The fifth time Jason Statham has appeared in a Guy Ritchie movie, “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre,” and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is more like ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ than ‘Wrath of Man’ in this fairly straightforward spy-action adventure with a good amount of humor sprinkled in.
With key plot points involving Ukrainian foes and facing extended release delays due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Guy Ritchie’s seemingly forgotten Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre finds the colorful director returning to familiar territory with an equally familiar partner in crime in the form of Jason Statham. However, while on paper everything points to yet another The Gentleman/The Man from U. N. C. L. E. like Ritchie’s venture, sadly Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre falls short of expectations.
Operation is an odd effort from Ritchie who has all the tools at his disposal to ensure that this project has the same pizazz and smarts as his classics Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrell’s but is unable to elevate Operate. Ritchie occasionally displays the directional flair that made him one of the most interesting directors to establish himself in the late 1990s and early 2000’s.
As the crew tries to find out what Hugh Grant’s arms-dealing Greg Simmonds is up to on the black market, they enlist the help of Josh Hartnett’s Hollywood heartthrob Danny Francesco to aid their investigation. The film follows the exploits of Jason Statham’s suavely named wine-loving vacationing Orson Fortune and his crack team of special agent operatives, which includes Audrey Plaza’s scene-stealing Sarah, Bugzy Malone’s impeccable JJ, and Ritchie’s over the top and international action comedy Operation has the potential to be a sleeper smash with audiences and critics alike, but as it stands, the Wrath of Man director’s follow-up is unlikely to generate much excitement in any region.
One glaring reason for Operation’s lackluster quality can be attributed to Ritchie’s script, which he co-wrote with Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies. The director’s frequently witty and frequently genuinely quotable one-liners only occasionally stand out in this undercooked piece of screenwriting, which leaves little room for its talented actors to do much of note with their characters or their wisecracking, and while Statham is typically Stathamly, the film otherwise suffers from an operation falls short of providing us with the type of memorable characters we have previously found in Ritchie’s best crime/action comedy, with the exception of Plaza’s off-kilter Sarah and Grant’s scene-chewing Simmonds.
It would have been wonderful to see Operation find its mojo in a much more notable way. While the movie seems to come alive in a bigger way in its late act stages, for the majority of Operation’s runtime, you won’t find much to get excited about. This is unfortunate because the man behind the whole thing can frequently provide the kind of fun and showmanship the movie is all too frequently lacking. Operation Fortune is a watchable and amusing diversion, but Ritchie seems to be in sleepwalking mode as he underutilizes the instruments at his disposal, which might have easily resulted in a much more memorable experience than what we get here.
Overall, “Operation Fortune” is a competent, attractive action-agent thriller that emulates Mission: Impossible but falls short of its caliber. However, if you don’t have too high of expectations, a viewing is good and you will surely get your money’s worth. The elegance and sophistication of “The Gentlemen” should not be anticipated, nevertheless. I won’t likely remember “Operation Fortune” for a very long time.
Cast Of Film
The ensemble is strong, and Jason Statham is usually entertaining to watch, but the storyline is flat and unimpressive. It lacks the typical entertaining energy we expect from Guy Ritchie’s flicks. The lines are somewhat monotonous and forced, just like some of the characters who appear to be there at the producers’ behest.
Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett, Kaan Urganciogiu, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, Lourdes Faberes.
Is Operation Fortune suitable for young people?
The MPAA has given the film a rating for “language and violence.”
How much did Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre cost to produce?
Given that Deadline estimates the film’s production costs to be approximately $50 million, its commercial viability may not be entirely lost.