By Russ MatthewsFriday 3 Feb 2023MoviesReading Time: 4 minutes
This Guy Ritchie production has been held back from release for over a year due to one significant screenplay issue.
The action comedy looked to be what people needed to counter most of the dreary storylines in cinema this past year. Still, making the ‘baddies’ from a Ukrainian background caused some problems. With the issues going on in Europe between Ukraine and Russia, the production company thought it might be prudent to hold back the release of Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre for some time. This then allowed decision cinemas to start the year with an action-packed, comedic adventure.
The world intelligence agencies are in turmoil when one of the most disruptive weapons is stolen and suddenly put on the market by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Conventional means of apprehending the device lead the British government to seek the contractual services of an outside contractor, Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes). Due to the situation’s urgency, he knows that only a few operatives can get the job done, and his leading man is Orson Fortune (Jason Statham). Even though engaging with this highly trained agent would come at a price, the government knows that the world’s safety is worth the cost. One thing that Fortune is known for is utilising unconventional methods and as he establishes his team, he decides to recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett), to gain access to the munitions dealer.
After a year of agenda-laden screenplays that failed to capture audiences’ attention with only sequels like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water coming out on top. Guy Ritchie gives us all something to enjoy and motivates us to go to the movies again. His latest production has the appeal to reach a broad audience. It contains a storyline that is a throwback to the over-the-top action adventures that come with a punch and a laugh at every turn. Suppose viewers are willing to accept some of the villains from Ukraine. In that case, they will be rewarded with the ideal ‘Saturday matinee entertainment’ that will allow them to forget about the world for a while.
This script has Ritchie’s fingerprints all over it. To have these words expertly crafted by his favourite team of thespians, this production will give his fans what they want. Jason Statham slots right into his smart-mouthed, ingenious action lead role and is complemented beautifully by Aubrey Plaza’s communications agent. They are handled with the necessary charm of Cary Elwes’ morally fluid recruiter. Still, the stand out within this cast is, once again, Hugh Grant. He taps into the smarmy world of the criminal underworld with the needed finesse to make him the ideal foil to keep the story rolling along.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre may be relegated to the unfortunate confines of January. However, this should not dissuade people from getting out to see Ritchie’s latest. This movie may not be a classic like Snatch or The Gentleman, but his work is a breath of fresh air in this post-COVID-influenced cinematic era. For those looking for fun at the theatre again, this is the film you have been waiting to see.
How do you handle the flexible morality of our society?
In the world of spies, can morality exist? With only the cinematic world to consider, the question has to be answered with a strong maybe. Compromise has to play a factor in this world of deception and manipulation. Still, there has to be a moral centre at the core of this work to drive people to continue the work.
The challenge is to know where to find this integral drive for justice or loyalty. Can it be merely found in the patriotic, familial, or monetary?
Most of us will never directly experience the effects of this level of morality. However, we still have to determine right and wrong for ourselves. We can look to mankind for examples, but eventually, people fail the actual test for a moral code. Only one person in history set the standard for morality and proved that no one else could completely hold to this standard. This may sound hopeless, but Jesus did not leave humanity without a solution to this morality juxtaposition.
Are you intrigued? Read the letter written by Paul called Romans; it clarifies morality. It is a short read, but allows for consideration of where it bases your character.
Article supplied to 96five with thanks to City Bible Forum.
Feature image: Movie stills
About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.