie’s last two films turned the corner yet again with strong outputs like ‘The Gentleman‘ and ‘Wrath of Man‘ that both landed in my top 10 best of the year lists for 2019 and 2021.
Ritchie’s latest film ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’ seems to be a return to his style of corky fun spy movies that we have seen over the last few years. After not working together for 20 years, Jason Statham and Guy Richie are back with their second film in the last 3 years hoping to replicate some of the same magic that they had in ‘Wrath of Man.’
‘Operation Fortune’ takes place in a world before the entire world was brainwashed into thinking that Ukraine was the good guy. A gang of Ukrainian mobsters manages to steal a device known as “The Handle” that has the power to control every computer operation in the world and the item is selling on the black market for over 10 billion dollars.
The British government hires Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to assemble a team that can retrieve the Handle before billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant) can sell it to the highest bidder.
Nathan hires super-spy Orson Fortune (Statham) to lead a team made up of Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and JJ Davies (Bugzy Malone). They travel to Spain seeking the courier intended to transport the Handle but discover that they are not the team that is hunting down Simmonds.
When compared to the best and the worst that Guy Ritchie has to offer, ‘Operation Fortune’ is a film that falls right down the middle in terms of quality content. Jason Statham still has the chops to be a leading man in Hollywood and he’s one of the few action Stars left whose name holds any weight.
Hugh Grant is another favorite from Guy Ritchie who doesn’t do anything more than what’s expected of him if you’ve seen it in prior movies such as ‘The Gentleman’ but brings tons of charisma. Where the film becomes uneven is with the addition of Aubrey Plaza. Plaza is known for her deadpan style of humor but in a straight-up action comedy, Plaza’s style tends to be more grading on audiences than humorous.
Plaza finds a groove later on when the movie is not asking her to be funny and plays a more straight spy character but most of her lines are the worst that the film has to offer.
British rapper Bugsy Malone is in the film as the film’s stoic muscle but the movie doesn’t have much for him to do wasting his character. The biggest flaw against the film is that many of the elements that it presents have been done many times so there’s nothing new that audiences are going to experience.
The film is still enjoyable as Guy Ritchie takes you across many countries watching some great set pieces along the way. Ritchie creates his own version of ‘Mission Impossible’ or ‘James Bond’ without being as complex as those stories can be.
The chemistry of this film is pretty strong and with a shortage of movies in theaters that entertain audiences, ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre’ is worth watching if you’re looking for an excuse to get out of the house.
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