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The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Review

Director Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is loosely based on a true story. During World War II, Nazi U-boats are slowly cutting off the UK from desperately needed supplies and troops from the United States. As Prime Minister Winston Churchill faces increasing pressure to surrender to Adolf Hitler, he seeks a rather unique solution.

Churchill wants to secretly strike a West African outpost that supplies the Nazi submarines with critical supplies. Cut off their supply chain, and you can end Nazi dominance over the Atlantic Ocean. But to conduct an unauthorized military strike, he needs an unauthorized strike team.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Review

Churchill and his loyal men, Brigadier Gubbins and Ian Fleming (yes, that Ian Fleming), recruit Gus March-Phillips out of prison to lead the strike. The rebellious, uncouth, and possibly mad Gus agrees to the secret mission, provided he can recruit his own team.

He assembles a group of rogues, misfits, and murderers to go on the impossible mission. Paving the way for them are secret agent Marjorie Stewart, a local casino owner, and spy Heron. But for them to successfully thwart the Nazis, they’ll need to face unexpected challenges from both factions in the war.

Henry Cavill

If you were to call this film Inglorious Basterds-Lite, you wouldn’t be far off. It features eccentric heroes, verbose villains, and Nazi killing action, though not to the same violent degree as a Quentin Tarantino film. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of violence.

It’s just more mainstream than a Tarantino film. The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is an entertaining popcorn flick that’s worth checking out while simultaneously being fairly forgettable.

Alan Ritchson

What really makes the film is the stellar cast. Henry Cavill stars as Gus March-Phillips, the mad leader of the group. Cavill gets to show his wild side and wicked sense of humor that audiences haven’t really been able to see in his other films. His performance here shows he has a bit more range than we may have given him credit for, and it will be interesting to see if this role opens new doors for him. Fans of Cavill should be quite happy.

Also noteworthy is Alan Ritchson‘s role as Anders Lassen. Fans of his from Reacher will be surprised to see how much funnier and more energetic he is in this role. While he still has the brutal and bloody fight scenes, his wisecracking really sets him apart from the rest of the cast.

Eiza González

Eiza González continues to impress as Marjorie Stewart. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s showing more and more her acting skills here. Watching this and 3 Body Problem back-to-back really shows her range as an actress. Her performance as Stewart shows her as a female spy who’s just as tough as the boys but in her own special way. She’s the predecessor to all of the Bond girls.

The action in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is entertaining. Alan Ritchson gets the best Nazi kills as he fights with a bow and a knife. We’re treated to a prison break reminiscent of the village attack in Predator, where our heroes mercilessly mow through the unsuspecting soldiers. And the eventual culmination of the spy mission is every bit as suspenseful as the heists in Ocean’s 11. The result is a movie that steals from the best of a lot of its predecessors while adding a healthy dose of humor.

Alex Pettyfer

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is advertised as being “based on a true story.” I questioned that until the end credits, where they showed photos of the people the characters were based on. While none of them look anything like the actors who portrayed them, it does make you want to go and look up the real history of the events shown in the film. Check out the book by Giles Milton if you want to learn more.

For an action movie, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare does have long stretches where not much happens. This makes it have some pacing issues that are occasionally tedious to get through.

Cary Elwes

As for the action, while there are some impressive fight scenes, there are a lot of scenes where the characters are simply walking around shooting unsuspecting Nazis like the Terminator. By the time they’ve shot their 50th Nazi with nary a scratch on themselves, it starts becoming rather repetitive. Fortunately, you have Anders Lassen grabbing an axe to fight with and liven things up.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare should entertain action fans, WWII enthusiasts, and anyone who’s a fan of Henry Cavill or Alan Ritchson. And if you aren’t already a fan of Eiza González, you will be by the time the credits roll. The film is rated R for strong violence throughout and some language.


The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare