2023, Movies

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (2023, Guy Ritchie)

This is a bit of a slapdash heist ish film with a pretty high profile cast, seemingly not that great of a budget and, as Jenn put it, the MacGuffiniest MacGuffin. But I laughed.

Things get off to a rough start, as the film rushes through its set up, with some pretty stock situations and characters. The only real spin on Fortune, is that he’s a high-end wine addict. Otherwise, we’ve seen this before, many, many times. The dialogue feels just as hackneyed though it’s clearly intended for humour. (At one point Elwes says Mogadishu when he means to say something else. That might have happened more than I noticed.)

Once the movie settles in, with our characters actually trying to do something, it improves markedly, though the dialogue is often still a weak spot. I can’t quite decide if I just got used to the rhythm of it or it improved over the course of the film, but I found myself laughing more as the movie went on. (Particularly due to Grant’s ridiculous character, which is the highlight of the movie.)

The cast is Good or Great for this type of film, based on reputation, but Plaza – whom I’m a fan of – in particular feels miscast a lot of the time, or she’s acting like she’s in another movie. Early on, it feels like she’s rushing her lines and I couldn’t figure out if she was doing a bit, making fun of rapid-fire information deliveries in films, or if she’s just bad at it. Depending on the scene, she’s better, but she also isn’t very good at firing a gun. At one point she just breaks character so she can explain a joke, like she would in an interview. Statham is doing his thing so he’s fine. Everyone else is varying degrees of fine, except Grant who is clearly having a great time.

The film has some shockingly low budget moments, particularly Elwes’ plane, which doesn’t actually look like a plane, and the boat that is supposedly in the Mediterranean but is just sitting somewhere. I’ve noticed this a few times in streaming movies by big name directors and we suspect they are spending more money on the cast compared to the sets, compared to traditional theatrical releases. Anyway, it’s jarring when you notice it.

The whole thing is funny enough but is a little roughshod.

5/10 because I laughed but it could easily be a 4/10

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