The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Before the United States entered the European Theatre of World War II, Nazi Germany controlled the Atlantic Ocean with a fierce presence of U-boats, and, with England on the brink of collapse to Hitler’s demands, Churchill (Rory Kinnear) would task Brigadier Gubbins (Cary Elwes) to assemble a team of unlikely military personnel with a do or die mission that could turn the tides for the allies. Now, Gus March-Phillips (Henry Cavill), Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson), Geoffrey Appleyard (Alex Pettyfer), Marjorie Stewart (Eiza Gonzalez), Heron (Babs Olusanmokun), Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) and Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding) will have to find their way to the secret and remote islands used by the Nazi’s for refueling the U-boat fleet, sabotage the support, and reclaim the Atlantic– after all, the world depends on their success. Written by Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Arash Amel, and Guy Ritchie and Directed by Ritchie with Jerry Bruckheimer slated as one of the Producers, this amped up war story features many of the signature elements for a Guy Ritchie film, witty dialogue, bare knuckle and brutal fights, testosterone driven mania, a smoke show femme fatal, cartoonish bad guys, corruption, the whole lot, yet all somehow softened. A move that seems to strip the story of its amphetamine driven rage and instead aims for a wider audience with more Hollywood glitz and combat razzmatazz approach; which, one might speculate is the Bruckheimer influence. Which isn’t to say the film is bad, but rather, less sharp, less edgy, and ultimately less Ritchie. Instead of the bottled lightning of previous works such as Snatch or even Sherlock Holmes, this go round the spark feels out of sync within the cylinder and the piston. On the positive, score provided by Christopher Benstead is catchy and sufficiently paints a whimsical Morricone inspired Spaghetti Western cap to the project. Not Bad for a matinee that almost overstays its welcome at two hours of runtime. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is rated R.