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April 7, 2023 / Elevation Pictures

Starring: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Josh Harnett, Hugh Grant

Directed By: Guy Ritchie

Super spy Orson Fortune and his team of operatives recruit Hollywood's biggest movie star to help them on an undercover mission to stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order.

Written By Darren

Rating 4.5 out of 5

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre makes its long awaited debut after multiple delays, once again serving up a healthy dose of Guy Ritchie’s signature style in this exciting spy caper, led by an all star cast who bring their A game.

Guy Ritchie has a cinematic flare to his directorial style that immediately notifies the audience you are watching one of his films. His films can be characterized by crude and foul mouthed humour, an extravagant aesthetic to the film, and outstanding action sequences that feature great slow motion aspects. While he is best known for his gangster films, my favourite film of his was his first foray into the spy genre with 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.LE., which was an homage to the 1960s James Bond films. His latest film sees Ritchie once again return to the spy genre, this time with a modern take on the genre that has the makings of a great blockbuster experience, resulting in one of Ritchie’s most exciting films.

After a new and unknown deadly weapon is acquired by billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds and put on the market for sale, special agent Orson Fortune must find a way to prevent the sale. To do so, he recruits Hollywood superstar Danny Francesco, who happens to be Simmonds’s favourite actor, to distract Simmonds so Fortune and his team can infiltrate Simmonds’s organization to prevent the weapon from falling into the wrong hands and destruction of civilization as we know.

From the second the film starts, you know you are watching a Guy Ritchie film. The swear words are flying, but it is his grand vision that washes over the audience. The action sequences are outstanding, delivering high octane moments that thrill from start to finish with stylish cinematography to energize the sequences. From quick cuts to capture the chaos of the action, tons of explosions, stylized slow motion to break down the action itself, and lots of sweeping shots to capture the large-scale nature of these sequences, Ritchie’s style is on full display. From a design point of view, the costumes and sets are grand, full of colour and elegance that pop off the screen and enthrall the audience with the exciting world of billionaires and spies they are visiting.

When you’ve seen one Ritchie film, you know how his stories are going to play out. They all have a similar plot structure that rely on a twist reveal in the final act of the film, offering lots of laughs and excitement along the way. Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre follows that structure closely, ensuring that there is never a moment where you are left bored. The entertainment starts right at the first scene, as Ritchie and his team of writers slowly build the anticipation and stakes leading towards the final act, creating this larger than life spy thriller. In terms of inspiration, Ritchie is emulating the spy thrillers of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s goofy yet action packed, which is the realm in which Ritchie works best, and the result is one of the most entertaining films of the year so far.

What truly makes this film an incredibly fun watch is the cast. Jason Statham always makes for a great lead in an action film, and reunites with Ritchie for their fourth film together. In terms of becoming super spy Orson Fortune, Statham easily slides into the role. But it is the comedic elements where he truly shines, getting another great mix of action and comedy to showcase his dry sense of humour that has created some standout performances previously in his career, most notably in Paul Feig’s Spy. Also reuniting with Ritchie is Hugh Grant, and Grant kills it as Greg Simmonds, crafting this absolutely obnoxious and egotistical villain. Every second he is on screen, Grant relisheses in the dastardly plans of his character, hamming it up, resulting in a villain right out of a 1970s James Bond film. It’s such an entertaining performance from Grant, following off his great villainous role in Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, making me eager for their next collaboration.

For his second outing with Ritchie, Josh Hartnett is great as Danny Fransesco. While crafting this full of himself actor, Hartnett captures a boyish wonder as Danny is placed in the world of spies and arms dealers, having a natural charm and charisma that makes his performance a delight! It’s a much bigger role than he had in Ritchie’s previous film, Wrath of Man, and hopefully the next step in his big Hollywood comeback. Though, it is Aubrey Plaza who steals the entire film as Sarah, Fortune’s tech and comms person. I cannot think of an actress more perfectly made for a Ritchie film than Plaza, as very few actresses can match his wit and profound use of vulgar language so well. His style of humour works perfectly with her dry, biting and wicked sense of humour, and she excels every moment she is on camera. Easily stealing the film from the rest of the cast, I’m already anxiously awaiting Plaza and Ritchie’s next collaboration because their first outing was a perfect match for both of them.

Outstanding action sequences, wickedly funny from start to finish, and with a style that creates a true blockbuster experience, Guy Ritchie is firing on all cylinders with Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre. While Ritchie’s signature style and foul mouthed humour draws you into this grand spy thriller that is a throwback to the James Bond films of Pierce Brosnan, it is the excellent cast and the scene stealing Aubrey Plaza that makes Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre the perfect action comedy that is a high octane and wildly entertaining ride from start to finish!

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