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Operation Fortune Ruse De Guerre with its exhaustingly overly long name answers the simple question. What if a Guy Ritchie movie existed with all of the basic things that people like in Guy Ritchie movies- the quippy characters, with extra quippy dialogue and some action sequences- except this time, the movie has no real story or direction. The answer being a film with a ton of potential that features an entertaining ensemble; that has no direction to take their characters or anything significant to do in the runtime. This might genuinely be the most forgettable Guy Ritchie venture of all time, and it's unfortunate to say that seeing what the ensemble could do with some potentially interesting characters at their disposal.

Elite 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 up with some of the world's best operatives, Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood's biggest movie star, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), to help them on their globe-trotting mission to save the world.

The set up feels sound at the beginning, we get an introduction to Statham's Orson- and his contract work for the British government against those that aid it's enemies. It's an interesting set up, as we learn of Aubrey Plaza's character and the rival 'contractor' that the British government also does work with. In fact, everything about the story works up until after the introduction to the charismatic villain Greg Simmonds.

From that point onwards the film never really finds an interesting concept to grasp onto, nor is it able to ever articulate why the audience should care about 'The Handle' an AI piece of equipment that can supposedly be destructive to the British and their allies. So being left in limbo, we don't really ever build towards anything- the film doggy paddles in the deep end of its story, repeating the Guy Ritchie-esque quips as much as it can without any progress to a rewarding finish.

The cast does its best to make the lack of story feel interesting- there's no character development so to speak but they do their best with their star presence to make it work. Aubrey Plaza is the one that has the best impact on it, she plays the classic hacker character that online skits make fun of because of the terminology they use- but she does it with her typical Plaza swagger and it works. While Hugh Grant plays into his villainous and charismatic self as well as he did in Paddington 2, he's such a charming guy even after all these years and you can see the fun he has on set brought to life on screen. Statham is his usual self, and while Josh Hartnett doesn't have a lot to do- he makes the most of it, and it's great to see him back in a movie with some reputable names attached.

In the end, this is a forgettable action joint- that you can shut your brain off and enjoy as a streaming option. There's not a ton to take away from it, outside of the ridiculously long name- but I don't think the intention was ever to make this something vastly unique from the genre it's in.


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