Guy Ritchie appears to have misplaced his mojo with this international spy caper that goes places with all the energy of a balloon running out of air
Still from 'Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre'
Film: Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre
Cast: Jason Statham, Hugh Grant, Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, Josh Hartnett
Director: Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie appears to have misplaced his mojo with this international spy caper that goes places with all the energy of a balloon running out of air. Glamorous international locations like Madrid, Morocco, and Cannes might have been quite a lure if there was enough fun in tracking down an instrument that had the potential of world decimation. But that was not to be. This is mainly recycled shtick with Jason Statham playing a role in a Guy Ritchie film for the fourth time.
Orson Fortune(Statham), who suffers from a host of phobias( we are told), is an in-demand operative for the British government represented by Nathan (Cary Elwes). When Orson eventually appears we just see a laconic action hero minus the phobias mentioned. Orson’s task is to track down a stolen briefcase that contains a mysterious object about to be sold on the black market. It’s not known what's in the briefcase, but everybody concerned believes it to be so dangerous that it would bring peril to earth if got into the wrong hands.
Orson’s team includes J.J. Davies (Bugzy Malone), who appears to be a GPS expert and back-up sharp-shooter, and Sara Fidel (Aubrey Plaza), a computer expert who can hack into anything. In order to infiltrate an extremely elite party hosted by billionaire George Simonds (Hugh Grant) on his yacht, they take movie star Danny Francesco’s (Josh Hartnett) help. That’s basically when this so-far-limp spy engagement gets a little more appealing. Hartnett, returning to the big screen after a long hiatus, is a sight for sore eyes. His presence enlivens this dead escapade and makes it just about bearable.
Guy Ritchie's narrative style here doesn’t feel as edgy or racy as of yore. He continues to mess up the structure with non-linear narrative feints but the frequency and urgency are diminished and the trademark snarky wit and fun elements are missing. The characters seem insipid and the action leans to the verbal and perfunctory rather than the explosive. The attempt to scale up spectacle with fight choreography fails to garner amiability. None of it feels hard-hitting or fun. The dialogues are rather boring. There’s no real flow of energy in the proceedings here. The script by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, and Marn Davies has nothing new to offer. Even the elements of parody are not played out broad enough to be a spoof. This one feels like it's running on empty.