The Heist Movie Is Back with ‘Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre’

Have you, like me, had a recent and persistent urge to con? An urge to scam, to bamboozle, to swindle, to hustle, to… ruse? Well, you’re in luck. “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” will let you live vicariously as a felon and scratch that devious itch.

This film has brought heist cinema back in full swing. The archetypal gang’s all here: the femme fatale Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), the scruffy fighter Orson (Jason Statham), the British intellectual team boss Nathan (Cary Elwes), the sniper J.J. (Bugzy Malone) and the Hollywood himbo Danny (Josh Hartnett).

Courtesy of Netflix.

The tone of this flick is more comedic and satirical than action-packed, though bullets do fly. The team uses sexy action star Danny as bait for their billionaire target, Greg Simmonds (Hugh Grant). Greg is a spray-tanned bigot, accompanied by an even more questionable entourage. A man made of money has less conventional desires, hence the use of a celebrity to infiltrate his home and computer systems. Ironically, and in perfect timing with their plan, Danny becomes equally starstruck by Greg as Greg is by Danny.

As I watched “Operation Fortune,” I found myself wondering what the future of films such as this will be. Aubrey Plaza’s character Sarah continually used her sex appeal to front as a thoughtless trophy girlfriend, while simultaneously being the technological brains of the operation. This hacking-into-the-mainframe girl boss has been a common trope and never fails to savor badassery. However, when have you seen a ruse done with a female member that wasn’t all legs and lips? Or beyond that, even just slightly veering away from being conventionally attractive? This question might be moot since regardless of the plot, stunning stars are the ones to populate the big screen. We like watching Aubrey Plaza because she’s hot. Sure, she’s funny, witty, talented, multifaceted, etc. But those all contribute to the conclusion: Aubrey Plaza is a total smoke show.

Courtesy of Netflix.

Smokeshow after smoke show advances the narrative in “Operation Fortune.” Jason Statham’s scruffy voice made me laugh as I recalled Nick Kroll’s latest comedy special, “Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy,” in which he describes the imaginary bully he hears when he feels insecure looking in the mirror as sounding just like Statham. That’s the perfect bit because Statham is pure muscle and deep-voiced masculinity. Though the director of the scheme doesn’t feel overtly sexy, Cary Elwes is most widely known for his 1987 role as Wesley, the love interest in arguably one of the most iconic romantic and comedic films to date, “The Princess Bride.” We’re three for three on hot men with accents once we address Bugzy, a gorgeous rapper from Manchester that flourished here in merely his second film credit.

So why all the hunks? Could it be that foxiness directly correlates with the slyness it takes to pull off a heist? That is my theory. Society rewards the beautiful, which often builds up the confidence of said beauties. Confidence is key for the long-form lies needed to run a ruse with true mastery. If you’re a chameleon cinephile like myself, you walk out of theaters feeling much like the protagonist(s) you have just spent a lovely couple of hours with. I prescribe “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” if you wish to spend the rest of your week feeling mega foxy and maniacal.

“Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” is available to watch in theaters.

By Risa Bolash

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