Title: Operation: Endgame
Genre(s): Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R (AC, GL, GV)
Studio/Distributor: Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media
Cast: Joe Anderson, Rob Corddry, Ellen Barkin, Odette Yustman, Zach Galifianakis, Emilie de Ravin, Maggie Q, Adam Scott, Brandon T. Jackson, Beth Grant, Bob Oedenkirk, Michael Hitchcock, Ving Rhames, Jeffrey Tambor
Synopsis: After their boss is murdered and the top-secret underground facility they work in declare a lockdown, causing it to become a ticking time bomb, two rival teams of government assassins (Alpha & Omega) who use code names based on Tarot cards declare war on each other. The newest addition, the Fool, is caught in the middle and must find both the Killer & a way out before headquarters is blown to kingdom come.
The Bottom Line: Set during the 24-hour period (surprisingly during the history-making inauguration of President Obama), “Operation: Endgame” tries to be a modern-day version of “Ten Little Indians” and it almosts succeeds in that purpose but soon it begins to suffer from what I like to call “Hancock’s Disorder”, where the tone of an action-comedy shifts almost too much to the point of confusion. Every scene transition cuts from action scene to Obama except to action scene to Obama except to big action climax to Obama except to major twist (which I won’t reveal but it’s not worth revealing because you barely notice it by the time the movie comes to an end). What makes this movie tolerable is the performances of the cast. Team Omega consists of Emperor (Bob Odenkirk of “Breaking Bad”), Chariot (Rob Corddry, whose performance is more seriocomic than it is a straight comedic performance), High Priestess (Maggie Q of “Nikita”), Judgement (Ving Rhames, whose character basically uses his code name to make the kind of lines heard in big action movies of the 80s & 90s) & new recruit The Fool (Joe Anderson) and the team is lead by Devil (Jeffrey Tambor), who ends up being the murder victim of the film. While Team Alpha includes Empress (Ellen Barkin), Magician (Adam Scott), Tower (Brandon T. Jackson), Temperance (Odette Yustman) & Hierophant (Emilie De Ravin). And somewhere along the way, there is room for an appearance from Zack Galifianakis as the Mole, who happens to be a well-trained killer, in spite of his appearance. There is extensive number of extremely violent fight scenes throughout the movie that almost pushed the envelopes of extreme and the humor is tinged with enough sharp wit to keep the film watchable for a couple more hours. Despite those qualities, the one true killer of “Operation: Endgame” is one we saw coming 20 minutes into the movie: the continuious AND confusing change in tone.