Film delays have never been more prevent than the last three years due to of course the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are almost in the clear now with films releasing that were filmed pre-2020 and were only pushed back because previous films had to release first, like for example the Marvel Cinematic Universe where films have to release in a certain order, but we weren't 100% caught up. 'Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre' first appeared to be delayed due to pandemic-related setbacks, but when its original March 2022 release date came the film quietly vanished off the release line-up. It was actually hidden away due to the film featuring "Ukrainian baddies" and it was deemed distasteful to release the film due to the ongoing war taking place in Ukraine. At the time of writing this the film still isn't slated for an American release date and its release in Australia and other international countries only quietly arose mid-December. Considering its release drama, does Guy Ritchie's latest even warrant its secretive release?
Spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham, 'Wrath of Man', 'Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw') is sent out into the field by Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes, 'The Princess Bride', 'Billionaire Boys Club') aided with a team made up of Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza, 'Happiest Season', 'Safety Not Guaranteed') and J.J. (Bugzy Malone, 'The Gentlemen') to find out what item is racking up a $10 billion price tag on the black market. As they investigate they find links to billionaire Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant, 'Paddington 2', 'Florence Foster Jenkins') who has an obsession with big-name actor Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett, 'Pearl Harbor', 'Black Hawk Down'). Leading the team to get Danny on the case and star in his biggest role yet, getting close to Greg to find out information and becoming a real-life spy.
The real star of the show here, as always, is Aubrey Plaza; she just outshines everyone ten-fold.
Like 'The Gentlemen', which this film is so desperately trying to capitalise on, 'Operation Fortune' is fine. Are there better ways to spend two hours? Sure, but this isn't an awful way to do so. The real star of the show here, as always, is Aubrey Plaza; she just outshines everyone tenfold. It's her film and everyone else is in her shadow. Even the typically charismatic Statham is extremely downplayed here, partly due to Plaza, but he feels like he is just here for the pay check. The closest to match Plaza is Elwes, but again she is doing that much scene stealing that everyone else goes unnoticed. Without her this film does sink, it's as generic as they come. It's a perfect example of looking at the poster and knowing what you're in for. Lastly, I do enjoy Mr Hugh Grant but between this and his performance in Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen', these over-the-top weird movie obsessed characters need to stop.
As for the "Ukrainian baddies", as the studio puts it, I'm unsure if any editing was done but it's heavily downplayed and you only notice if you are looking out for it. The film very easily could have done without any mention of the country.
Out of everything released on streaming over a theatrical release in the last few years, no movie is more fit than 'Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre' (an unnecessarily long title); there is no reason to check this out. In pre-2020 years this would have been a box office hit, but in the current climate, there's no reason to leave the couch for this one.