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War
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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Generic kung fu cop movie but with a awesome twist

7/10
Author: powerfull_jedi from Portugal
20 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've grown somewhat detached from Kung Fu movies in the last year or so. Some of these Japanese mafia/Chinese mafia related stories feel so much alike that sometimes it feels like you're just going through the motions, I felt pretty much the same way with Rouge Assassin until the twist actually kicked in. Say what you will about the shaky-cam technique, martial arts movies in general, especially Jackie Chan's movies, are so obviously choreographed, that you no longer feel that the fighting is dangerous and it really does feel more like a dance, Jackie Chan gets off most of the times, since that's how we works taking cues from the late great Charles Chaplin and also since his movies and generally aimed at a PG and PG-13 crowd, but again, most of these types of movies feature fight scenes that feel too much like the actors are doing dance steps rather then fighting. Rouge Assassin's no different.

For the most part, the story's about Jason Staham's character quest to avenge his best friend after he had been taken out by a mysterious hit-man who seems to change his allegiances between the yakuza and triad mob bosses as easily as one changes his sweater.

However, no amounts of Jason Staham-related scenes(his scene where he confronts a Yakuza enforcer in Japanese is cool) can make up such for a generic kung fu movie. But the twist, which mostly likely nobody will see coming when it hits, but careful viewers will probably notice some odd stuff at some point. Believe me, it will change your entire perspective of all the characters involved in this odd conspiracy.

I was also somewhat disappointed by Devon Aoki's performance, who doesn't really do much then looking a little tough, but just demanding a salad to his hench at gunpoint looked a little silly on screen.

The cast was decent, we had Jet Li, once again giving his usual performance and Jason Staham, who has pretty much now cemented himself as a top Hollywood bad boy, gives once again , another of his great performances.

The cast also includes some rising Asian stars, who play their part with competence(save for Devon Aoki), thought the movie seems a little too condescending enough and assume that the audience knows no difference between the Japanese mafia and the Chinese mafia.

It's worth a rental, it's a generic kung fu cop movie like many others before it, but has only one thing that elevates it above everything else. And that's the said twist.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

An action movie that attempts to make you think

6/10
Author: Daggerborn from United States
1 March 2008

War pits Jason Statham and Jet Li against each other. Both are known for their insane action and martial arts sequences, but for all that talent we never really see one good hand to hand fight between the two. It's your basic revenge story, Jet Li kills Statham's partner and Statham wants to crush his nuts. You know, your basic action movie. Don't expect War to win any awards. Unless there's some sort of awards show with all action movies in it nowadays. If you go into this movie expecting the next Shakespearean masterpiece, you're in deep deep trouble. It's a little more paced than some people make it out to be. There are huge breaks in the action that take time to tell the story and a little character development. Note that they are not small breaks but huge ones. Action comes in doses, but when it does it hits you like a train to the jaw.

There is a slight twist in the movie that helps to accentuate that it's trying to be different from other movies in this genre but it doesn't quite succeed. The "twist" ends up coming off as another of a hundred ways this is just like every other action movie ever made. In the same way most action movies treat themselves (and they should) lightly and with as little detail to realism as possible, so too does War. It knows that it's an action movie, and never expects you to think any thing more about it than that. In this same genre I would recommend Shoot 'Em Up over this, if you have already seen that this might feel a little tame in comparison. In that same way though, this movie has a different flavor and succeeds in its own way. Worth watching, but there are much better picks in this genre.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

War intense revenge action thriller

10/10
Author: spiritaway
10 October 2007

"War" was pretty intense revenge-thriller similar to Chan-wook Park's Oldboy and the action was non-stop. The movie centered more around the plot than special effects or martial arts. I think there could have actually been a little more of the martial arts and special effects, it is like Corey Yuen is taking a sabbatical leave in the middle of the film and leave the scene to the director, but the plot was still good enough to hold your attention throughout. For 2 hours of entertainment, you couldn't ask for much more. It was a good movie, all in all. Li and Stratham did a good job on the acting. They are also wonderful wonderful action star, and the outwardly coolness turn them into lethal killing machine. I did like the sword fights in the end I thought they were well choreographed and rehearsed.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of time. Massive plot holes, bad acting, and hardly any action

2/10
Author: akuma634 from Las Vegas
23 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK so I finally saw War last night and I had high hopes for it. I mean you have to great action stars facing off so how can that go wrong? How about for starters there is hardly any action in the whole movie. What little action you do get is very bland. Another thing is how misused Jet Li is, he only has one fight in the whole movie! It's just a few lame shoot outs and that's about all you get.

