Spoiler Review: War

January 25th, 2008 by Ghost

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Garbage basement filth. No bullshit, all facts; “War” is terrible. Right off the bat, lets get one thing straight; modern action movies are almost always heavy handed and boring with a distinct lack of any real blood-heating action. In a stone-faced refusal of trend bucking, “War” limps out of the gate and takes it’s place in line behind another recent Comfort King mattress advertisement, “Shoot ‘Em Up”.

The war of the title is supposedly the conflict between rival Yakuza and Triad families in LA (maybe), as well as the personal vendetta of hard-man-supercop-Special Forces agent Jack Crawford, played by Jason Statham. As it turns out, master assassin/spooky urban legend Rogue (Jet Li) is killing his way across town on vague orders from one of the families (maybe), and eventually lands at the door of Crawford’s partner. Rogue kills the partner, as well as his wife and daughter for posterity, and thus launches Crawford on his mission to hunt down and facekick Rogue for killing his friends. But Rogue vanishes.

Three years later, Crawford’s hunt continues because the big bad Rogue is back in town, baby! But Rogue’s no fool, he’s playing all sides against the middle and killing everything he touches. Sounds cool, right? It isn’t. The action, when it comes, is mostly boring, poorly edited gunplay while people carry on that Rogue can’t be stopped. Honestly, take a drink every time some thug or Crawford’s bimbo of a nameless wife uses the Biblical “He” to refer ominously to Li’s character. You’ll be swimming in your lungs six minutes in.

If you want lots of fighting, look elsewhere. “War” will make you long for crap like “Lionheart” where you knew a fight was just around the corner. Not so fast getting to that phone booth, Jean-Claude, you’re in gang territory now! Does it matter that the fight has nothing at all to do with the movie? No, because it’s an action movie and there’s action on the screen, by God. “War” doesn’t seem to realize this. Instead of high octane punching and elbows to the face, we get lots of half baked plot, awkward dialog, and a completely misused Statham and Li. These guys are action powerhouses, they should be doing something other than shooting a pistol and trying to act.

The two leads don’t even fight one another until the last 5 minutes of the film and halfway through this mishandled catharsis we’re slapped in the face with a double whammy two-for-one reveal that forgot to tell the plot it was coming to the party. As it turns out, Statham was working for a crooked police chief (maybe) and ordered some Triad or Yakuza goons sent to his partner’s house to rough him up a little for some reason. As if that transmission wasn’t from deep enough inside left field, we’re then told that Rogue has actually been the partner all along! That’s right, the partner killed Rogue and then assumed his identity to get revenge for his family. After this nonsense, Jason Statham gets shot by a police sniper and dies!

The bottom line is that this movie ruins what could be an entertaining premise: Jet Li and Jason Statham beat the hell out of each other for an hour and a half. There. That’s what we want to see and that’s what we should have seen. The one thing this pile of shit manages to get right is the pointless 80’s style nudity. There’s a fair bit of it.

You know a movie that lives up to it’s name? “Commando”. Watch that instead. And thank your gods for the return of Rambo this weekend, the American action genre needs a shot in the arm.

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Buy from Amazon.com : War
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