Movie – ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’

By John Mulderig | OSV News

NEW YORK (OSV News) – Writer Mark Twain famously admonished the readers of his novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that “persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished.” The light-hearted tone of the stylish comic spy yarn “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” (Lionsgate) suggests that it should be approached in an equally relaxed mood.

So, while the film’s script – co-written by director Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies – will not withstand exacting ethical scrutiny, the grown viewers to whom the movie is suited should bear in mind that it’s a frivolous fantasy with no application to the real world. By doing so, they can join everyone on screen in having a healthy dose of fun with the glossy proceedings.

Things kick off with an opening twist: Although the British government, as represented by an intelligence bureaucrat called Knighton (Eddie Marsan), knows that bad guys have stolen something highly valuable, they don’t know exactly what. So Knighton engages security impresario Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) to solve the mystery and nab the villains.

Jason Statham, Josh Hartnett, and Aubrey Plaza star in a scene from the movie “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre.” The OSV News classification of the theatrical version was A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. (OSV News photo/Lionsgate)

Nathan assembles a team of operatives to aid him in his mission. Headed by behind-the-scenes veteran Orson Fortune (Jason Statham), the ensemble also includes tech-whiz Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza) and sharpshooter J.J. Davies (Bugzy Malone).

One of the high-powered suspects to whom they soon turn their attention, multibillionaire Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant), is an obsessive fan of Hollywood action star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett). So Nathan and co. blackmail Danny into helping them.

The group’s efforts are complicated by the competition of a similar undercover band led by Nathan’s ally-turned-rival, Mike (Peter Ferdinando). Presumably working under the auspices of a different set of clandestine authorities from those Knighton serves, Mike is out to beat Nathan and his squad to the punch and is thus consistently at cross purposes with them.

The merry chase that ensues has less to do with saving the world than with clever stratagems, private planes, yachts and fine wines. Besides the French Riviera, the globetrotting action unfolds in stately Madrid and in the sparkling Turkish resort of Antalya.

Along with the questionable way our heroes bring Danny on board, the wrap-up blurs the lines between the supposedly upright and the obviously nefarious. But this is done with an eye to dividing and conquering the forces of evil — or at least using one culprit to thwart the others.

Such developments, however, can be easily dismissed. The real point here is for Danny to sport a white dinner jacket in the best 007 manner and for Statham’s character to declare which vintage of Chateau Haut-Brion he favors.

The film contains much stylized violence with slight gore, references to adultery, a couple of profanities, at least one milder oath and frequent rough and crude language. The OSV News classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on Twitter @JohnMulderig1.


Author: OSV News

OSV News is a national and international wire service reporting on Catholic issues and issues that affect Catholics.

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