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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The new film "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" is based on the 2014 book "Churchill's Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperadoes of WWII" by author Damien Lewis. Whew, we are dealing with some long titles here movie fans. The film, directed, co-written and co-produced by Guy Ritchie ("Sherlock Holmes"), plays fast and loose with Operation Postmaster. The aforementioned special operation was a off-the-books black-ops sabotage mission to disrupt Nazis' U-boat resupply operation on the island Fernando Po, an island off Central Africa, which was Spanish controlled. The film is set in late 1941, at the height of World War II, before the United States entered the war. During this period the United Kingdom is having difficulties halting Nazi Germany's attempts to take over Europe, as London is suffering regular bombing attacks and the UK's supply and aid ships are being constantly sunk by German submarines. Brigadier Gubbins (Cary Elwes), also known as "M", is ordered by Churchill to prepare Operation Postmaster, and keep the mission off-the-books. The team is put together and includes Gus March-Phillips (Henry Cavill), Anders Lassen (Alan Ritchson), Freddy Alvarez (Henry Golding) and Henry Hayes (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). Two recruits, Majorie Stewart (Elza Gonzalesz) and Mr. Heron (Babs Olusanmokun) are sent ahead by train, with the others departing for Fernando Po on the Danish fishing trawler "Maid of Honor." Marjorie and Mr. Heron encounter Nazis on the train, but deal with them effectively, and arrive at the island before Gus and his crew, who have their own encounter with a ship of Nazis.The  mission also includes rescuing Appleyard, who has been captured by the Nazis, and his rescue is quite explosive in several ways. Once all are on the island, the plan begins to unfold, but not without the villain of the film, the very nasty Nazi Heinrich Luhrx (Til Schweiger), causing all manner of problems. Gus and his crew carry out their mission, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. Each of the crew have their own special talents, which they use to perfection on the secret mission. I will not say how the story ends, other than to say the crew is victorious, which should come as no surprise. As for the actors, Cavill is having a blast in the role, and despite being "out muscled" by co-star Lassen, steals the film with his frequent laughter, presence, and witty remarks. I know Cavill, and I'm sure the rest of the cast has a blast making this film, which is described as a spy/action comedy, and this film lives up to said description. As I mentioned earlier, the filmmakers take many liberties with the subject matter, and it is definitely a Guy Ritchie film, so expect lots of blood to spill. The film also features Ian Fleming (Freddie Fox), who used Operation Postmaster as the inspiration for his James Bond novels. The real-life gentlemen who are the subject of this mission and film, are shown just before the closing credits, and we see what happened to the brave men and the courageous lady Stewart. Overall, "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" is extremely entertaining, and led by the wonderful cast, is a must-see film for fans of director Ritchie, Cavill, and war films with a twist. (Rated R)



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