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Operation Mincemeat (2021)

Hello to Jason Isaacs. Every so often, this tired and wizened old fart needs a healthy dose of good old-fashioned, dear old blighty escapism. So here we are, covert espionage and military underfumbling by this sceptered isle's finest players. As if we needed reminding, by George (Saint, no less), of how great Britain used to be.


So 'The Man Who Never Was' was due a remake? I'm not convinced this was required, but nonetheless, this still gave us something to get our teeth into. The story of a story of a dead man, this by turns has both a stiff upper lip and and a sober ear for the grimly comical. This is as it should be, given what would seem to untrained eyes as something of a nonsensical plot just so ridiculous it has to be true.


Littered with some of our most recognisable thesps, Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Penelope Wilton and Mark Gatiss to name but a few, this is supremely well acted but ultimately a needless dip once more into just how underhanded and sneaky people can be when the chips are down and Hitler is potentially looming. It looks authentic but veers in directions and subplots that are both unexpected and extraneous.


Though watchable and engaging, this dallies with a plot we can only assume was included to encourage certain cast members to come on board, failing to really ever get at the dirt of a grubby campaign in a horrific war. Well dressed and well spoken. What it does it does well, even including a nod to Ian Fleming (who is also featured here) while James Bond was nought but a twinkle in his mind's eye.


Historians will find it wanting, even if fans of the stars will doubtless be thrilled.



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