War (2007)
A vapid flick featuring nice hardware
12 November 2020
I am supposing the blame has to lie with Philip G. Atwell. I've not heard of him before; he seems to have a career mostly of pop videos. I hope I never hear of him again.

Who is this film for? Not romance film lovers, though perhaps the best acting is by the wives of the two cops at the start. Not sci fi fans. Not sword and sorcery aficionados. There could be marginal interest from watchers of spy films or cowboy films or swashbuckling adventures; but I would imagine the majority of people attracted to this title would be modern martial arts fans to see Jason Statham, who has a history of working hard to offer good action movies with well choreographed fight scenes, and Jet Li, one of the pre-eminent martial artists in modern films. Well, fight fans, don't bother.

Any moves the actors do in the fight scenes are cut to pieces with this fashion-victim director preferring fast cutting to confuse the eye and raise the heartbeat, as if these two guys and the constellation of other actors around them were incapable of playing out a convincing fight scene. While the action is not actually intercut with big comic book letters saying "wham" and "craackkk!", at least there would be a laugh if it were. There are some scenes shots of Jet Li wielding a katana with great energy very convincingly, but these are long shots and most of the fight scene moments seem to be edited together from cuts of scarcely 1 second duration .

The plot is very arch, like the 60s Batman series with supervillains everywhere and gritty heroes who never give up. Yet the characters are sketchy and puffed up by swagger and rumour and there's not a memorable line in the script. Tragically all the best action shots appear to have been left on the cutting room floor.

This is, really, a pretty appalling film dressed up in a superficial slickness which is mostly delivered by some rather tasty sports cars. And that's the best this film has to offer: a few automotive gems, a couple of swish motorbikes and while I know nothing about guns the shots of them are clear and sharp enough that they seem to be "featured" and so I wouldn't be surprised if gun lovers might enjoy a look too.

Otherwise this fluff of an offering is surely going to stain the CVs of some otherwise very good genre actors
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