I have a soft spot for a Guy Ritchie movie. I usually know what to expect, fun characters, double-crosses, intrigue, crazy action, and snappy dialogue. So I was psyched to see Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre. After watching the film, while it was predictable, it was everything I expected, with a side dose of satire poking fun at Hollywood and actors.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre is a spy action comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie and written by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies. In the film, operative Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) is recruited by Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to help recover a device known only as “The Handle” that could disable nations. Working with the world’s best agents, Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and J.J. Davies (Bugzy Malone), the group tracks the item to billionaire weapons dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). In order to succeed, the group recruits Hollywood star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them save the world. But with interference by another team of top spy operatives, will the team be successful?
First things first. This film is heavy on the comedy aspects. While it does have great action, what kept me entertained the most was the snappy dialogue, double entendres, and satire. There are some great lines in the movie that will make the audience laugh out loud, particularly from Aubrey Plaza and Hugh Grant. One of the funniest situations was the bromance that was set up between Danny Francesco and Greg Simmonds. There is also an action scene with Jason Statham that, while dark humor, will leave the audience laughing as well. But if you’re looking for a standard action film, this isn’t it. But that just makes it better, in my opinion.
The spy elements are not original, but they are set up with intelligence. These are not agents who are incompetent or bad at their jobs. Sarah is excellent at hacking into systems. J.J. knows how to support Orson. They use Sarah’s skills to get information from Greg Simmonds’s own systems and to blackmail Danny into helping them.
Orson Fortune doesn’t just use martial arts. He is able to take down bad guys by exploiting their weaknesses, uses the assistance of his team, and handles a gun like a pro. Even Danny Francesco brings skills to the table, as the team gets him to use his acting skills to be a different version of himself. Cary Elwes’ character, Nathan, keeps the team supplied, both in tools but also in information. The humor that accompanies this team is in how they react to situations and the snappy dialogue, not in their skills.
The action is another aspect that is well executed, but I expect nothing less from Guy Ritchie. What is changed is that the action is not the sole focus of the film. The action is accomplished in coordination with intrigue and spy skills. When Orson Fortune fights, Sarah gives him information on his opponents. What I appreciate is that the action is used to support the story, the intrigue, and the need to get “The Handle” back, so it never goes over the top. While there are explosions, fights, and car chases, they only happen as needed. And when they are in the film, they are done well, with skill and grace.
The performances are as good as the comedic elements. Jason Statham’s character isn’t strongly different from most of his other characters, but this film allows him to demonstrate skills other than martial arts. His character has a dry wit, and he portrays that with skill, executing his lines with panache. Cary Elwes plays his character with both charm and annoyance. The delivery of his lines adds to the humor, and he has a great dynamic with Jason Statham. Bugzy Malone as J.J. Davies doesn’t dominate the screen, but his character enhances this ensemble cast as he adds comedy to certain scenes. The standout is Aubrey Plaza. She steals just about every scene she’s in while managing a sexy and confident presence. When she is not stealing scenes, Hugh Grant and Josh Hartnett both are with hilarious lines and a bromance to die for. Every time one of them is on the screen, you know you’re going to be laughing.
While the film is funny and action-packed, it is predictable, with very little we haven’t seen in a spy film. But while it is predictable, it is just what you want from a Guy Ritchie film. It has quirky memorable characters that are played by actors who are stellar in their performances, hilarious comedy that satirizes Hollywood, and snappy dialogue. It entertains, and that’s just what you want from a spy action comedy.
If you love Guy Ritchie films, you will love this movie. The cast is fantastic, with incredible performances, particularly by Aubrey Plaza, Hugh Grant, and Josh Harnett. The characters will grab your attention, the comedy will keep you laughing, and the action will be enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. I loved every moment of the movie.
Rating: 4 briefcases out of 5.
Official Website: Operation Fortune | Official Website | Coming Soon
Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre
In the film, super spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Reluctantly teamed with some of the world’s best operatives (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their globe-trotting undercover mission to save the world.
OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE opens exclusively in theaters nationwide on March 3, 2023.