Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre has an explosive ending, but it quickly loses steam, coming off as rushed and underwhelming.
Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre focuses on Jason Statham’s Orson Fortune, a private contractor working for the British government. Sure, they’ve got MI6 and other military arms, but Fortune, as a mercenary-for-hire, can break the rules and go behind enemy lines. In this movie, he’s recruited to locate an asset called the “handle,” which is fetching billions on the black market.
It pushes Fortune into spy mode, mixing elements of James Bond and projects like Netflix’s thriller Treason. Luckily, Fortune has a capable handler in Nathan and a clever hacker in Sarah (played by Aubrey Plaza), who find the middle-man arranging for the mysterious weapon to be sold: Hugh Grant’s Greg. However, as Team Fortune goes undercover at Greg’s mansion, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, as fiery as its conclusion is, ends up flopping.
Operation Fortune Uses Greg as the Key
Fortune’s team employs Josh Hartnett’s Danny, a famous Hollywood actor, to curry favor with Greg, a keen movie fan. Greg invites Danny, Fortune, J.J. (the muscle) and Sarah over, thinking they’re Danny’s management, only for the spies to eke out intelligence on the sale. Eventually, Fortune infiltrates the deal, realizing its artificial intelligence being sold to biotech moguls who want to crash the global financial market and make their gold priceless.
Thankfully, Fortune gets Greg to flip, which results in Greg infiltrating the base, chiding the villains for cutting him out of the deal and using missiles to blow the satellite farm up. When Greg leaves the goons, a shootout occurs as they all get nervous and greedy over the A.I. This paves the way for Fortune to enter, beat the boss up in Mike and take the A.I. back home. Team Fortune later disobeys Nathan’s orders to take another job, flying off on a vacation to end the movie.
Operation Fortune’s Climax Lacks Action and Intensity
Now, it’s commendable how Ritchie tries to set up a Mission: Impossible-like tale, but the film wastes Statham. The actor barely has any fight scenes, which is his strength in series like Transporter. On top of that, Greg suddenly transitions from an awkward businessman to a tyrant ordering the missiles when this assault could have been Fortune flexing his muscles, proving he’s a one-man army.
More so, the way the shootout happens, with Mike’s team turning on the biotech guys after hacking and stealing their money, is rushed and forced, making the villains feeble after promising so much intimidation. It’s mind-boggling why Ritchie would do this, whittling down the room and squandering Fortune’s strength. What makes things worse is that Fortune and Mike don’t even have a brutal scrap — Fortune just smacks Mike with the briefcase containing the A.I. and leaves.
It’s supposed to be the final fight, so it’s totally anticlimactic. It’s not vintage Ritchie, who seems to have lost his action handle from movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, RocknRolla and Snatch, with recent outings in Aladdin and The Gentlemen taking him further away from his roots. Ultimately, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’s pacing is uneven, wasting a solid cast that could have done much more in a bad finale with no sinister threat. To see how Guy Ritchie lost his edge, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is now playing in theaters.