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Review – Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre – “If Guy Ritchie was to make a Mission: Impossible movie.”

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre is basically if Guy Ritchie was to make a Mission: Impossible movie. It stars Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone and Hugh Grant.

We follow Statham’s Orson Fortune, a super-spy for the British Government. He likes fine wine, private jets and using all of the budget for every operation much to the chagrin of his handler, Nathan (Cary Elwes). A macguffin, called The Handle, has been stolen and so Fortune puts together a team (Aubrey Plaza and Bugzy Malone) to find out what it is and get it back from Billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). They end up blackmailing Simmonds’ favorite movie star, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), into helping them distract Simmonds.

What this means is we follow the team to various places around the world. They scout things out. Make a plan. Do the plan. Then go on to the next thing.

It is a pretty decent action thriller with some of that typical Guy Ritchie flair. The cast do a great job. Grant is the standout as the sleazy Greg Simmonds. He seems to be on a roll lately with these kinds of characters (Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Amongst Thieves has another example currently on the big screen) and he chews the scenery for all its worth. Aubrey Plaza is also great as the hacker of the team. She has a snarky, quippy type of thing going on that we have seen her do before but setting it in the world of espionage does give it a fresher feel. Hartnett as the movie star out of his depth brings moments of levity to the proceedings. His budding friendship with Simmonds brings some excellent development to what have could have been a one-note character.

Bugzy Malone and Jason Statham bring the muscle. Malone’s character is in the background for a lot of the film, but as it moves on, he steps out of the shadows and becomes an enjoyable member of the crew. His wine tasting moment was a highlight and seemed to break the ice for him.

The Stath does what the Stath does well. Fight scenes, action scenes mixed in with some sarcastic comments. I always enjoy Jason Statham in action movies. I would have loved for them to have done more with the apparent quirkiness of Orson Fortune which is mentioned at the beginning of the film. It promised some funny character moments, but never really came to anything. It should have been a show not tell type of thing, but instead we just got told about it.

I mentioned at the beginning it was a Mission: Impossible type film. I think it is more an M:I film based on the old TV series. There are also elements of other old TV shows – The Saint, The Persuaders, and Department S – in the film. The sense of spies enjoying the high life, jet-setting around the world has more of that old-school vibe, rather than James Bond.

Operation Fortune was an enjoyable watch yet it wasn’t great. There was something missing from it and I am not quite sure what it is. There was no stand out action scene. No amazing twist. That could be just because I have seen so many similar types of films, but there was nothing to make it lead the pack. Maybe it couldn’t give a definite tone, veering from pure comedy to action to back again without the transition going smoothly. Going back to the TV feel of it, the story did feel quite episodic. Almost like the script was originally a mini-series and then condensed for the a film.

If you are after a fun action thriller then Operation Fortune is worth checking out. Just don’t expect it to blow your mind.

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre will be exclusively launching in the UK on Prime Video on April 7th.

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