"Exciting, Funny Spy Movie Marred by Excessive Foul Language"
What You Need To Know:
OPERATION FORTUNE is a spirited, funny action comedy with some exciting set pieces and engaging comical performances. However, not everything or everyone meshes perfectly together. For example, the good guys hardly seem to be in any real danger, despite all the jeopardy they face. OPERATION FORTUNE has a solid moral theme. The good guys are trying to stop the sale of a dangerous device that threatens the world. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution, however. That’s because OPERATION FORTUNE has nearly 20 gratuitous “f” words, two strong profanities, a high body count, and a few jokes about the villain’s obsession with a male movie star.
OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE is a sleek spy movie about a team of British spies trying to stop a stolen device from getting into the wrong hands and creating a global economic crisis. Directed by Guy Ritchie, OPERATION FORTUNE: RUSE DE GUERRE is a spirited, funny action comedy with some exciting set pieces and engaging comical performances, but it has many gratuitous “f” words, strong violence with a high body count and not everything or everyone in the movie meshes perfectly together.
The movie opens with the head of one British spy agency calling in a team leader named Nathan, played by Cary Elwes in one of several funny performances. Some kind of device or weapon has been stolen. The job is to stop a billionaire named Greg Simmonds, who’s secretly an international arms dealer, from selling the device to the highest bidder. The problem is, no one knows what the device does except Simmonds and his potential clients.
Nathan wants to send their mercenary spy, Orson Fortune, played by Jason Statham, to lead the field agents that will stop the sale and retrieve the device. Nathan’s boss is reluctant, because Fortune demands expensive perks, but Nathan convinces him that Fortune’s the best man for the job.
When Nathan approaches Fortune, however, the no-nonsense spy is on vacation and refuses to go. So, Nathan gives him some extra perks. The joke here is that Nathan also consumes a lot of Fortune’s perks, which includes expensive wine and gourmet meals.
Fortune gets upset when he learns that his favorite communications man and computer expert is on another job. Nathan assures Fortune that the replacement, a woman named Sarah played by Aubrey Plaza, is exceptionally talented in her job. Completing the team is a weapons expert and expert sniper, JJ, played by rap artist and actor Bugzy Malone.
The team has a hard time finding out what the device actually does and who the potential buyers are. So, Fortune decides they need to go undercover to infiltrate the billionaire arms dealer’s inner circle. They learn Simmonds the arms dealer is obsessed with the Hollywood action star Danny Francesco, played by Josh Hartnett. They also learn that Danny secretly slept with his sister-in-law. So, they blackmail Danny into coming along with them. Fortune will pose as Danny’s business manager and Sarah will pose as Danny’s new girlfriend.
The team finagles an invitation to a Simmonds fundraiser for orphans of war, to be held on his yacht. As expected, Simmonds is thrilled to have Danny the movie star on his yacht. So, he invites Danny and Sarah to stay at his mansion in Turkey.
A few obstacles face Fortune’s team. First, Simmonds heavily flirts with Sarah under her pretend boyfriend’s nose. Second, the billionaire is protected by a virtual army, including an expert female security officer. Third, a rival spy from another British agency is also trying to get his hands on the stolen device. Finally, the team learns that the other job Fortune’s favorite computer expert is doing is working with the rival spy, who intends to sell the device himself and not give it to the British government.
OPERATION FORTUNE, whose release was delayed a year because several of the bad guys were from Ukraine, is meant to be a sleek spy entertainment. For the most part, it fulfills that promise. It’s a spirited, funny action comedy with some exciting set pieces, including Jason Statham’s trademark martial arts prowess. Besides the aforementioned Cary Elwes as the team’s agency handler, Hugh Grant is hilarious as the billionaire arms dealer. Josh Hartnett as the self-obsessed actor is also very funny. The rest of the cast contributes some humor as well, including Statham as the no-nonsense superspy.
There are some glitches, however.
For example, Aubrey Plaza seems a little out of her depth here. For example, she’s given some crude one-liners that come out of left field and make her seem like she’s trying too hard. That said, her character gets better as the story unfolds.
Another glitch, which may bother some people more than others, is that the good guys hardly ever seem to be in any real danger. That may be Hugh Grant’s fault. His villain is not as ruthless as perhaps he should be. Neither is the rival spy, whose motivations are a bit murky.
OPERATION FORTUNE has a moral theme woven throughout the story and plot. The good guys are trying to stop the sale of a dangerous device whose use will cause a global crisis and destroy millions if not billions of lives. This is a refreshing change of pace from Director Guy Ritchie’s popular gangster movies. That said, the story is mostly driven by the plot, including the action and the comedy, so the movie’s moral theme mostly stays in the background.
The violence in OPERATION FORTUNE isn’t especially gory or graphic. However, the movie does have a high body count, especially during the third act. A bigger problem is that the movie has about 20 gratuitous “f” words and two strong profanities. Also, the lewd dialogue includes some homosexual jokes about the major villain’s obsession with the movie star. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for OPERATION FORTUNE.
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