Shaw is an operative for the United Nations' covert dirty-tricks squad, using espionage and quasi-ethical tactics to secure peace and cooperation. When a shipping container full of dead ... See full summary »
The deranged military and former CIA agent Dean Cage is in a rehab program, trying to forget the traumatic loss of his best friend Scott in Bosnia. When he dates with his girl-friend and ... See full summary »
At a time of international incident, the body of a young female staffer is found in a White House wash room. Homicide detective Harlan Regis is called in to investigate the murder only to ... See full summary »
Secret Ops agent Marcus is sent to Detroit to take out an arms dealer and the head of the hedge fund that is financing him. His CIA backup has other plans and turns on him and it's a fight to survive in a hospital.
Rosa Lynn sends her druggie daughter Loretta and her children Thomas and Tracy away from the big city to live with their uncle Earl in the ancestral home in rural Mississippi. Earl puts ... See full summary »
Shaw is an operative for the United Nations' covert dirty-tricks squad, using espionage and quasi-ethical tactics to secure peace and cooperation. When a shipping container full of dead Vietnamese refugees turns up on the docks and China's ambassador is gunned down at a dinner celebrating a new trade agreement with China and the US, Shaw is framed for the murder and must evade the FBI and Triad gangsters to find out what is really going on. Written by
Jeff Cross <email@example.com>
The tones dialed for Lo Kee Bakery, the Gentleman's Club, are the first few notes of the tune to "Yankee Doodle". See more »
When Julia Fang walks through the lobby of one of the buildings at night, you can see the shadows of the crew on the walls behind her. See more »
What is he waiting for?
[putting on headset]
What are you waiting for?
Novak, I'm experiencing the moment.
He's going to experience a Chinese labor camp in a moment if he doesn't stick to schedule.
See more »
An unimaginative telling of a tale we've already heard. ** (out of four).
THE ART OF WAR / (2000) ** (out of four)
By Blake French:
The Art of War refers to an ancient handbook by a mighty Asian general named Sun Tsu, who hypothesized that wars can be won without physical combat. Numerous powerful leaders, including Napoleon, defeated their enemies by using the ideas of Sun Tsu. According to the action flick "The Art of War," Tsu's theories apply to the world of business and politics as they do to war.
"It's about strategy, manipulation and control, all the way through," says director Christian Duguay, whose credits include TV's "Joan of Arc," and "The Assignment." "The whole film is based on the theme of manipulation and the idea that things are not what they appear. That's what I think makes this film very unique and exciting."
Or how about confusing and hard to follow, better words to describe what Christian calls "one character manipulating the other, who is manipulating still another." The production notes inform us on the ancient techniques and strategy of manipulation, but "The Art of War" is not the movie to justify those principles. After half a dozen plot twists, even more action sequences, and probably more hidden character motives, this film becomes exactly what Tsu condemned: the actual fighting of war. There's enough action in this movie to classify it as a mixture of material arts and a James Bond, but after one perplexing situation after another, we simply toss our arms and stop caring altogether.
Instead of a plot description, let's examine the sources of this movie's recycled story. First, we get a man who is wrongfully accused for a murder he did not commit. In a strike of luck and personal investigation, he gets the chance to prove himself innocent after escaping from the police during a transportation accident. Yes, that sounds like "The Fugitive." Now throw in the film's follow up "U.S. Marshals," about an accused government agent using his insider knowledge while an Asian thug tracks him down. Combine the two similar plots and you get something like "The Art of War," straight from the recycling plant to your personal viewing pleasure.
Working with a forty-million dollar budget, Snipes himself performs many of his own stunts and combat sequences. The film does offer some exciting, if conventional, action sequences, but I wanted a smart plot about political tactics and clever espionage, not run-of-the-mill action. Anne Archer and Maury Chaykin contribute effective performances as the villains, and Snipes does good things with his character. But the plot just doesn't work. It houses too many characters, too many plot complications, and too much technical government stuff. "The Art of War" is pretty much an unimaginative telling of a tale we've already heard.
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