Courtesy, Miramax

Movie Review: Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre

07:00 March 08, 2023
By: Fritz Esker

I tend to run hot and cold on writer/director Guy Ritchie. Sometimes his movies have a lively, creative energy about them (Snatch, The Man From UNCLE) and other times they feel like they're going through the motions (The Gentlemen, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is not quite as good as Ritchie's last film, the tough revenge caper Wrath of Man, but it still makes for a fun matinee at the movies.

Scary men have stolen a mysterious device that the British government is sure will cause global catastrophe, so they call in secret agent Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) and his team (Aubrey Plaza, Bugzy Malone). Billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant) is involved in the theft, and he's a fan of movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) so Fortune and his team blackmail Francesco into helping them get close to Simmonds.

The highlight of the film is Grant, who's terrific as the crass Cockney arms dealer. He's convincingly charming and convincingly threatening. He gets laughs in his scenes with Hartnett where Grant plays starstruck and Hartnett's character is initially terrified but quickly warms to the adulation he's receiving from his new fan.

As for the spy story itself, it doesn't break new ground, but Ritchie stages enough memorable set pieces to keep it exciting (an early team pursuit through an airport, Statham chasing Grant's consigliere on foot).

Operation Fortune did not get a lot of publicity before its release, as its distribution was delayed for a year because its original studio (STX) went bankrupt. Miramax picked up the film and previews for it started appearing online only about 3-4 weeks before its release date. However, it's worth a look in theater for fans of Ritchie & Statham.

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