The acting is also very bad. Jet Li only knows a little English and he pretty much reads his lines like a zombie. The other actors show very little emotion. Mostly they just use the movies massive budget to show off fancy camera tricks and special effects to overcompensate for the lack of a decent story, good acting, and action.

The story is very generic. The good guy's partner is killed by a Yakuza hit-man and he spends 3 years trying to find the hit-man and get his revenge. The hit-man is this super warrior who can not even get hit once and you always know he'll over come all odds no matter what. The good guy has very little in his way in terms of danger, pretty much no one gives him much trouble except for the bad guy who never tries anything dangerous until the end.

Then to top it all off this movie has one of the stupidest plot twists since The Wizard Of Gore. The partner never died, he saw his wife and kid shot and he managed to kill the hit-man. Then he torches his own house and goes to Mexico to get plastic surgery to look exactly like the man who killed his wife and kid! WTF? Oh and it goes on, so the hit-man apparently put pressure on the good guy by threatening to kill his family if he didn't give up his partner. So the good guy is a coward and the bad guy is really a wannabe of The Punisher who got plastic surgery to look like the guy who ruined his life and in a way is the real good guy of the story. Does that make any sense? Just see something decent like Shoot 'Em Up or maybe that new Resident Evil movie.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Awful.

5/10
Author: tisoto from United States
8 September 2007

I saw the movie War with Jason Statham and Jet Li. Jason has let me down. I say that mostly because the movie sucked. Don't go watch it in the theater. Don't rent it on video. You could spend that amount of time getting your teeth cleaned or washing your garbage cans and it would be more fun. (Or, hey, stay home and watch Crank or Transporters I and II.) I know it's not High Cinema, whatever that is. But look, dialogue with a bit of wit and sass is not too much to ask. This is a movie about a Yakuza war, right? So three different times, someone says, "This means war." Literally. Duh.

The fighting was sparse. Worse, there were not many good fights. A rousing fight between Rogue and Kira would have pushed the envelope a bit and made the movie better. Devon Aoki made a good tough in Sin City. That might have been fun. Two things I did like were the vehicles and weapons, but there wasn't nine dollars worth of that eye candy.

Obviously, my perspective differs from the few previous posters', who loved this movie. I'm glad they got more out of it than I did. I just want my money back!

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: Rogue Assassin

5/10
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
8 September 2007

War undergoes one of those unnecessarily title changes for this part of the world, naming itself after Jet Li's assassin character Rogue. Billed as "The Ultimately Martial Arts Duel of the Year", the person who wrote that blurb for Rogue Assassin obviously hasn't seen many movies, or martial arts ones for that matter, or is plain lying through the teeth. You'd half expect that pitting two action stars against one another will instantly mean box office success by pulling in fans of both Jet Li and Jason Statham, but it's a downright insult as you don't see any punches pulled between the two for 99% of the time.

Jason Statham actually starred opposite Jet Li in the movie called The One back in 2001, where Li had no decent cinematic opponent to spar with, and had to do so with himself, assisted by CGI. With his movies like Crank and The Transporter doubles becoming guilty pleasures (read: just Statham kicking up a storm without a reasonable story to boot), I'd actually come to enjoy his work choreographed by Corey Yuen (who also does the action choreography here), together with other ensemble movies he starred in, like The Italian Job and Snatch, amongst others. It's no doubt I'm a fan, but in Rogue Assassin, all he had to show off his fighting chops, was a sequence in a ubiquitous teahouse.

But Jet Li fared no better too. His Hollywood foray had been more misses than hits, either playing assassins or cops like in Kiss of the Dragon, or be stuck in roles that require little dialogue and only to look bad-ass, like in Lethal Weapon 4, and Cradle 2 the Grave. Or the easiest of all, forget dialogue and kick around like a mad dog - no offense but that's what he really did in Unleashed (which I thought the notion of it all was rather degrading for an action star). Nonetheless he goes back to a story on warring factions again ala Romeo Must Die, but this time, it's not between boyz in the hood, but putting Japanese Yakuza and Hong Kong Triads in the streets of San Francisco.

As I mentioned earlier, there's nothing martial arts here. Everything is guns, guns and more guns, with a complimentary sword fight put in, but not between the touted leads. The action sequences, from fights to chases to stunts all looked rather tired and rehashed, with absolutely nothing that will make you go "wow, that's nothing I've seen before". Statham and Li share no more than 5 minutes together in the same scene, and only at best a minute bashing each other up, in the dark, in a narrow dock warehouse, before launching into more verbal mumbo jumbo.

