It’s always a treat to go to a movie and just have fun. Guy Ritchie’s latest, OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE, is one of those films. Per usual, boasting a very talented cast and a clever, fast-paced script, director Ritchie and his two co-writers, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, have managed to pull off another action-packed thriller with enough humor to keep everyone engaged.
Beginning in London somewhere within an unnamed intelligence agency, Knighton (Eddie Marsan) is instructing one of his members, Nathan (Cary Elwes), to recruit the best spy available to retrieve an unknown stolen item which is being called “The Handle” and comes with the hefty cost of $10 billion. Despite his outrageous demands, Nathan knows the only man for the job is Orson Fortune (Jason Statham).
Orson’s favorite teammate for this kind of work, Mike (Peter Ferdinando), has been contracted by a rival covert operation, so Orson must make do with newbie, Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza), a cyber-tech genius, and JJ (Bugzy Malone), who is skilled at comms, weapons and driving.
Their target for information is a billionaire arms dealer, Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant), who is obsessed with movie stars, most notably Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett). Blackmailing Danny into helping, Orson and his crew take off for Turkey to save the world with Mike and his operatives close behind.
Ritchie has assembled quite an interesting group of actors to successfully orchestrate the shenanigans in OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE, many of whom have worked with him before. Statham, without a doubt, is perfect for the role of Orson. His one-on-one combat skills are amazing --- and amazingly choreographed --- and he’s so delightfully droll. He and Plaza work well together --- they have splendid comedic timing. And she definitely blossoms as the only female in their tight-knit little group of spies.
Hartnett, Malone and Elwes are equally appealing. Hartnett is especially charming as the hapless movie star in over his head, but determined to be more like Greg. And seriously, Grant is downright perfect as the greedy, starstruck billionaire, who also happens to be incredibly ruthless. Hartnett and Grant complement one another ideally.
The clothes, the jewels, the jets, the wine, the villas --- the magnificent settings all around ---come together to make OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE a first-rate action comedy. Ritchie has once again proven he’s a master at this sort of thing. It’s a fun and entertaining moviegoing adventure --- don’t miss it!
Opinion: See It Now!
Fans of Jason Statham’s rock-em/sock-em style will find much to like in his latest collaboration with director Guy Ritchie. It’s called OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE and Statham’s character, Orson Fortune, is hired by an unnamed intel agency --- in the form of Knighton (Eddie Marsan) --- to schmooze billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant).
The goal is to find out what exactly is worth $10 billion to Simmonds and who has it. Eventually, of course, Orson and his team --- including Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) and JJ (Bugzy Malone) --- do learn of “The Handle”. To aid in their conversations with Simmonds, they recruit one of the world’s most popular movie stars, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), and Simmonds is starstruck. He’s also desirous of a rendezvous with Sarah who is posing as Danny’s girlfriend.
OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE is an entertaining romp accompanied by equal parts mayhem. Orson is fearless and his devastating punches render a host of thugs in this film completely helpless. Orson also has expensive tastes, especially fine wine, which are prerequisites if he is to accept the job.
Grant is devilishly funny in the villain’s role. Plaza is superb as she alternates between playing up to Simmonds’ flirtations and then getting serious about her role as a cyber-tech wiz who fills team leader Nathan’s (Cary Elwes) and Orson’s earphones with directives about what to do, where to go, etc. Hartnett is also quite likeable as the movie star trying desperately to play himself.
Along with two other screenwriters, Ritchie’s script is fast and loose. A film like this deserves a second viewing if only to slow it down and digest the humor. Ritchie and Statham’s relationship goes back over 20 years to LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS which marked Ritchie’s feature debut and Statham becoming a legitimate star.
The only weak spot in this movie is the presence of a rival covert operation --- headed by Mike (Peter Ferdinando) --- which wants to steal what “The Handle” represents. This portion of the movie’s arc doesn’t add much to the goings-on and is unnecessary.
Opinion: See It Now!