Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
In the film, super spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Reluctantly teamed with some of the world’s best operatives (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their globe-trotting undercover mission to save the world.—Lionsgate
Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
Elite spy Orson Fortune must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds. Reluctantly teamed up with some of the world’s best operatives, Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Danny Francesco, to help them on their globe-trotting mission to save the world.
Fresh off their reunification with 2019’s Wrath of Man, Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie have teamed up yet again, for what the audience can only hope is a resurgence in the pair’s later years of filmmaking. Much like Samuel L. Jackson is to Quentin Tarantino and Robert DeNiro is to Martin Scorsese, Jason Statham once again proves that some actors were born to be utilized by certain directors. His effortless cool in this film is only matched by his almost complete nonchalance; Orson Fortune can’t be bothered with anyone’s nonsense in this film. It’s refreshing to see Statham and Ritchie reteam for a story with Ritchie’s usual generous heaping of shenanigans, it’s these roles where Statham gets to let his his down and shine the most.
Aubrey Plaza is an oddity in this film. It’s not that she’s one of two Americans in this primarily British cast (Matthew McConaughey is an excellent part of The Gentlemen), it’s that her performance stands out like a sore thumb. At times, Plaza’s crazy eyes and off kilter delivery of her line readings makes it feel like she’s in a completely different film altogether. When she is clicking with the cast, she’s just as silly and ridiculous as the rest. When she’s out of sync, it’s noticeable and at times distracts from the overall scene.
Only Guy Ritchie knows how to properly use Hugh Grant. Whether he’s the smuggest man on screen (The Man from U. N. C. L. E.) or the slimiest weasel (The Gentlemen), Grant leans into the material with a delight and zest that makes almost every line delightfully disgusting. While not quite as vile as his role in The Gentlemen, Grant is still greasy enough here that he’s a joy to behold whenever he’s on screen and clearly having a blast doing it.
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, Operation Fortune continues to showcase his talents for immensely entertaining one dimensional characters and absurd situations to place themselves in. While nowhere near his best film to date (that distinction goes to either Man From U. N. C. L. E or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), Operation Fortune is still enjoyable as far as zippy action movies go. With a breakneck pace that at times hinders the film (the editing in this movie is chaotic at best and distracting at worst), Ritchie takes audiences on a ride that starts quick and rarely slows down until the end credits. Cinematographer Alan Stewart, on his fourth collaboration with Ritchie, paints the characters in their best possible light, framing them against beautiful backdrops of foreign countries as the character jetset their way from one set piece to the next. If nothing else, this is a movie that will look great on mute as a moving wallpaper.
Overall, Operation Fortune is enjoyable for what it is: a Guy Ritchie vessel for actors to spout cheeky one liners and look stylish while doing it. Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza get to verbally joust with one another while Josh Hartnett and Hugh Grant make for a ridiculous pairing. While incredibly light on an actual plot or story outside of Keep the McGuffin Away from the Bad Guys, it’s still an entertaining watch if all other options have been exhausted. Ritchie proves he still knows how to utilize Jason Statham in the best ways and his eye for directing action has rarely been sharper.