Kevflix And Chill’s review published on Letterboxd:
Lets get this out of the way first. Terrible title. Even after seeing the movie, I keep having a hard time remembering what the hell the name of this movie is. And the closest I get is Operation: Something or Other — The Rise of Gru.
Essentially, this is Guy Ritchie directing a Mission: Impossible movie, at least in terms of the plot. There’s a [spoiler I guess] super duper ai decryption tool being sold to the highest bidder for purposes of world domination. There’s a top secret team tasked with recovering this item. And there’s an elaborate ruse as a part of the heist to recover this item. It feels rather generic but with the right cast and action set pieces, generic can be really fun.
Regarding the cast—I love the cast. Hugh Grant is kind of boisterously cringy. Jason Statham is (well) Jason Statham. And Cary Elwes is great as well. But Aubrey Plaza is given some of the worst tech-y, hack-y, type-y, dialogue you could imagine, particularly in the first half of the movie. Her performance gets much better as it goes along, though, as she’s given more action, more humor and more outfits. For a while I was pretty disappointed in Ritchie for giving Plaza all the shit dialogue though.
But regarding the action and the direction, for a Guy Ritchie film, this felt surprisingly lacking in style and flourishes. There’s a few odd editing choices that make the flow of the film feel pretty clunky. One example is, they skip over a fight sequence as it’s happening and make a kind of jarring jump forward to just after the fight is done. Then a little later in the film we flashback to see this fight, but it’s not like this giant payoff. It was just a Statham unspectacularly punching a couple guys out. Several small choices like that make this feel exactly that, unspectacular.
I still recommend it if you like Guy Ritchie and/or Mission: Impossible films. It’s just not nearly as good as what you would think the marriage of those two concepts would suggest.
Degrees of Kevin Bacon: 2
1. Hugh Grant and Laura Linney in Love Actually
2. Laura Linney and Kevin Bacon in Mystic River