Special agent Orson Fortune and his team of operatives recruit one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars to help them on an undercover mission when the sale of a deadly new weapons technology threatens to disrupt the world order.

Chuck says:

There’s a “good enough” quality that runs through Guy Ritchie’s “Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre,” an action-comedy that gets by on the charm of its cast, though there’s a feeling throughout that it could have been so much more than it is.  The much-delayed feature – due to the corporate restructuring of distributor STX Films – finally lands in theaters lacking the sort of promotional push one would associate with a Jason Statham actioner. It’s a curious approach, and while the movie is no classic, it deserves a better fate.

With a penchant for very fine wine and the ability to get things done in the area of international espionage, Orson Fortune (Statham) is the go-to guy for the British government when they need a dire problem solved.  Seems someone has stolen something that is causing a stir on the black market.  This device is being offered up for any taker at the cool cost of $10 billion.  At that price, those at MI-6 know this whatsit is likely a weapon of some sort that can cause a great deal of harm.  Fortune is sent out to find out what the thing is and who has it before the sale can be made.

Helping Fortune find the ultimate McGuffin is his new team, consisting of acerbic computer hacker Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), expert marksman JJ (Bugzy Malone) and movie star Danny (Josh Hartnett).  He is recruited because their main suspect is an international arms dealer (Hugh Grant) who is a big fan of his and the hope is he will give the actor the access they need to his private world.

There are many good gags here but none of developed to their full potential.  Plaza is perfect in the role, her sarcastic delivery of the character’s cutting remarks getting a laugh every time as they put the pompous Fortune in his place.  The film needed many more moments like this, while Malone is very good as the stoic killer with a sense of humor.  As for Hartnett, he’s having fun lampooning his peers but there aren’t nearly enough scenes between him and Grant, who inexplicably uses a Michael Caine accent.

The action is well done, but this is Statham-lite.  To be sure, he is now 55 and while still in great shape, he’s slowed down a bit.  Ritchie is no stranger to staging well-tuned action sequences and while those on display here are fine, there’s nothing to write home about.  In the end, that’s probably the best way to sum up “Fortune.” It’s Ok but doesn’t come close to realizing its potential.

2 1/2 Stars

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