Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare Review

The last time Guy Ritchie and Henry Cavill teamed up was in the underhyped The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While the movie was a pretty good spy/action movie the actions of the co-star brought about a dark cloud over the film. Nine years later they have reunited again for the action-packed ensemble period piece, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.

Based on the real Operation: Postmaster mission that was detailed in Winston Churchill’s book, Secret Warriors: The Explosive True Story of the Special Forces Desperadoes of WWII by Damien Lewis, Ritchie gives us an exaggerated look into this mission. Some of the impossible feats they accomplish do not seem real but these scenes make for some good action sequences in the movie.

Alex Pettyfer, Alan Ritchson, Henry Cavill, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and Henry Golding in THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE.
Photo Credit: Dan Smith for Lionsgate

The men in his team are all experts in their field and they are being accompanied by two agents that are going undercover. The plan is changed when something happens to one of the team members and that creates a side mission for the team. During these moments we not only see how good the team is but we also get some great visuals from Guy Ritchie. He is great at stylizing action sequences and giving the audience some unusual shots of the action. The actors’ performances are enhanced by these camera angles making the actors look bigger than life.

The Nazis have made it impossible for British allies to assist them in the war due to their submarines in the waters. Seeing that the Duchessa d’Aosta is supplying the subs with U-boats, a plan is devised to sink the Duchessa to cut off the supplies. Knowing that this might be a suicide mission, Gus March-Phillips, played by Henry Cavill, is given the task to accomplish this mission. He accepts under the condition he can select his team and the audience is introduced to the men that will join him.

I will say that after seeing Cavill briefly in Argylle earlier this year it is great to see him having fun on the screen with Ministry. The entire cast seems to be having a blast as they walk across the screen and take out Nazis as they complete their mission. Alan Ritchson, who plays Anders Lassen, just commands the screen with his presence and he uses his big size to easily go through the men he is fighting. Henry Golding, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and Alex Pettyfer, play Freddy Alvarez, Henry Hayes, and Geoffrey Appleyard, are charming in their roles and show that you do not have to be super muscular to kick ass on the screen.

Photo Credit: Dan Smith for Lionsgate

The two undercover agents, Babs Olusanmokun and Eiza González, who respectively play Heron and Marjorie Stewart, are fantastic in setting up the team with what they need and holding their own in the den of wolves. Although the Nazis surround them on the island of Fernando Po, they keep their cool and risk their lives to get the needed intel and fight when they have to. There is a musical number that seems a little off but it is integral to the plot and the mission.

If you have read the book you will know what happens in this mission but the stylized way it is shown is worth the price. As the final credits scroll we see that this group had more missions and there is even a love connection that occurs. I surely would love to see another movie with this group and hopefully, we will get that in years to come.

Final Thoughts: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a fun action-packed movie that is based on a real World War 2 mission. The film gives the actors ample time to stand out and show their worth on this mission. Henry Cavill is having a lot of fun in this role and Eiza González shines. The movie does not feel long for its 2-hour run time and hopefully, there will be another movie following this team.

Kid-Friendly: There is a good amount of comedy and an equal amount of violence in the movie. The story is interesting and might lead to kids wanting to learn more about this unsanctioned team. There are curse words throughout the movie but it is kept to a minimum.

Violence: There is a lot of violence in this movie. I would say that Alan Ritchson delivers about 80% of the violence with his use of knives and arrows in the movie. There is an image of a person who was tortured by Heinrich Luhr that might be a little jarring for younger viewers.

Based upon recently declassified files of the British War Department and inspired by true events, THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE is an action-comedy that tells the story of the first-ever special forces organization formed during WWII by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a small group of military officials including author Ian Fleming. The top-secret combat unit, composed of a motley crew of rogues and mavericks, goes on a daring mission against the Nazis using entirely unconventional and utterly “ungentlemanly” fighting techniques. Ultimately their audacious approach changed the course of the war and laid the foundation for the British SAS and modern Black Ops warfare. 

Scroll to Top