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THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE

"Ripsnorting Movie About Brave British Commandos and Spies"

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What You Need To Know:

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is a war movie and spy thriller based on a true story from World War II. In January 1942, an elite force of British commandoes and spies conducted a mission against a German merchant ship off the west central coast of Africa. The ship regularly supplied weapons and food to German U-boats preventing trade ships from reaching Britain. The commandos are reckless, but courageous. When the mission suffers complications, they find ways around the problems with panache and humor, laced with a little bit of insanity.

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is an exciting, ripsnorting adventure movie and spy thriller. It’s as much a spy movie as it is a war movie, so it’s not filled with wall-to-wall action. Nevertheless, it has many combat scenes, lots of fighting and a high body count. Director Guy Ritchie and the cast do a great job. The movie isn’t very gory, but there are some bloody images, such as a slit throat. UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE also has two “f” words and one strong profanity. So, strong or extreme caution is advised.

Content:

(BB, PPP, ACACAC, L, VVV, S, N, A, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview with very strong patriotic content and very strong opposition to German National Socialism and antisemitism during World War II;

Foul Language:
Two “f” words and one strong profanity mentioning Jesus Christ;

Violence:
Very strong violence overall with a high body count and a few bloody images includes many gun battles, a German sailor gets his throat slit quickly, many point blank shootings as British commandos shoot many German soldiers and sailors, some hand-to-hand combat fights between the commandoes and the Germans, the commandoes use knives a lot to kill the Germans, it’s implied one commando uses an ax on one German off screen, a German is shot in the head close up with a small caliber pistol, and he falls down, explosions, British commandos sneak up on multiple German soldiers and sailors and shoot them, stab them or otherwise kill them, one British commando uses a bow and arrow to silently kill German soldiers (one arrow pierces two soldiers), implied torture, and British commandos come up on one British prisoner who has two electrodes attached to his chest with small circles of blood showing on is T-shirt and he complains calmly to them that the battery is still running;

Sex:
Brief innuendo two or three times, but not strong or extreme;

Nudity:
  Rear male nudity when a character glances into a room and sees an unconscious or dead nude tortured black man from behind, plus woman wears two slinky outfits (one shows some cleavage and one image shows off her upper thigh);

Alcohol Use:
  Alcohol use; 

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
  Plenty of cigarette smoking and some cigar smoking, but no drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Nothing else really objectionable miscellaneously speaking.

More Detail:

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is a World War II action movie about a British commando raid to destroy a ship the Germans are using off the west coast of Africa to supply its U-Boats, which are wreaking havoc on the supply ships keeping Britain afloat. Based on a true story but fictionalized, THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is an exciting, ripsnorting war movie and spy thriller, with a strong moral, patriotic worldview, but it has a high body count and brief bloody images, along with two “f” words and a strong profanity, so extreme caution is advised.

The movie opens in the beginning of the mission when a German ship boards the vessel that the British commandoes are taking to travel to Africa. Major Gus March-Phillips and Private Anders Lassen are pretending to be Swedish sailors while one other man hides below decks. The German captain treats them rudely while his sailors search below. Gus and Anders have some fun with the Captain. As the sailors below find the hiding place, Gus and his men start firing, with Gus and Anders pulling out hidden weapons. They soon dispatch all the Germans when another British commando emerges from the water and says he’s successfully planted explosives on the German ship in the distance. The German ship starts shelling their boat, but it blows up just before it can find the range to blow their boat out of the water.

Cut to several months earlier later. Prime Minister Churchill is being pressured in the late summer of 1941 by some of his military and diplomatic advisors to surrender to Germany, because the German U-boats are preventing Britain from getting the supplies it needs to continue the war and feed its people. If Britain doesn’t do something to drastically hamper the U-boats, it won’t be able to get those supplies. So, Churchill orders Brigadier Colin Gubbins, the director of operations for Britain’s espionage and sabotage department, to form a team to take out the main ship supplying the U-boats.

With help from Ian Fleming, who would later write the James Bond spy novels, Gubbins calls for Major Gus March-Phillips to lead a team. Gus is brought to them in handcuffs, apparently because he has trouble with insubordination. Gus tells Gubbins he’ll lead the team, if only he can pick his own men. You won’t like them, he warns Gubbins. “They’re all mad,” as in crazy, he says. “They’ll need to be,” Gubbins replies.

The mission is to destroy an Italian merchant vessel upgraded by the Germans and regularly filled with weapons and supplies being shipped to the U-boats. The vessel is stationed off the west coast of Africa at Fernando Po, a Spanish-controlled island in the Gulf of Guinea, right near the French-controlled area of Cameroon during the war. Gus and his men will be aided by two undercover agents, an African businessman who runs a casino and a British female spy, Marjorie Stewart. However, they need to free a spy under Gubbins, Geoffrey Appleyard, who knows about German operations in the area but is being held prisoner at a German camp in Africa on the way to their final destination.

Gus and his men raid the German prison camp using Anders’ ability with a bow and arrow for cover. However, complications ensue on their way to Fernando Po and when they get there. The complications add extra danger to everyone involved in the mission.

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE has taken a real-life major commando mission during World War II and embellished it. Like many such commando missions approved by Churchill in the war, Operation Postmaster was classified for 50 years. The history behind these missions, including the history of the exploits of Gubbins and men like Gus March Phillips, is truly fascinating in its own right and doesn’t need embellishment.

However, THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is a war movie that’s embedded strongly in the tradition of classic movies like THE GUNS OF NAVARRONE and WHERE EAGLES DARE, which were both, ironically, adapted from novels by acclaimed thriller writer Alistair MacLean. As such, UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is an exciting, ripsnorting adventure movie and spy thriller. It’s as much a spy movie as it is a war movie, so it’s not filled with wall-to-wall action. Nevertheless, it has many combat scenes and lots of fighting between the British commandos and the German soldiers and sailors. The commandos also get help from a local African prince who doesn’t like what the Germans have done on the island and in Cameroon. It turns out the prince went to Eton as a child, so his sentiments are firmly with the British Crown, not Hitler’s Nationalist Socialist army and navy.

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE has a strong moral, patriotic worldview. The movie’s main political theme is to neutralize Germany’s ability to disrupt British trade and prevent America form shipping troops to Britain when it enters the war, which Churchill is sure is going to happen. However, the movie does three strong profanities and obscenities, and lots of strong violence, which includes some slit throats and at least one head shot. There’s also a quick peek into a room where an unconscious tortured naked black man is shown from behind. Consequently, the movie is rated R. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong and extreme caution, depending on age and maturity level.

The good news is that, at the end of the movie, it honors the real-life soldiers depicted in the story with photos of them along with a few interesting facts. It’s good to remember these men and women, because some of them actually gave their lives in the service of their country. Freedom is not free.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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