Special agent Orson Fortune and his team of operatives recruit one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars to help them on an undercover mission when the sale of a deadly new weapons technology threatens to disrupt the world order.
Guy Ritchie’s latest movie (released straight to Amazon Prime in the UK) is a spy action comedy called ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’, starring Jason Statham as Orson Fortune, a spy tasked with tracking down a stolen tech device that is believed to be in the hands of billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). After a couple of unusual detours (he really was an odd fit for the live action ‘Aladdin’), he’s back making his geezer and spy action comedies, with this movie following on from ‘The Gentlemen’ and ‘Wrath of Man’ (which was pretty good, but underseen). This is pretty much the film you expect it to be – bright, breezy light entertainment that you’ll have forgotten about by the same time the next day, which is OK, but a bit of a disappointment from a man who once made such crackers as ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.
The movie centres on a classic MacGuffin in the form of a high tech device known as ‘The Handle’ that a series of ‘bad’ guys want to get their hands on. To retrieve it and to prevent it getting into the wrong hands, the British government hires Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to recruit a team to infiltrate Greg’s operations, beginning with a luxury yacht party off the coast of Cannes. Alongside Statham we have Aubrey Plaza’s hacker Sarah, Bugzy Malone’s computer expert JJ Davies and Josh Hartnett’s movie star Danny, who for improbable reasons is convinced to take part in the scheme to trick Greg. From this point on this group travel to various places across the globe (a seeming pre-requisite for spy movies these days) as they enter into a cat and mouse game with Greg and another rival who is attempting to get his hands on ‘The Handle’. There are fun moments in how this plays out and I’m very much enjoying Hugh Grant’s recent performances where he seems to be relishing turning his natural charisma towards villainy, but at no points does this feel like it’s doing anything that we haven’t seen many times before.
‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’ is a light hearted spy caper from Guy Ritchie, with some enjoyable performances and a story that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but there isn’t much more to it than that – perhaps why it has gone straight to streaming.
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett, Bugzy Malone, Eddie Marsan, Peter Ferdinando, Lourdes Faberes, Max Beesley, Eugenia Kuzmina, Bestemsu Özdemir and Kaan Urgancıoğlu