Aubrey Plaza, Jason Statham and Bugzy Malone (L-R) star in “Operation Fortune” (Photo Credit: Dan Smith/Lionsgate).


(“Operation Fortune” trailer courtesy of Lionsgate Movies)

Filmmaker Guy Ritchie is Hollywood’s go-to-guy for quirky and comical spy-type action flicks.

From “The Gentlemen” to “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” Ritchie has definitely created his own style and carved his own niche in the world of cinema.

Teaming up again with Jason Statham, Ritchie’s “Operation Fortune,” which is a bada$$, high-tech caper, is no different.

And it is seemingly setting the stage for another successful franchise of movies during a time when sequels and remakes are as common at a movie house as popcorn and whoppers.

Honestly, it is funny.

No matter how well something is secured and no matter how prepared someone is for their adversaries to attack, there is always that one person or crew that is even more cunning and ruthless than the next.

In “Operation Fortune,” even though a facility is heavily fortified and secured with armed guards, it does not stop a crew that is a little more sophisticated than the security guards from ambushing them.

Such ambushes often lead to dead bodies left behind and the culprits leaving with something very valuable in their possession.

In an era in which weapons of mass destruction are always valuable to criminals and terrorists on the black market, it really does not even matter what is stolen.

To go through such lengths and leave behind such carnage to steal something proves that whatever is stolen should be retrieved as soon as possible so it does not get into the wrong hands.

But to find criminals that brazen, regular law enforcement will not suffice.

Furthermore, to retrieve the stolen items, and find out who is behind the heist, the retrieval mission cannot be done above board.

To find criminals and terrorists that bold will take a group of special forces experts in “Operation Fortune.”

And there is no one better at solving international mysteries than Orson Fortune (Statham).

Although Orson has no interest in working another case, somehow Nathan Jasmine (Cary Elwes) always finds a way to twist his arm and get him to bend to his will.

Orson often has a specific group of comrades that he likes to work with.

He is particularly fond of working with Mike (Peter Ferdinando), who has no personality whatsoever.

Mike is known for just getting the work done and keeping his mouth shut.

Unfortunately, Mike has taken a much more lucrative job from a competitor.

Therefore, Orson must replace Mike with the talkative and charismatic, Sarah Fidel (Aubrey Plaza).

On top of the fact that Sarah is not Mike, she is not even a he and Orson does not appear accustomed to working such high-profile jobs with a woman.

Nevertheless, work is work.

And Orson must complete the job, not make friends with a woman who could never replace Mike in his mind.

To make the job a little easier, Nathan informs Orson that he can call Sarah Mike if that makes it easier for him.

To add to the crew in “Operation Fortune,” Nathan has hired JJ Davies (Bugzy Malone), a talented but extremely young team member.

To complete the team in “Operation Fortune,” the crew turns to the most unlikely of operatives or spies.

In “Operation Fortune,” the crew adds the biggest movie star in the world to the team, Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett).

Although Danny is known for playing action stars, daredevils and killers on the big screen, actually having to work with spies, terrorists and killers is a totally different animal to tame.

However, in “Operation Fortune,” Danny might actually be the secret weapon to discovering who is behind the heist, who wants to buy the stolen contraband and who is orchestrating the entire deal.

It should come as no surprise that a movie that relies on Hollywood star power to solve a deadly mystery would be full of all the glitz and glamor that one associates with Hollywood.

“Operation Fortune” is a violent movie by nature with its bloody gun battles and extreme fisticuffs.

But “Operation Fortune” has a certain air of class and je ne sais quoi with the top-notch jewelry, fancy yachts, expensive clothing and the British accents of Statham, Malone and Hugh Grant, who plays billionaire Greg Simmonds.

But as everyone who knows a person with a British accent can attest, the accent can make a peasant sound proper.

Since that is the case, one should not find it surprising if those they consider proper can get a little vicious.

But besides all the accents and glamour, “Operation Fortune” succeeds because of the characters.

Sure, Statham plays virtually the same character in many of his movies.

But if it ain’t broke then do not fix it.

Orson’s calm demeanor combined with his willingness to get violent only when necessary is very gangsta.

In “Operation Fortune,” Grant’s performance is combination of regal and thirsty.

Moviegoers must watch “Operation Fortune” to understand what is meant by thirsty in describing Grant’s performance as Greg.

However, the star of “Operation Fortune” is Plaza.

Her performance as Sarah can be summed as goofy ingenuity.

In “Operation Fortune,” Sarah is a genius with her computer hacking skills.

Furthermore, she has a style and grace not stereotypically associated with computer geeks.

But she still manages to keep a little goofy in her, even in some of the most exclusive environments.

She is also quick on her feet, which gets her out of some trouble from time to time.

Unfortunately, “Operation Fortune” contains some predictable moments.

Additionally, the whole stolen goods that need to be retrieved before it reaches the wrong hands has become very formulaic lately.

Nevertheless, “Operation Fortune” contains enough comedy, quirkiness and elegance to stand out from a crowded pack of formulaic Hollywood flicks.






Todd A. Smith
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