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The Art of War (2000)

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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 »

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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Capella
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Jenna Novak
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Ray, FBI Agent
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Ochai
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Ming
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Anna Li
Uni Park ...
Tina Chan
Erin Selby ...
Hong Kong Reporter
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Storyline

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 <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Do you know who your enemy is? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some sexuality, language and brief drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 August 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El arte de la guerra  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,410,993 (USA) (25 August 2000)

Gross:

$30,199,105 (USA) (3 November 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jet Li was originally set to play the lead part. See more »

Goofs

While Shaw waits outside the library while Julia gathers data, he says "OK" but the close-up shot of his face as he does so clearly shows him not speaking. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jenna Novak: What is he waiting for?
[putting on headset]
Jenna Novak: What are you waiting for?
Neil Shaw: [over radio] Novak, I'm experiencing the moment.
Bly: He's going to experience a Chinese labor camp in a moment if he doesn't stick to schedule.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Art of War II: Betrayal (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Art Of Good Over Demonic
Written by Aarvin Wallace, RonYuan
Performed by Rain, Sabado G. and J. Cimone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An unimaginative telling of a tale we've already heard. ** (out of four).
27 September 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

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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