Summary: Special agent Orson Fortune and his team of operatives recruit one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars to help them on an undercover mission when the sale of a deadly new weapons technology threatens to disrupt the world order.

Year: 2023

Cinema Release Dates:  12th January 2023 (Australia), 20th April 2023 (Thailand), TBA (UK), TBA (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, China, Turkey

Director: Guy Ritchie

Screenwriter: Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, Guy Ritchie

Cast: Ozan Ayhan (Sergi), Max Beesley (Ben Harris), Antonio Bustorff (Victor), Sam Douglas (Saul Goldstein), Cary Elwes (Nathan Jasmine), Lourdes Faberes (Emilia), Nicholas Facey (John), Peter Ferdinado (Mike), Hugh Grant (Greg Simmonds), Josh Hartnett (Danny Francesco), Ergun Kuyucu (Qasim), Eugenia Kuzminia (Marcia), Connor MacNeil (Bodhi), Bugzy Malone (JJ Davies), Oliver Maltman (Arnold), Eddie Marsan (Norman), Bestemesu Ozdemir (Vivienne), Aubrey Plaza (Sarah Fidel), Tim Seyfi (Alexander), Jason Statham (Orson Fortune), Kaan Urgancioglu (Casa), Aksel Ustun (Yatom)

Running Time: 114 mins

Classification: M (Australia), G (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)


Kyle McGrath ‘s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre Review:

A deadly attack! A massive explosion! Now a mysterious new techno weapon is on its way to the highest bidder and Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) is the man to get it back!

‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre’ is the latest film from stylish director Guy Ritchie. Although known much more for his British gangster flicks with ‘Operation Fortune’ he takes another stab at the world of action comedy spy films. In a story which treads some familiar ground a team of special agents are assembled under the eye of Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes). Their task is to discover where this secret weapon is, who has it, and what it even does!

The capable although extremely costly Orson Fortune is joined by computer specialist Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and point man JJ Davies (Bugzy Malone). Soon they learn that the sale of this superweapon is being brokered by Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). A corrupt billionaire with a man crush on Hollywood action star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett). Using Francesco as a ticket into Simmonds’ world, Fortune and crew aim to intercept the sale before competing agents can beat them to the prize.

While I do consider myself quite a fan of Ritchie’s work his output has been a little hit and miss for me. Many of his gangster films are classics, he surprised me with an inventive twist on ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and the uncharacteristically dark ‘Wrath of Man’ remains my favourite film of 2021. However both his attempted franchise starters ‘King Arthur’ & ‘The Man From UNCLE’ fell totally flat. 

‘Operation Fortune’ lays somewhere in the middle neither blowing me away nor being altogether unwatchable. While Ritchie’s former producer Matthew Vaughn found success with the raunchy ‘Kingsman’ trilogy little is done to give ‘Operation Fortune’ more edge than you’re average action film. Ritchie’s stylish editing can still be seen throughout such as his trademark jumping backwards and forwards in the storyline. This doesn’t truly enhance the film like it did with ‘Sherlock Holmes’ however, it is just Ritchie being Ritchie for the sake of it.

A few more bursts of action especially in the films middle act would help greatly. There’s only so many times you can watch these characters covertly sneak in and out before it becomes redundant. In fact the charade of ‘an agent standing in as a contact for a meeting’ plays out more than once. A tighter script would elevate its characters which are the film’s greatest asset.

Hartnett I think is a little underused as the actor out of his element in this world of spycraft. Although I loved it when ‘Francesco’ is forced to go ‘fast and furious’ relying on his ability to do his own stunt driving in the films action packed chase sequence.

Plaza and Statham have a chemistry to be sure and much of the films comedy comes from their butting of heads. The same can be said between Statham and Elwes as ‘Jasmine’ tries his best to reel in the lavish lifestyle and expense account of ‘Orson Fortune’.

But ‘Operation Fortune’s standout is Hugh Grant as the deliciously sleazy black market dealer Simmonds. You can’t help but love his smarminess from his first scene as he recounts an anecdote about someone who has “the funny type of cancer”.

Statham doesnt have the greatest range as an actor but that is perfectly fine. He is a charismatic action movie star and he carries this film well. Unfortunately here he is lacking an antagonist to truly play off of. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Whether it be Bond, John Wick, Ethan Hunt, John McClane or Orson Fortune a strong hero needs a strong villain. As great as Hugh Grant is he doesn’t fit the bill. While rival agent ‘Mike’ (Peter Ferdinando) and his team are kept too far in the rear to be truly menacing only popping up as the plot needs them to, mores the pity.

Ritchie and Statham’s fifth collaboration is a standard action comedy which could have been much more. Featuring perhaps a few too many sub-plots which distract from its core narrative and major strengths. However with a strong cast of characters, some great humour and explosive action it still makes for a hell of a fun night at the movies.

Kyle’s rating Out Of 5

Alex First, David Griffiths, Greg King and Peter Krausz ‘s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre Review:

Alex’s rating Out Of 5

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Greg’s rating Out Of 5

Peter’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture rating Out Of 5

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