Movie #44: Operation: Endgame

I’m not quite sure what to think of Operation: Endgame. It’s a black comedy unlike too many I’ve seen. New recruit (codename: The Fool) starts his first day in a secret underground office housing two opposing teams of covert agents all named after Tarot cards. At first we get a dose of office humour through an espionage lens (there’s a funny scene where Rob Corddry’s The Chariot freaks out when he enters the code but the large security door doesn’t open). However, when their boss (Jeffrey Tambor as The Devil) is murdered, a self-destruct protocol is activated and the two teams join forces to find a way of escaping. When one of the teams doesn’t want to play nice, a Tarantino-style bloodbath ensues which fully explores the most violent ways to kill using office supplies (I’ll never look at a staple remover the same way again). Other notable cast members include Maggie Q (soon to be TV’s Nikita) as The High Priestess, Ving Rhames as Judgement, Emilie de Ravin as The Hierophant, Ellen Barkin as The Empress, and Zach Galifianakis as The Hermit. I am still wrestling with the concept of this film. I’m not sure if it was much more than a strange battle royale between characters I’d never seen before. There wasn’t much time to get to know any of them, and there was constant chaos-bloody-chaos, which made it hard to take this movie as mindless fun. I could see how there was a political message in there somewhere, lost among the cacophony of blows and cursing. Nevertheless, I liked the movie and wish it had been a TV series instead. (It definitely could have used some JJ Abrams production values and Joss Whedon dialogue.) While the animated TV show Archer treads similar “spies at the office” ground, Operation: Endgame is less petty and much darker satire. (3.5 out of 5)

6 more to go!

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