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Act of War (1998)

 |  Action  |  22 December 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.4/10 from 127 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Jack Gracy, a former security guard at the American Embassy in Russia, has shown up uninvited to a party at the embassy in the former Soviet Republic of Bazrhikistan, where his estranged ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Gracy
Douglas Arthurs ...
Sergei Constantine (as Douglas H. Arthur)
Ingrid Torrance ...
Katherina Mirova
Jan Nemejovský ...
President Mirovich
Milan Gargula ...
George Willmont
Terry Barclay ...
Cmdr. Kelly
Katerina Kornová ...
Shannon McCormick ...
Richard Haas ...
Ambassador Pierce
Christopher Clarke ...
Michael Rogers ...
Gen. Thomas
Vitezslav Bouchner ...
Gen. Mitchell
Martin Hub ...


Jack Gracy, a former security guard at the American Embassy in Russia, has shown up uninvited to a party at the embassy in the former Soviet Republic of Bazrhikistan, where his estranged girlfriend is working. As the two are talking upstairs, a group of terrorists disguised as caterers burst in and take all the guests downstairs hostage. The terrorists are threatening to launch nuclear missles at America if their demands are not met, but they haven't planned on Jack being their to spoil the party. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

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Release Date:

22 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Acto de Guerra  »

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User Reviews

Canadian conspiracy to destroy movies forever ...
11 February 2006 | by (Halifax, Nova Scotia) – See all my reviews

A Canadian conspiracy to destroy movies forever has come one step closer to fruition with the very bad 'Act of War.' The title is a declaration of what it intends to do the the larger body of world cinema, the forces of good, and your free time. This movie is a bad, bad, bad thing and I'm so sorry I spent time watching it. I've started to attend counseling and I'm happy to report that I do appear to be making a move towards recovery.

This movie is a clear sign that 'Telefilm Canada' is in the business of providing tax shelters and opportunities for tax write-offs. I'd just like to take a moment and apologize to the rest of the world for what my country has inflicted upon you. The four out of ten may seem generous but the film has so much intended humour (which is miserably unfunny) that the hilarity of the botched attempt actually makes this film easier to watch than much similar fare you'll find. I've seen worse -- I'm an idiot -- but I've seen worse.

Featuring no 'A-List' or 'B'List' players, one can't but hope that the producers might have tried to get a hold of 'C-List' material like the reliable Michael Dudikoff. Read that last line again with a straight face. I dare ya! Tragically, Dudikoff appears to have been busy on the weekend that this movie was filmed. How lucky are we that Jack Scalia stepped in to save the day instead? In fairness to Jack Scalia, he puts in as good of a performance as could be expected from a film which is never really sure about its own identity. Hampered by a very muddy script, terrible dialogue, goofy plot and botched satirical elements, the inmates are running the asylum. Is it a comedy, a spy thriller, an action film, a (bad) James Bond spoof, a film with a warning on nuclear terrorism? It tries to be all of these and succeeds in being none. The script has no focus, giving the director no focus. A focus-less director has no vision and therefore no control over the actors. The actors ham and mug shamelessly in front of the camera and one suspects they are just trying to add something to their reel that they can use as audition material for better projects.

The taxi driver is completely insufferable. The President is almost as bad. The bald general with the "I'm such a bad guy and you can tell if you look at my characteristic 'evilguy' goatee" beard is awful. The script is mortal wound number one. The acting is mortal wound number two. There are so many bad performances that the restraint to name only these three is unbelievable. Oh what the hell: the vice-president is over the top with his mustache twirling Snidely Whiplash performance. The satirically intended (but ultimately failing in the attempt) American general and his political equivalent are doing bad impersonations of Rod Steiger in 'Mars Attacks!' Jack Scalia looks like Laurence Olivier in comparison to the rest of the cast, but an Olivier who was older, tired and just needed some quick dough.

Don't even get me started on the soundtrack. Hilariously awful, it undercuts every single bit of credibility that the film aspires to have without exception. Find me a single moment where the music in this film helps to support the action or the tension. My own theme music plays in the background while I make that request. It's 'Mission:Impossible." The soundtrack is mortal wound number three. A shame really because it never gives this movie a chance from the opening credits to the mercifully not too far off end credits.

Paradoxically, this movie might thrive because of its awfulness. It is so bad that it is funny. One of those rare gems that are actually highly enjoyable with a few friends and a few drinks in. Just don't make them close friends because after they see this on your shelf, they'll never look at you the same way again. Oh for the days of 'Mystery Science Theatre 3000.' They'd have a lot of fun with this one!

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