OPERATION FORTUNE – Review by Gadi Elkon

Guy Ritchie’s latest creation is possibly his most opulent, but is it worth your time and money?  Here is my review of OPERATION FORTUNE.

Super spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Reluctantly teamed with some of the world’s best operatives (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their globe-trotting undercover mission to save the world.

Ritchie’s ability to deliver an entertaining witty joy ride is hard to argue.  Operation Fortune sub title Ruse de Guerre or “Ruse of War” showcases the ever changing pace that is a staple of a Guy Ritchie film experience.  Guy reteams with Jason Statham for a 5th time allowing the action star a chance to live as lavishly as the well-named Orson Fortune.  What carries this film though is the constant flow of the dialog with the jet-setting action.  The loose-lipped Ritchie language isn’t as thick and confusing as his early work but now replaced by an uber-macho vernacular.  The hidden gem in this film is the amazing presence of Aubrey Plaza into the Ritchie universe.  As American operative, hacker and art enthusiast Sarah Fidel, Aubrey steals every scene.  Whether a sultry seductive exchange or a vicious verbal assault she is always one upping and impressing her fellow cast.  Hugh Grant seems to relish playing slimy billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds and Cary Elwes stoic calm highlights two game veteran actors.  A Ritchie fav Eddie Marsen is on point as usual as Norman and recent fav Josh Hartnett fully embraces his tongue-in-cheek movie star figure Danny Francesco.  I’m highlighting the cast because that is another staple of Ritchie and even new comer Bugzy Malone shines as the youthful role of JJ.  A slew of bad-guy types populate the globe-trotting landscape at play in this film.

Ritchie brings back a solid group of his normal main crew but his first feature film work with costume designer Tina Kalivas is of note.  Her vibrant impact on the film mirrors the fancy cars and homes that create the billionaire war games.  With all the constant twists and turns it is helpful to know that at least everyone will be looking fucking fierce.  Granted Statham’s inability to sweat in this film is concerning on many levels that never seem to be addressed in the script.  Minus that incredible medical feat the film looks freaking amazing.

I’ll lastly comment on the fact that Ritchie’s films have a theatrical quality for the communal humor felt throughout.  There are so many lovely one-liners and witty tongue tying moments that help accent the performances.  I tend to be of the belief that Ritchie’s best work is his funnier more thoughtfully comedic films.  Operation Fortune’s delays haven’t deadened the fun of the wild journey Orson and his team undertake.

A damn fun time.

OPERATION FORTUNE

Director: Guy Ritchie

Written By:  Guy Ritchie, Marn Davies, and Ivan Atkinson

Cast: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, and Hugh Grant.

MPAA Rating: R

Genres: Action, Comedy, Thriller

Selig Rating: 4 stars

Runtime: 1 h 54 m

Release Date: March 3, 2023

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/ show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .

1 Star – Total waste of time.

 

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