Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is a consistently entertaining action spy thriller carried by Jason Statham’s combination of brute-force action and deadpan comic relief.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, we review the 2023 film Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, which does not contain spoilers.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is a consistently entertaining action spy thriller. The movie may also be the director’s most mainstream, considering how mercurial his films can be. (Or, to be accurate, his characters). Along with a good cast with excellent chemistry, the movie is carried by Jason Statham‘s combination of brute-force action and deadpan comic relief.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre Review and Plot Summary
The story follows Orson Fortune (Statham), a spy with an elite set of skills. The type that builds your reputation within the spycraft world and makes you a hot ticket. The flip side is that higher-ups learn to deal with your massive-sized ego. That’s Nathan’s (Cary Elwes) specialty. The British government hires its well-oiled machine of agents ready at a moment’s notice. Besides Fortune, you have the stoic and responsible J.J. (British rapper Bugzy Malone), who can be just as deadly with his fists as he is with a sniper rifle. The usual third in their quartet is Mike (Peter Ferdinando), who is strangely missing.
To replace Mike is Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza), a cunning I.T. expert who is about to get a taste of fieldwork. The group recruits Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), the world’s biggest movie star. Why? Because their target is a billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). A real character about to sell a sinister new weapon technology called “The Handle” is a fanboy. This eclectic group of operatives pretends to be the star’s team of security and influencers in the hope of traveling the globe to prevent a global tragedy. Of what? I’m not entirely sure, but these Ukrainian mobsters mean business.
Written by Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson (The Gentleman), and Marn Davies (Wrath of Man), Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is fun and full of disarming charm. Much goes to Statham, who has an undeniably entertaining back-and-forth strife with Elwes’s Nathan. Plaza’s uncontrollable ability to be a bit of a funny odd-duck is present no matter how hard she tries.
However, Plaza plays the straight woman for most of the film. Either next to Hartnett, a somewhat inspired choice as an aloof movie star with an elevated opinion of his self-importance. The other is Grant’s Simmonds, who delivers Ritchie’s signature cockney slang and punk rock dialogue. He is dressed all-black villain in any Sergio Leone western but is now outfitted like an aging Ken Doll wearing Rod Roddy-influenced wardrobe. Grant is too much fun in the role here.
While many may have issues with the first act that starts the silly premise of adding a Hollywood megastar into an espionage plot, I found it fun and engaging. Where the script falters is the third act, where the story takes a twist, taking the villainous character and making them a quazi anti-hero type. This could be refreshingly different than most, but the film is a gluttonous piece of entertainment in the first place. By making this switch, a spectacular action scene to put a cherry on top of the action picture would have been preferred to its somewhat downplayed approach.
Is Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre good?
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is a good action spy adventure picture, one that you may see in any summer movie release pre-pandemic. Yet, Guy Ritchie’s signature lens elevates the experience, which could have gone down a bleak road like The Misfits but ended just short of The Italian Job. Either way, Ritchie delivers Hollywood summer thrills while that famous sign in the city of angels is dusted with snow for the first time this century.
A welcomed change of pace on both counts.
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