Everything here is a caricature, and not even a clichéd revelation saved the movie, when it had expected to, except to give some runway to a possible sequel. War/Rogue Assassin reeks of plain laziness, and plays out like a cartoon. In trying to be sophisticated, having to label locales with "The Triad Warehouse", or "The Yakuza Lair" was just plain hilarious, unintentionally of course. The number of supporting caricatures, some recognizable Asian actors, all fall into the realm of predictability, and the villains are all too smug and too boring. You have HK actor Mark Cheng (from his latest movie Invisible Target) lending his charisma but becoming a laughing stock, John Lone demonstrating he's still very much being typecast in Hollywood roles, Devon Aoki continuing to be that flower vase who doesn't look good up close (somehow the cinematic camera dislikes her), and hey, once TV actress from this part of the world, Steph Song, gets a cameo too, spending most of the screen time screaming.

Everything's pure flash with zero substance. Even in trying to be a little sophisticated in its plot, it decided to allow some plot loopholes to go through an exercise of the implausible, and put in some major character motivation error. But then again, we're talking about cartoony caricatures here, so that probably won't matter. It became a victim of its own star casting - you don't know who you want as the bad guy, and as a result, becomes a below par mediocre, generic action movie that you can stick some other monkeys in and still work.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The only movie you will ever find with these two fighting

9/10
Author: austinkunkle from ohio
15 November 2016

I don't care if people hated this movie. Nobody is going to find another movie of where Jet Li and Jason Stataham fight each other. Sure there were unexpected scenes of where I was surprised,but not impressed with. But either way,they both had there own fight,and even if it was a short fight,it was still a good fight. The plot was going good compared to the trailer for the first half,but when we get to the last part of where we find out Jet Li's discovery towards the end,I wasn't impressed at all. I was kinda expecting a whole revenge type of deal with Statham,not with Li. Even if the unexpected twist was disappointing to me,I still love the fact that both of them fight a whole bunch of assassins and each other.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Liked the movie, hated the ending...

4/10
Author: dcobbimdb
31 August 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Prior to the ending I rank this as a solid 7 / 10. I like the fact that it had good old fashion action and not a bunch o CGI stuff. Yes GCI is getting better but it still looks as fake as hell, especially when it comes to human action & fighting sequences...

Anyway I liked the intro, the movie build up, how the plot progressed, everything. And I have to say with two solid stars like Jason and Jet I was intrigued that Jet would take up the bad guy role and that you had two big blockbuster actors opposite each other. To my knowledge Jet has never been "bested" in any movie, similar to Bruce Lee and there's a part of me who wanted to see him get his tail cooked. I like Jet and Jason both, but it's not very often you see a big blockbuster star have his lunch handed to him...

Well, I figured it would work out such that there would be some big misunderstanding and Jet wasn't really the bad guy, then they'd join forces and kick some cooperative but, but I guess the writers saw that coming and threw another curve ball instead.

The ending... I hated it, not because Jet was really Lone and I didn't see it coming, but because they made Jason this trader / sellout cop who gave up his partner & got him and his family killed, and then after ruined his marriage and made it his life's purpose to find this assassin who killed his partner when "he" was the guy who set that up in the first place, ah duh?!?!? I don't care if it was a ruff up vs. wife and child dead, it's all on him. Seriously no guy is going to play that card and then turn about and make it his life mission bring the assassin in, totally 100% stupid and more to the point non believable...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

War is... Well, I just don't know!

5/10
Author: George Clarke from United Kingdom
30 December 2014

When War came out, it was pretty much a flop!

I don't know how though, with superstars Jet Li and Jason Statham, along with a host of other well known faces, plenty of action and a dark plot of revenge and dirty cops.

I didn't really like it upon its release, all but a few fights that come about eventually, and still after re-watching it a number of years later, I still can't seem to find a spot for it!

Its not that anything in particular is wrong with it, its just that there is something so unappealing that just does't seem to carry the wow factor like most of said stars other films do.

The actors are great, the action is great, the plot okay. But something is missing that makes this probably the weaker one of the Statham/Li action flicks, which is a shame really.

One watch is enough, but it does nothing to bring you back!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The end ruined the movie

5/10
Author: Bastiaan Rook from Hoofddorp, Holland
24 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When i saw watching the movie i thought it was a good action movie. The story of from this kind of movies aren't always that great but mostly entertaining. I thought it was a good build story of game that jet li played with the jakuza and triades and jason statham's character who seeks revenge of the death of his partner.

The action was cool, story was OK, I would give this movie 7 stars. But then the movie ended and i though "why do they do this again?". Jason's character who turned out to worked for the triades and know of the attack on his partner. This is so clichéd and come out of nowhere. It would be better if the triade guy lied that jason was one of them. And the last scene ended that tom lone got killed just after he found out that jason was not one of them.

but know jason jumped for the shot after telling he was responsible and jet li stepping into his car and drives away, end of the movie. awful ending and ruined the movie for me.

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