Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre
March 1st, 2023
MOVIE: OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE
STARRING: JASON STATHAM, AUBREY PLAZA, CARY ELWES, HUGH GRANT, JOSH HARTNETT
DIRECTED BY: GUY RITCHIE
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 2 STARS (Out of 4)
For a brief moment it looked like Guy Ritchie was on the right track, with The Gentleman and Wrath of Man, he had made a turn away from his blockbuster flops. In his recent film, Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre, he’s trying to keep the streak going, but sadly something is off. It’s a mixture of espionage and undercover hijinx that never quite gels. The cast is big and eventually there is a bit of enjoyable action but Operation Fortune is a lot of fools gold.
The title relates to our main character, Orson Fortune (Jason Statham), the leader of a team of special agents. The head of the department is Nathan (Cary Elwes), who plays it by the books, but has outside agents that like to poach talent and beat him to the punch. He still assembles a top team for Fortune that includes tech genius Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) and skilled fighter JJ (Bugzy Malone). The plan is to intercept a package with a hard drive, what’s on the drive they don’t really know, but they can’t let it get into the hands of billionaire mogul Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant in his rare form). The idea to figure out exactly what Simmonds is up to involves his favorite Hollywood star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) going undercover to help smoke out his diabolical plans.
From the get go things seem off. The plot is lacking in any aspects to grab onto. The plotting is clunky, the comedy is sporadic, and the entire cast often feels out of place. Lucky for the actors involved they can force their way through the mess, with Plaza showing off her sharp witty side, Statham flexing the comedic muscles he showed off in Spy, and Hartnett given a chance to play the stunted actor forced to stop playing pretend. All of it would work, if only the story was streamlined and simple, but instead works in too much for us to care.
It’s undeniably a sad and confusing bust on top of it. The screenplay, written by Ritchie, with co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, seems to be pushing against Ritchie letting his style flourish. Grant is undoubtedly having a blast reading Ritchies text, picking up from what he did in The Gentleman and Paddington 2– yet the rest of the cast is trying to keep up with him. By the time we get to the end, where the spy heist simmers to a boil, it feels like Operation Fortune is grasping for being a cooler, more comedic version of Mission: Impossible.
The ending concludes with some well done explosions and shootouts but at that point it was all too late. It’s a shame because Wrath of Man is undoubtedly one of the best heist films in the last five years– and Ritchie and Statham proved they make a great team– yet here it all goes to waste. Operation Fortune had all the makings to be another hit for Guy Ritchie. Instead– it was all a Ruse.
OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE IS PLAYING IN THEATERS FRIDAY MARCH 3RD, 2023.
Written by: Leo Brady