The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Image

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

By Alan Ng | April 20, 2024

Does it really make a difference if a Guy Ritchie film is based on actual historical events? Because, in the end, Guy Ritchie is going to make a Guy Ritchie movie? Facts be damned in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare…honestly, it’s no big deal.

Very loosely based on the British spy mission, Operation Postmaster, England is on the verge of losing World War II to the Germans. The Nazi U-Boat was able to destroy ships and supplies from the United States, prompting the U.S. not to enter a losing war.

The key to getting the Americans involved was to cripple the German U-boat fleet. The key to crippling the fleet is to destroy the supply ship now harbored in Fernando Po, the Spanish island off Africa now in the control of the Germans.

With pressure to surrender by the British Parlament, Winston Churchill (Rory Kinnear) calls upon Brigadier Gubbins ‘M’ (Cary Elwes) to form the first special ops team led by Gus March-Phillips (Henry Cavill) and his team of Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson), Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), and Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding). But first, they have to be free from a German prison camp, master tactician Geoffrey Appleyard (Alex Pettyfer). If the Germans or British capture Gus or his men, the State Department will disavow any knowledge of these men or their mission.

Meanwhile, in Fernando Po, agents Marjorie Stewart (Eiza González) and businessman Heron (Babs Olusanmokun) must get in touch with Germain commander Heinrich Luhr (Til Schweiger) as a distraction for what’s about to happen.

“…Winston Churchill calls upon Brigadier Gubbins ‘M’ to form the first special ops team led by Gus March-Phillips…”

Bottom line, this is a Guy Ritchie movie, and history only serves as a loose structure for lots of explosions, gunfights, stabbings, sexiness, and a high Nazi body count. The film has that cool Guy Ritchie swagger, where the protagonists never flinch at one failed Nazi sneak attack after the other, and where Henry Cavill’s fancy coat upgrades after each mini-boss defeat.

If it’s action you’re looking for, it’s here. Impossible action? I mean, five guys taking on hundreds of Nazi soldiers, and not a single lead character dies or is wounded; yeah, pretty impossible. But boy, was it fun.

Fans of Henry Cavill are in for a treat. He’s working again and looking good at the same time. Ironically, he’s playing the roles that Cary Elwes used to get. Alan Ritchson turns on the humor as the sadistic Swede Lassen. The rest of the cast have their roles to play. Solid and consistent.

Eiza González is the man who stands out as she cleans up a whole better than her dirty, grimy, and bloody cohorts. She plays the Black Widow role, taking Commander Luhr down a peg or two. Hot and sexy, then even sexier in a Cleopatra costume, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is the total action package.

It’s all about the action. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare may be forgettable in the long run of Guy Ritchie movies, but it’s fun. That’s pretty much Guy Ritchie in movie-making mode. I wish there were something grander or monumental in the end, but The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is good enough for me.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024)

Directed: Guy Ritchie

Written: Paul TamasyEric JohnsonArash Amel

Starring: Henry Cavill, Alan Ritchson, Cary Elwes, Eiza González, Alex Pettyfer, Babs Olusanmokun, Henry Golding, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Til Schweiger, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Image

"…pretty much Guy Ritchie in movie-making mode."

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