Guy Ritchie’s ‘Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ is bro-historic fluff

(2 stars)

As much as Guy Ritchie’s ultra-violent, low-stakes action comedy about World War II, “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare,” deals with its “based on a true story” bona fides, it is more akin to the glut of slick, cool films from the last decade. -popcorn pictures of guys (including his own) than any meaningful tale of true heroism.

His contemporary ties don’t stop Ritchie (the man who gave us “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Man from UNCLE” and “The Gentlemen”) from aping famous bits from much better, more serious classic war films. Like the sequence on a fishing trawler straight out of “The Guns of Navarone” that opens this liberally fictionalized account of a secret mission from 1942. Dubbed Operation Postmaster, its objective was to destroy a German supply ship filled with dioxide filters of carbon for submarines, which would mark a crucial turning point in the war.

To energize the bro-historical intrigue and achieve an astronomical body count in this high-flying aquatic shoot’em-up, Ritchie must first assemble a motley squad of deadly (and deadly photogenic) heroes so naughty you know they’re they’ll get the damn job done. You see, Hitler is marching across Europe, Britain is in a bind, and Winston Churchill (Rory Kinnear, under a mountain of prosthetics) is desperate enough to clandestinely approve an off-the-record, deniable mission. Fortunately, Brigadier Gubbins (Cary Elwes), head of the secretive Special Operations Executive (SEO) organization, knows the brazen rule breaker well for the job.

Enter Gus March-Phillips (Henry Cavill), leader of a team of ruthless killers willing to play dirty to disrupt Nazi business off the coast of Africa. His team is Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson), a Danish giant with exaggerated pace and astonishing archery skills; Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding), a frogman with a talent for explosives; Geoffrey Appleyard (Alex Pettyfer), a master strategist; and the wily young Irish sailor Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffin).

They are not alone. Already stationed on the Spanish island of Fernando Po, where the Germans have established themselves in neutral territory, SOE agent-slash-actress Marjorie Stewart (Eiza González, who holds her own, if not always her accent British), is tasked with seducing a sadistic Nazi officer (Til Schweiger) and the suave undercover Richard Heron (Babs Olusanmokun), whose popular casino bar serves as such a subtle nod to “Casablanca” that one character drops one of Humphrey Bogart’s most iconic quotes while sitting in his coffee shop.

Off on their own glamorous adventure of espionage and subterfuge for half the film, they are two of the most interesting characters in an overstuffed ensemble that includes Eton-educated West African prince Kambili Kalu (an excellent Danny Sapani). , which lends its resources. “because the Nazis are left-handed”, and the young war secretary Ian Fleming (Freddie Fox), who must have taken a lot of inspiration from 007 from his time in war.

Filmed in Turkey and Britain, the film’s beautiful production design is undone by its dull photographic patina. Costume designer Loulou Bontemps’ remarkable achievement is a stunning replica of Claudette Colbert’s 1934 “Cleopatra” cutout dress, which Stewart wields like a weapon. Christopher Benstead’s score ranges from whistling spaghetti western motifs to jazzy percussion. Yet the plot continues with flimsy jokes and bloodshed to accompany what little character development.

Adapted from Damien Lewis’s 2014 book “Churchill’s Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperados of WWII,” the screenplay by Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Arash Amel and Ritchie is oddly light given its real-life, advertised commandos as forerunners of the British Special Air Service (SAS) and modern black ops, died in action before the end of the war.

If you come, come see Cavill shooting Nazis by the hundreds with maniacal, deadpan abandon, and stay for Ritchson looking like he just walked out of a Gold’s Gym to destroy hordes of German enemies with a bow and arrow. Then delve into the true history of the SOE, whose men and women could fill dozens of more compelling spy films without blunting the story’s edges with sparkling bromantic antics.

A. In cinemas in the region. Strong violence everywhere and some linguistic remarks. 120 minutes.

Gn entert
News Source : www.washingtonpost.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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