OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE
Starring: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, Hugh Grant, Peter Ferdinando, and Eddie Marsan
Director: Guy Ritchie
This review probably will sound more negative than I intend it to, but above all else, know this: Operation Fortune is tremendously entertaining. If you like stylized action and director Guy Ritchie’s signature banter, you’ll enjoy yourself. That said, it’s very rushed, and despite everyone on screen having a ball, their characters don’t ultimately matter. They are merely pawns to move the breakneck story to the next spy-themed set piece as quickly as possible (which leads to some really sloppy edits). It’s like…if Mission: Impossible is orange juice, Operation Fortune is Sunny D – similar and not near as good, but still serviceable in its own way.
Though not as tight as his best fare, Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune brings together everything you love about his films. His regular collaborators are having a blast (I’m particularly fond of Bugzy Malone), but it’s the fun that newcomers Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, and Josh Hartnett are having that make Ritchie one of my favorite directors. His fast-paced, cat-and-mouse mysteries, witty screenplay, and massively entertaining characters very rarely miss. Fortune’s plot is straightforward and the dialogue is slightly ham-fisted, but the overall product is as rewatchable as Snatch and The Gentlemen. And that, my friends, is a success.
Operation Fortune is enjoyable for what it is: a Guy Ritchie vessel for actors to spout cheeky one-liners and look stylish while doing it. Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza get to physically joust with one another, while Josh Hartnett and Hugh Grant make for a ridiculous pairing. Though incredibly light on actual plot outside of “Keep the McGuffin Away from the Bad Guys,” it's still an entertaining watch if all other options have been exhausted. Ritchie proves he still knows how to utilize Statham in the best ways possible, and his eye for action sequences has rarely been sharper.
It’s safe to say that Operation Fortune is the Guy Ritchie-est film Guy Ritchie has ever made, with its suave subversion of gentlemen spy characters and engaging, though difficult to follow, plot. The cast works well together, especially Aubrey Plaza, who gives the femme fatale trope a welcome twist, and Hugh Grant unsurprisingly steals nearly every scene he’s in. But the action scenes leave something to be desired, even if the amount of tension that builds up to them is a ride in itself. Spy movies aren’t typically my thing, but Operation Fortune is a blast.