Directed by Philip G. Atwell.
Written by Lee Anthony Smith and Gregory J. Bradley.
Starring Jet Li, Jason Statham and Devon Aoki.
Release Year: 2007
Review Date: 8/24/07
As much as I love the cliché, bad "doesn't
even scratch the surface" of how fucking dogshitty the new Jet Li
actioner "War" is. Shouldn't our man Jet be showing up in
halfway-decent American films by now? "War" is an indication
that Jet Li might be hurting his chances of ever entering the
worldwide action hall of fame; plus, Jason Statham continues to make
his case to be the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, albeit one who speaks
much better English.
I think the plot in "War" deals with an FBI
agent (Statham) who, angry over the murder of his partner (Terry
Chen), goes after a badass killer named Rogue (Jet Li), who is now
playing the role of hitman for two different crime organizations,
creatively named the Triads and the Yakuza. (It's WAR, baby!!)
This setup, while light on story, should have given us ample
opportunities for action, be it gun violence, beat-'em-up fun or the
assorted Staged Action Sequence possibilities, like car chases, foot
chases, Tony Jaa-style choreographed fight numbers, and the like.
But, no. Actually, FUCK NO.
"War" has legitimately awful action scenes,
strange given that the fight sequences were choreographed by Corey
Yuen, who used to be good at this until he started making moves
like...wait, this year's
Dead or Alive"!!! The gun battles are ridiculous, make no
sense and feature scores of "federal agents" who are running around
with tactical shotguns trying to take out small armies of
Triad/Yakuza guys. Jet doesn't really deal it to anyone with
martial arts; here, his character is a cold-blooded, gun-toting
killer, and to be honest, this isn't the Jet I signed up for.
Statham must know this script is a fucking dog (as does Jet),
because both men look like they are running for the exits in nearly
Devon Aoki is wasted as the daughter of the
Yakuza clan (by the way, you'll love that "Yakuza Headquarters" is
actually a Ferrari showroom...); she's the last actor that most
anyone will have heard of. The FBI team going after Rogue is
so low-budget they look like they are straining to read cue cards.
The cop extras suck, the bad guy extras suck, even the random club
scenes suck. ("War" also sucks because Vancouver was used to
double San Francisco, throwing me off until I read the end credits
and learned the TRUTH!!!) The acting by so many characters in
"War" is barely above the middle-school play level. Wow, this
was fucking bad.
Even a ridiculous plot twist late in the
game was not enough to save this crap. Even the ending without
the plot twist would have been crap. "War" is fucking bad on
every available level, and now I must admit, I'm sad I wasted $7 on
Rating: Hard Vice
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard