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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Alex Reviews "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare"

When Nazi Germany refuses to follow the rules of engagement, the British Empire is pushed to the brink of surrender. As a last straw effort, their military leaders recruit elite operatives for an off the books mission behind enemy lines: the first covert operations in England’s long history.

 

From the moment The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare opens, it is a non-stop thrill ride for two hours. The pacing and engagement makes it feel like a shorter film. If you’re one of the readers who skims for a quick thumbs up, thumbs down, here’s your answer: Massively enjoyable and sets the bar very high for most enjoyable picture of the year. For everyone else, here’s why.

 

I have a short list of directors who are must-watch creators, Guy Ritchie has been number one on that list for a long time and his work on Ungentlemanly Warfare is no exception. His ability to evolve while retaining his signature style impresses me every time. This picture is an amazing example of sampling from the past to create a new experience. A World War II film shot like a spaghetti western using modern technology and this puzzle comes together as a masterpiece!

 

Beyond the style, few directors know how to utilize a stacked ensemble like Guy Ritchie and this cast is S.T.A.C.K.E.D! Henry Cavill is the most humorous and unhinged version of himself that has ever appeared, yet he never loses that magnetism that screams star. Alan Ritchson continues his rise to the A-List by leaning into his Jack Reacher bag for this role as a cerebral giant reminiscent of a Terminator in effective violence. While I could go on about the remaining cast, I want to highlight Babs Olusanmokun, who might be having the best 2024 of anyone between this and the Dune series. He is incredible at expressing anything just beneath the surface and might be the best representation of a spy seen in years.

 

With the unbeatable direction and stellar cast, the film is visually stunning in blending old school technique and modern technology. I mentioned earlier about a WWII spaghetti western, but what if I raised the stakes by saying there is some serious Jaws vibes to multiple scenes on the water. The makeup department also did an amazing job revitalizing historical film techniques for many moments throughout and massively in the climatic scenes. Every member of the art and prop department should be incredibly proud of their efforts on this picture.

 

I would be shocked if The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is not in my top three films at the end of the year. It will undoubtedly be one of the films that becomes regular viewing as soon as it is available at home, even after seeing it multiple times in theaters as everyone should.

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