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Two rival teams of government assassins work out of a top-secret underground facility and use code names from the Tarot deck. When new hire “The Fool” (Anderson) joins the group, he arrives for his first day only to discover that the boss has been murdered and the office has been locked down and turned into a ticking time bomb. He must survive his ambitious co-workers, find the killer, and discover a way out before the whole place explodes.
For more about Operation: Endgame and the Operation: Endgame Blu-ray release, see Operation: Endgame Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 23, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Ellen Barkin, Emilie de Ravin, Ving Rhames, Zach Galifianakis, Odette Annable
Director: Fouad Mikati
» See full cast & crew
Operation: Endgame Blu-ray Review
Will it take "a Para Carry 9mm pointed at your crotch" to make you watch this wannabe hip movie?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 23, 2010
Are you in any way turned on by this?
Some movies just don't work. Operation: Endgame is one such movie. Saying that it "doesn't work" doesn't mean it's scraping the bottom of the barrel and on the same level as what is the equivalent of cinematic backwash like Miss March. What it is, though, is a failed attempt to be the next hip, cool, and trendy Action/Comedy. It's a film with zero substance, a confused plot, poor pacing, bland characters, a dull setting, and virtually no story, all of which cancel out the few things the movie does get right, like inventive kills, Ving Rhames, and, um, hmm, a copy of Guns & Ammo with the Springfield XDm on both the front and back covers? Yup, it's that kind of movie; finding much of anything positive to say about it proves fairly difficult. Ultimately, Operation: Endgame jus't doesn't make the cut.
It's January 20, 2009. Barack Obama's inauguration is underway, but deep within the bowels of a secret facility that's home to a covert agency known as The Factory, a deadly game of murder and mayhem is about to get underway. January 20, 2009 also happens to be the first day on the job for a new recruit known as "The Fool" (Joe Anderson). It's not that he's stupid, it's that The Factory code names its agents from a deck of Tarot cards. Just as The Fool's getting settled in and learning the ropes -- The Factory was established in 1962 with two competing groups of agents, the Alphas and the Omegas, the former of which carry out operations that will probably one day bring about the apocalypse, the latter of which tries to stop them -- he finds out that not only is his ex-girlfriend, code named "Temperence" (Odette Yustman), working for the Alphas, but Project Endgame has just been put into effect. With that, The Factory falls into a state of chaos with both sides out to kill the other. Who set this deadly game in motion? Who will survive? Who will find the most creative way to use everyday office supplies as deadly weapons?
Whats the best way to describe Operation: Endgame? "Strange" is an adequate word, and that really gets to the heart of the matter. An interesting enough premise that's never fully (or even partly) realized, oddball and underdeveloped characters, goofy nicknames that make keeping the characters sorted out by monicker rather than face a difficult chore, a lack of focus, a plot that never really makes much sense, and plenty of violence-by-office equipment are the hallmarks of a movie that just tries too hard. Yes, it's certainly strange, but then again, so are a bunch of other movies that have taken some whacky premises and characters and turned them into cinematic gold of the cult classic variety. Off-kilter movies like Reservoir Dogs and Snatch come to mind as oddball creations that actually worked and earned a well-deserved following for their ventures off the beaten path. Operation: Endgame seems bound and determined to follow that same formula, but it instead flops miserably. It's too erratic, too poorly-scripted, and too purposeless to rise to that level of success, let alone past -- or even to the point of -- mediocrity.
That doesn't mean that Operation: Endgame doesn't have its moments. Creative kills with office supplies -- a paper shredder to the face, a table leg with an exposed screw to the head, a staple remover to the neck, and sharpened pencils through the chest -- prove fun little novelties, but a few seconds of office rage taken to the extreme doesn't an entire movie make. Additionally, Operation: Endgame poorly develops its characters; the nicknames are difficult to keep up with; the script attempts to mask its deficiencies with a deluge of F-bombs; the "Alpha" and "Omega" allegiances seem not to matter beyond serving as a way to pair off characters and give them a built-in reason to want to kill one another; and even at a delightfully short 82 minutes, the pacing proves one of the film's own worst enemies. The nuances of the plot get lost behind the language and the mayhem, and by the time some of the secrets are revealed in the final minutes, they're met with a yawn rather than anticipation. It's not that Operation: Endgame is transparent -- it hides a few things well enough -- it's just that none of it really matters in a movie that emphasizes language, brutality, and wannabe hip characters before its own story.
Operation: Endgame Blu-ray, Video Quality
Operation: Endgame earns a passably decent 1080p, 2.39:1-framed transfer from Anchor Bay. The transfer's most easily-recognized trait is its heavily desaturated colors. The film captures a predominantly bleak and cold appearance that accents whites and grays while downplaying brighter shades like red and orange. By extension, flesh tones often appear pale and pasty. Black levels are mostly solid, a few times seeming to overpower finer details but generally appearing rich and inky. Fine detailing is solid, particularly noted in close-ups of faces where powdery makeup, pores, and facial hairs stand out nicely. Though most of the image remains sharp, a few scenes go noticeably and distractingly soft. Slight blocking in some darker backgrounds and light banding are no cause for major concern. Operation: Endgame isn't a show-stopper of a transfer, but it's certainly of a quality that's reflective of a good-looking direct-to-Blu-ray movie.
Operation: Endgame Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Anchor Bay delivers Operation: Endgame to Blu-ray with a quality PCM 5.1 uncompressed soundtrack that delivers a hearty listen that, like the video presentation, is good in its own right but not quite up to reference-quality standards. There's a good bit of back-channel activity in support of the film's music and sound effects. An early exterior scene features the sounds of the city -- walking pedestrians, passing cars, honking horns -- in a nicely-realized environmental ambience that also translates to the interior underground locale where alarms and various machines and office equipment create a subtle din. Music plays nicely, smooth and clear across the front and, again, with a supportive rear channel element. The track also captures a solid low end; it's more often than not subtle, but several larger action scenes allow for it to rumble with a bit more vigor. Dialogue is consistently discernible and never struggling for supremacy over ambience and/or music. Operation: Endgame's PCM track won't challenge for soundtrack of the year, but it delivers a good listen nevertheless.
Operation: Endgame Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Operation: Endgame features only a few bare essentials supplements. Besides an alternate opening (480p, 2:57) and an alternate ending (480p, 0:28), the disc contains a featurette entitled Behind the Scenes of 'Operation: Endgame' (480p, 10:29), a short-on-substance extra that delivers raw on-the-set footage and a few candid and off-the-cuff interview snippets, combined with various scenes from the film.
Operation: Endgame Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Better "Operations" in entertainment history? How about Hasbro's classic children's game Operation, the video game Operation: Wolf, and Star Trek's "Operation: Annihilate!." As for Operation: Endgame? Don't expect it to fall into the same category. Director Fouad Mikati's picture is but a sophomoric wannabe that doesn't find the same spark that's driven others like it to cult classic status. What it is, though, is a picture's that watchable but infinitely forgettable even alongside some of the more mediocre offerings -- DTV and otherwise -- out there. This Anchor Bay Blu-ray release sports a decent enough A/V presentation and only the bare minimum of extras. Worth a rental on a really slow day.
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Operation: Endgame Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Operation: Endgame Announced on Blu-ray - May 5, 2010
Anchor Bay entertainment has announced Operation: Endgame for release on Blu-ray on July 27. Operation: Endgame (previously titled Rogues Gallery) is an action thriller that centers around two rival teams of government assassins, who work out of a top-secret underground ...
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