Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre (2023)

Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, Guy Ritchie
Cast: Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Hugh Grant, Josh Hartnett, Bugzy Malone, Eddie Marsan
Seen on: 6.1.2023

When a deadly new weapon that nobody really understands yet goes missing, Norman (Eddie Marsan) hires his fix-it-guy Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to fix it. And Nathan trusts nobody more than Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) to do the job. Together with Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and JJ Davies (Bugzy Malone), they form a crack-pot team that goes after weapons dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). But Simmonds is no easy target, they need an in. They find it in actor Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) of whom Simmonds is a great fan. Danny is not a great operative, but hopefully he will do to achieve their mission.

Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre is an extremely disappointing film. It doesn’t work that badly on paper, but it lacks any sense of rhythm and timing, making it a jarring experience in execution.

The film poster showing the main characters artfully arranged with Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) towering over everybody. They are all wearing fancy clothes.

Operation Fortune tries to be funny, and there is a reason that “comedic timing” is such an established phrase: timing is incredibly important for jokes to work. Operation Fortune should be taught in film school as an example of how NOTt to do it. I don’t think that there is a single punchline that comes at the right time. More than once, I lagged behind, still processing what I had heard when the film had already moved on. (I’m confident enough in my own processing power, and I have seen enough comedies were this wasn’t the case that I’m comfortable with saying it’s a them problem and not a me problem.) And usually, when I caught up with it, the jokes were more cringeworthy than anything. I am honestly not sure whether it’s the editing that ruined the film’s rhythm, or if it was already a problem on set, I can just say that the problem was immense.

The only one who actually manages to wrangle some fun from the film is Hugh Grant. I quite like that at this stage in his career, he decided to just have fun with things and ham it up. But the rest of the cast gets fed to the wolves by the film. I mean, when not even Aubrey Plaza is funny in your film, you have a serious problem.

Sarah FIdel (Aubrey Plaza), Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) and JJ Davies (Bugzy Malone) walking away from Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes).

The action part of the film is nothing to write home about. It wouldn’t have needed to be if the comedy had worked. In that case it would have been perfectly sufficient. But it just isn’t strong enough to pull the film from the edge that the failing comedy pushed it over.

As I watched the film, it took me a while until I realized just how bad it is. And not just because it looks glitzy and has awesome locationsa nd everyone is beautiful. I just didn’t want to believe what I was seeing. But in the end, there was just no escaping it: this film sucks.

Sarah FIdel (Aubrey Plaza) and Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) walking hand-in-hand down a fancy corridor.

Summarizing: better watch another Ritchie film.

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