Star Rating:

Operation Fortune 15

Streaming On: Watch Operation Fortune on Amazon Prime

Director: Guy Ritchie

Actors: Cary Elwes, Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza

Release Date: Friday 7th April 2023

Genre(s): Action, Adventure

Running time: 118 minutes

Recruited by British intelligence fixer Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes), super-spy Orson Fortune (Jason Statham) and his team (Aubrey Plaza, Bugzy Malone) are sent to retrieve an item called 'The Handle' after it was stolen by mobsters and given to a billionaire arms dealer (Hugh Grant) to sell. Their plan? Infiltrate the inner circle by using a Hollywood actor (Josh Hartnett) as part of their elaborate scheme...

There's a term used in book publishing - a fix-up book - when an author takes short stories they've published and writes a narrative to tie them all together and publish them as a novel. Even if you look at 'Operation Fortune' as Guy Ritchie making that sequel to 'The Man From UNCLE' that he wanted and giving it that kind of latitude, it still doesn't save it from being a terrible, terrible movie.

Quite simply, 'Operation Fortune' is a series of bad decisions, each compounded on top of the other, resulting in a mishmash of spy capers in oddly-casted roles with actors out of their depth and a director who's not even trying anymore. Aubrey Plaza, a completely capable comedic actor is relegated to being mission control for Jason Statham's character, the same as Bugzy Malone. Cary Elwes, meanwhile, is essentially doing what Michael York did in 'Austin Powers' as Basil Exposition. Eddie Marsan is in there too as a political type for some reason, but that's not even before we get to Hugh Grant. A cross between Terry Tibbs from 'Fonejacker' and famed '70s producer Robert Evans, Grant's charm and abilities are buried underneath reams of shit dialogue and poor character development, and let's not even get started on Josh Hartnett.

Guy Ritchie isn't so much of a director of movies anymore, so much as he's a director of one or two good scenes inside of pretty poor movies. 'The Gentlemen', for example, had one or two good scenes - Colin Farrell slapping some kids around a chip shop, or a POV fistfight inside of an underground growhouse. He can't seem to knit them all together in a way that makes it appealing to watch. This is probably why he's doing so well with commercials of late and not so much with movies. Indeed, 'Operation Fortune' was almost going to be consigned to the dust heap of history because it features Ukrainian mobsters as bad guys.

Compared to his other efforts, there's nothing in 'Operation Fortune' that particularly stands out. There are so many better examples of it out there. You want Jason Statham in a spy comedy? Try 'Spy' with Jude Law. That's much, much better than this. Do you want just a jet-setting spy comedy, perhaps? Try 'True Lies', 'Top Secret!' or 'Spies Like Us'. Maybe you're looking for something a bit more recent? Guy Ritchie's 'The Man From UNCLE' is good fun, even if it is a little slight in places. 'Operation Fortune', however, is empty in all of the places and winds up being a waste of time for all concerned.

Avoid at all costs.