Spoilers are suckers for a long title.

I don’t think the title suits the movie to be honest. It’s not a war movie. The poster looks like a money scam. All that being said, you’ll get some entertainment value here. It just feels a little bland for a Guy Ritchie film (I had to check halfway through the film that I had not read that wrong) but it does the job. Some of the gangsters are supposed to be Ukrainian, an awkward detail which is the possible reason it was held back from being released for a year.

(Credit: Miramax)

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (2023) was directed by Guy Ritchie and written by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies. The team of Orson Fortune (Jason Statham), Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and J.J. Davies (Bugzy Malone) are assembled by Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to work for the British government. The mission is to recover a secret device stored in a hard drive before eccentric billionaire and arms dealer Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant) sells it to the biggest bidder. The angle is to gain Simmonds’ trust by enlisting the help, via blackmail, of his favorite Hollywood action star: Danny Francesco (Josh Harnett).

Now that we have the general premise, let’s dismantle any expectations of subversion. Statham plays the action scenes, mostly alone or with minimal assistance from Davies. Plaza is playing her known wisecracking acerbic kind of humour, she also doubles as the team’s computer hacker. Harnett is the only one playing against type, actually acting as a movie star that is out of his depth in a world of criminals and special agents. Plaza gets to play against Harnett a couple of times and at least it seems they seem like they have some of a banter. They also try to set a friendly rivalry between Plaza and Statham, but she might as well be throwing jokes against a wall.

Mainly I felt that Statham was in one movie and the rest of the cast was in another. Does it matter? Not much. You’ll see Orson mostly taking down the bad guys alone, but you never feel he’s in any danger. On the other hand, when Danny and Sarah are invited to Simmonds’ luxury villa in Turkey it does feel like a more engaging scenario with their safety at stake. Actually the closest rapport formed was between Harnett’s movie star Danny Francesco and Grant’s billionaire Greg Simmonds. Grant plays his gangster persona, one he’s well acquainted with, and does a decent job in all his scenes.

Lightly recommended with popcorn and some reservation. Yes, it’s an action comedy flick by Guy Ritchie. I don’t know if Jason Statham just wanted to do the movie by himself. Aubrey Plaza has perfect her sassy self and I felt she was in her element with some of her cast but not everyone. Josh Harnett did some solid work and was a team player. Hugh Grant was pretty much on easy street, playing a role he’s used before like wearing a jacket. If you’re in the mood for some mindless fun, it’s worth a watch.

That will do for now.