Mei, a young girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code, finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob, and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail.
A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.
When his mentor is taken captive by a disgraced Arab sheik, a killer-for-hire is forced into action. His mission: kill three members of Britain's elite Special Air Service responsible for the death of his sons.
Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
After his partner Tom Lone and family are killed apparently by the infamous and elusive assassin Rogue, FBI agent John Crawford becomes obsessed with revenge as his world unravels into a vortex of guilt and betrayal. Rogue eventually resurfaces to settle a score of his own, setting off a bloody crime war between Asian mob rivals Chang of the Triad's and Yakuza boss Shiro. When Jack and Rogue finally come face to face, the ultimate truth of their pasts will be revealed. Written by
Written by M.I.A. (as Mathangi Arulpragasam) and Richard X
Performed by M.I.A. (as M.I.A.)
Courtesy of XL Recordings Ltd
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
"War" is a serious, sophisticated, powerful action-thriller with a decent plot and good performances, especially by Jet Li. The sound effects, music, and action work together to rip the tension down off the screen. This is wonderful example of no-nonsense, make do without the stupid jokes and rapport and focus on the methodical psyche on both on the part of the characters on the screen and the audience. Unfortunately, the accumulation of weak spots and a rather abrupt and discordant ending almost ruin this movie. There is one scene where Jet Li's actions as a master assassin is sorely tests credibility by how easily he is discovered and almost caught and there is a another scene where Jet Li's facial expression is caught revealing something other than the stoic, stern look in the most obvious scene as if to say let's try to show the audience that he's really OK. Chang's wife, the Chinese Triad, in the scene which she has an opportunity to speak to Jet Li alone seems incredibly amateurish, unpolished as a performance, almost droning artificial from the rest of the movie. While there is great action and fighting in this movie, there is one fight scene where it becomes so furious, even in the beginning, that it's impossible to follow what is happening to whom whereby the story gets jumbled and collapses partially - becoming fighting for fighting sake whereas a great director would have been able to save the plot outline even in this complicated and physically well-executed stretch of the movie. Jason Statham's seems to have martial arts skills above his job classification which make it sometimes a bit incredible, but still enjoyable. By the time the twist comes along, it's actually quite a nice one, but not executed with the greatest of credibility, it just doesn't seem plausible that it could have happened the way it did. Finally, the ending just isn't as well done as the rest of the movie, it just seems to lose power somewhat and end abruptly without a sense of cinematic satisfaction. These critical comments do not however sufficiently take away from the movie to transform it into a bad or even mediocre movie. This is overall a good, compelling, and rather complicatedly sublime movie. This movie is rich with action, sound with its characters that sometimes plays out as a psychological thriller and Shakespearean caliber. It could have, however, been a really great movie.
As an update to my first review one day short eight years ago and after seeing this movie twice in two days, I have come away with a quite different opinion of this movie. The originally perceived weaknesses of this movie appear in fact to be more based on my impulsive misperceptions and inattention on my part the first go around. Daniel Craig in Casino Royale (2006) and even Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity (2002) made the swift and calculated reflexive escape routine popularized and believable on screen, so to Jet Li as Rogue offers similar moves. In some ways, Jet Li even excels at the shorter and thus more believable fighting/chase scenes than either of the other two spy movies. Rogue is a much more complex, layered character and instead of a simple black and white, two-dimensional character Jet Li portrays a more human yet controlled and proficient murder machine instead of my initial "amateurish" description. Compared to the contemporary excess of martial art fighting scenes, War comparatively uses less explicit, shorter and less extraordinary, but nevertheless relative realistic martial art moves making War come across with more emotive and cerebral impact than most spy/assassin movies. Finally, the climatic ending diverts away from the typical, traditional ending and using an amazing twist, offers a quite satisfying and rather unique conclusion to this movie. Jason Statham is well cast in a difficult role, making the audience really appreciate the movie. This movie stands out because of its stellar casting against type in a way that become the underlying nature of the film. The only problem, if it is one, is the omission of a gritty, raw texture that Casino Royale projected off the screen.
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