The Pitch: It’s the identical outdated spy-game story: A gaggle of mysterious mercenaries (Ukrainian right here, although the movie mutes most express mentions of their nationality; the movie was delayed from a 2021 launch as soon as Russia invaded Ukraine, making the baddie’s nationality an train in unhealthy style) steals a briefcase from Odessa with a mysterious world-ending one thing in it.
No matter it’s, the powers that be need it and are prepared to pay spy-for-hire Orson Fortune (Jason Statham, as scowly as ever) to retrieve it. With the assistance of his effete supervisor Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes), fixer J.J. Davies (Bugzy Malone), and tech professional Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza), they work out that the sale of this specific MacGuffin is being facilitated by foppish billionaire Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant, doing his finest Michael Caine).
The easiest way to get into Simmonds’ internal circle and disrupt the sale? Why, recruit his favourite film star, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), to distract the celebrity-obsessed mogul. Collectively, they might pull it off… if they’ll fend off the machinations of rival contractors and the numerous goons aching for a style of Statham’s fist.
The Insufferable Weight of Wasted Expertise: It was that Man Ritchie was one in every of Nice Britain’s signature connoisseurs of favor. If he wasn’t continuously auditioning for a Bond image, he no less than felt comfy with model parodies that catered to his daring idiosyncracies (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Sherlock Holmeses).
However the awkwardly-titled Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre is one in every of Ritchie’s most listless gestures towards that finish, an action-comedy seemingly disinterested in each descriptors. As a substitute, there are obscure gestures to the Bondian derring-do this type of film requires, from tuxedo-clad undercover gigs on yachts to automotive chases round winding cliffside roads, to firing rockets from a helicopter.
However it’s staged with a lifelessness it’s onerous to consider Ritchie is able to — save for just a few cheeky cuts or the odd split-screen right here and there, it’s acquired about as a lot visible model as The 355 or another straight-to-VOD clunker.