Piotr Kumik's Operation: Nation (aka, Kryptonim: Polska) is one of the most impotent films of the year. What's vexing is that it's neither great nor downright terrible. If it had fallen into one of these categories, it would have ignited a vehement response from us. But Operation: Nation is so feeble it only causes indifference. Things just happen in front of your eyes while you sit in your seats, frozen like a corpse. There should be a different term for these types of movies. How about "motionless pictures," since they are weightless and nothing in them particularly moves us?
The movie, written by Jakub Ruzyllo and Lukasz Sychowicz, is made up of funny ideas. There is a group called RYS, which is seen celebrating Hitler's birthday during the opening scene of Operation: Nation. The humor is derived from an inaccurate swastika symbol, which practically screams, "Irreverent Jokes Ahead!" The RYS members are foolish and problematic. Their stupidity and racism are conveyed through their inability to accurately spell LGBTQ. One of the members is so slow-witted he interprets Warsaw as "he saw the war." These people are presented to us as jokers, but we only see them as unlikeable and violent dumbheads.
The RYS men lay the blame for their incompetence on others. When they injure one of their own members at a kebab joint, they accuse "them" of the accident. When an RYS man is asked how he was defeated, he screams, "Jewish Conspiracy." (In reality, though, he was overpowered by a woman). Then there is a bad Italian guy celebrated as a hero by the very people he came to hurt. You can detect traces of humor in these developments, but Kumik is unable to flesh out anything substantial. What's the point in blaming him when the screenplay itself is half-baked and insubstantial.
Amidst all the tomfoolery, the movie finds a space for romance. Before you could say, Jack Robinson, Pola (Magdalena Mascianica), and Staszek (Maciej Musialowski) fall in love, break up, and again fall in love. It's a flimsy relationship that, like everything else in the film, comes across as disposable. All the actors give their best, but their efforts go wasted. The location looks so airless and plastic it resembles a closed studio set or a bland wallpaper. Operation: Nation is one of those films where events occur because the screenplay exists. There is no other motivation. The characters serve the plot, and the plot dutifully follows the pages. Meanwhile, the director simply sits behind a monitor and shouts, "Cut!" The result, unsurprisingly, is an impersonal blah.
There are a few mild chuckles (a detonation code is revealed by covering the other person's ears), but it's all insufficient. The ultimate message is this: Love conquers all. No shit, Sherlock. You don't need to spend 1 hour and 33 minutes on something this pointless to learn something so unenlightening and banal. You can change the film's title and call it Operation: Unremarkable.
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