The Stream: It is a run-of-the-mill spy movie, not particularly original.
The Big Screen: A funny cast that works together like a well-oiled machine.
The Final Bill: A funny cast does its best with a paint-by-numbers spy flick.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
Stars: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett, Bugzy Malone
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
Rating: R for language and violence
Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
Production Companies: Miramax, STX Films, AZ Celtic Films, Tencent Pictures
Platform: In theaters March 3, 2023
Notable Trailers: Renfield, The Pope’s Exorcist, The Flash, Fast X, Sisu, John Wick: Chapter 4
Welcome back to Stream to Big Screen! After a very weak beginning of the year in terms of movies, March has been providing a lot of diverse offerings for our viewing pleasure. There are some with a lot of fanfare like Creed III and Scream VI, and there are the more low-key, non-franchise films like the spy, action comedy, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre. However, it feels like Operation Fortune may be the first in a line of sequels to come. Here’s whether it’s worth your fortune.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is a spy, action comedy starring Jason Statham and directed by Guy Ritchie. Statham plays an eccentric, super-spy, Orson Fortune, who is hired to lead a team of operatives to intercept a covert black-market deal. The team of operatives includes Aubrey Plaza, as the technology whiz, and Bugzy Malone, as the muscle. As they travel from location to location tracking this deal, they encounter an eccentric billionaire played by Hugh Grant, and enlist a vapid movie star played by Josh Hartnett as part of the team. Stuff gets blown up, cars get crashed, and, of course, hijinks ensue.
Guy Ritchie directed this movie, and it has his usual brand of quick, dry humor and action. Remember The Gentlemen? It kind of feels like that only more directly focused on a spy mission. The problem with this movie is that it is so unoriginal. This plot comes from every other movie about a spy, which is pretty boring. I don’t think there is one clever twist. I can’t even really say that the Guy Ritchie style saves it because I feel like Guy Ritchie has already made this exact movie before. In fact, I’m pretty sure Hugh Grant is playing the same character he played in The Gentlemen in this movie.
I will say that the cast is good. Even though I feel like Jason Statham plays the same character in every movie, he is good at the character. He has nice chemistry with Aubrey Plaza and Cary Elwes. They both play off of his dry humor really well. In fact, I forget that Statham can be funny. I’ll also note that Hugh Grant is good at playing weaselly villains. It seems like that’s what he plays most of the time. Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes and Josh Hartnett all have nice moments as well.
(Side note: When did Josh Hartnett come back to the movies? I was so confused. Remember when he was supposed to be the next big thing and then what happened? Anyway, Josh Hartnett is back, I guess.)
If this movie is worth seeing, it is because the cast came together and added life to an otherwise ho-hum plot. Yes, there are car chases, helicopter chases, shoot outs, fights and explosions, but every movie like this has that. There needed to be some life outside the boring plot. The cast does well enough together to make the movie enjoyable. I don’t know that a sequel is necessary though.
Ultimately, Operation Fortune is a decent spy, action comedy. The cast does its best to save what is otherwise a paint-by-numbers plot. There are definitely better spy movies, but this one isn’t horrible. It just doesn’t feel necessary. Nevertheless, it is entertaining enough for a bowl of popcorn, but you’ll really enjoy it at home when it comes to streaming, which will probably be pretty soon.