'Operation: Endgame' starts out with a well intentioned comedic premise. Two teams of super-secret government agents, Team Alpha and Team Omega, have been locked together in an underground bunker which happens to be their office. Once code name Endgame has been initiated, both teams have an hour before the entire operation and its files are engulfed in napalm, leaving nothing left. Since the teams outright hate one another, they start killing each other in increasingly sadistic ways, using only office supplies, all the while trying to find a way out of this death trap.
'Operation: Endgame' features a list of notable B to C-list stars playing characters all named after Tarot cards. A wise-cracking, perpetually drunk Rob Corddry ('Hot Tub Time Machine') headlines the comedic ensemble. Codenamed Chariot, he really, really hates just about everything, including his job. Ving Rhames ('Mission: Impossible' ) makes a cameo as a chilled out demolition specialist named Judgement. Maggie Q ('New York, I Love You' ) is High Priestess, as deadly as she is sexy. Emilie De Ravin ('Lost' ) takes on a Southern Belle accent as an oddly religious assassin named Heirophant. The large cast is rounded out by Jeffrey Tambor ('The Hangover,' 'Arrested Development') who plays The Devil, and Zach Galifianakis ('The Hangover') who plays an agent called The Hermit, who wanders the halls of the office.
Like I said, 'Operation: Endgame' starts with a promising premise. Right off the bat Corddry is laying down lines of insults that may catch you by surprise. The idea of having two opposing secret agent teams packed together in the same office, sharing cubicles next to each other, would be a hilarious take on today's bureaucracy problems if it were a different movie. Problem is 'Operation: Endgame,' with all its potential to be a biting commentary on the government and how its run – much like 'In the Loop' – but instead, it just becomes another profanity-laden faux-action film.
Perhaps the funniest and most clever bits of the film come from two middle management types who have to watch the whole bloody mess unfold from the comfort of a non-descript security room. As people get killed by a whole host of office supplies, from staple removers to paper shredders, Neal (Michael Hitchcock, 'United States of Tara') and Carl (Tim Bagley, 'Pushing Daisies') can't help but wince and throw up in their mouths as they witness the carnage.
I really wanted to like 'Operation: Endgame.' Corddry's got some great one-liners. Carl and Neal make much of the film worth watching, but in the end, 'Operation: Endgame' spends too much time worrying how much blood spatter it can produce, and not enough time making sure this is really humorous. In the end, the entire movie becomes way too serious for its own good. After all the comedic, sardonic dialogue, we're left with little more than a third-rate action flick. It's too bad too, because 'Operation: Endgame' is sitting on loads of potential. It's ripe for the Coen brothers to give it a treatment like 'Burn After Reading.' In different hands this could have made for great satire.
During the film, Jeffery Tambor's character does mention the hellacious tube lighting in the office, but man does it make some of this stuff near unwatchable. The 1080p presentation of 'Operation: Endgame' may just be a product of some subpar lighting on set, but skin tones resemble that of ghosts. Everyone here, has bleached faces that disappear into bright white blobs. This plays hell with the contrast, making whites burn hotter than you would ever expect. You know that feeling when you walk outside on a bright sunny day in the winter and the ground is covered in packed snow, and the sun's light reflects off the snow almost blinding you? That's what it's like watching 'Operation: Endgame' and the murderous effect the lighting has on each and every actor's skin tones.
Fine detail in clothing, textures, and blood spatter are there in abundance, but facial detail is almost wiped away from the terrible lighting. There's not much positive to say about this transfer. It's a low-budget film that never saw a wide release in theaters and has come all the way to Blu-ray without much of a budget behind it. It looks like you would expect a movie like this to look, but man the skin tones are just awful. At least there aren't many blips or specks to be found right? If there were it would be the least of its worries.
Spoiler Alert: There's a giant explosion at the end that is also affected in a major way by the dreadful contrast. The flame is computer generated and the whites burn so hot, it gives the flames a fake, waxy look.
Anchor Bay's audio presentation of 'Operation: Endgame' features a full-bodied PCM 5.1 soundtrack. The film's sound is nice enough for an action movie, but nowhere near reference quality. Still, it reproduces dialogue effectively, making it nice and intelligible.
Clinks and clanks of characters moving off screen can be heard in different channels and directionality shifts well as characters move closer to being on screen. There's plenty of LFE presence to be had from explosions to the thumping soundtrack. Sound effects from hard-hitting punches and well-placed kicks are reproduced well. For an action movie it still comes off a little light. Everything seems just a tad on the softer side, and requires the volume to be turned up a notch or two from its default setting. Other than that, this is a completely serviceable audio presentation.
'Operation: Endgame' could have been so much more in the hands of more capable filmmakers, but here devolves into just another blood-fest. Some of it is genuinely funny, but when I found myself wishing I was watching a movie about the Neal and Carl, rather than the other characters, I knew there was a problem. Oh, well, if you like blood, gore, and inventive deaths with office supplies I guess this is the movie for you. The video on this is pretty bad. The audio is a bit of an improvement though. Overall, I'd say rent it if you're the least bit interested in seeing it.