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Tag: Aubrey Plaza

QuickView: Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre (2023)

“You can’t catch this fish with conventional lures.”

Orson Fortune

Jason Statham received his start in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, before going on to carve out his own niche in the action genre. Coming full circle, Operation Fortune is Guy Ritchie’s attempt at making a Jason Statham Movie™ with a convoluted title that exposes its franchise-establishing designs. Orson Fortune is a skilled private contractor hired by the British Government for foreign espionage with slick, jet-setting action, at its best when one character is up close aided by teammates’ chatter through an earpiece and conveniently placed sniper coverage. Hugh Grant is clearly enjoying his charismatic villain era, his womanising arms dealer’s movie star obsession bearing coincidental similarity to Javi in last year’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (shot in early 2021, Operation Fortune was originally slated for release in March 2022, but was shelved due to its distributor’s insolvency, also explaining the Ukrainian references that now seem odd in the current climate). Whilst not enough to address my usual criticism of Ritchie’s casting, Aubrey Plaza is more than a token woman, her tech specialist being an integral part of Orson’s team — Plaza delivers her usual brand of quirky awkwardness but cannot elevate some atrocious dialogue. Though the characters may be new, Operation Fortune has a tendency toward tedious familiarity and it seems unlikely that the equally mercenery whims of Hollywood will grant this sporadically entertaining team another outing.


QuickView: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Ingrid Goes West poster

“I’m not a psychopath or anything, I just want to be her friend.”

Ingrid Thorburn

Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen’s off-screen relationship is adorable, but veers into unsettling territory in Matt Spicer’s directorial debut, a dark satire on the artificial world of Instagram influencers and the damaging effects of misused social media. Plaza, somewhat incredibly, manages to draw audience sympathy for an unstable young woman who forms dangerously unhealthy obsessions with individuals. Several images early on strike a chord, like Ingrid continuing to scroll through Instagram whilst weeping and her mundane morning routine of repetitive like-swipe-liking. Spicer understands his subject and recognises the intimacy within the artifice of Instagram. However, Ingrid Goes West loses its way in the latter half and has little to say before reaching a nebulous conclusion that conflates the film’s call for authenticity with viral popularity.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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