Release Date: August 24th, 2007 by Lionsgate.
The Cast: Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki, Luis Guzmán, Saul Rubinek, Ryo Ishibashi, Terry Chen.
Directed by Philip G. Atwell.
BASIC PREMISE: FBI agent Jack Crawford (Statham) hunts for Rogue (Li), an infamous assassin who murdered his partner, Tom (Chen).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: War is, essentially, a B movie with lots of action-packed sequences, but a thin plot and mediocre acting at best. In the first act, Rogue kills Tom, an FBI agent. Tom’s FBI partner, Jack Crawford investigates the murder and quickly realizes that Rogue must be the killer because he used the same bullet he had used during a past crime spree. For the rest of the silly plot, Jack and Rogue basically play a game of cat-and-mouse. It turns out that Rogue has been surgically restructuring his face throughout the years, which makes it harder for him to be found—perhaps that’s a wink to a much more refreshing action film from the 90’s called Face/Off. The screenplay by co-writers Lee Anthony Smith and Gregory J. Bradley has so many plot-holes and implausible scenes that you’ll often feel frustrated, especially during the gimmicky third act. Moreover, they don’t include enough comic relief to balance the action. On a positive note, Devon Aoki as, Kira, the daughter of a crime boss, provides brief laughs by the she commands someone to order her a salad. Jason Statham and Jet Li, who usually have at least some charisma on screen, unfortunately, fail enliven their characters beyond what the dull screenplay allows. Director Philip G. Atwell includes plenty of action sequences, car chases and even some graphic violence, but much of it is poorly edited and low on style—unlike the upcoming, tongue-in-cheek, guilty pleasure Shoot ‘Em Up. War, on the other hand, feels more like a guilty displeasure which should have gone direct-to-video.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 9
IN A NUTSHELL: An action-packed B movie low on style with dull characters, mediocre acting and a silly plot.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "W" Menu