War

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There’s a reason why Jet Li doesn’t speak much in his latest movie – He’s abiding by that ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all’ rule. And boy, does he remain quiet.


Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Andrea Roth, Devon Aoki

There’s a reason why Jet Li doesn’t speak much in his latest movie – He’s abiding by that ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all’ rule. And boy, does he remain quiet.

If the veteran martial-arts superstar (”Hero”, ”Fearless”, ”Kiss of the Dragon”) hadn’t been biting his tongue for the duration of “War” he might have said something like ‘This is one of the dullest, slowest and most inane movie I’ve ever worked on. And will someone please let me actually do my thing?’ But if he had, he would’ve burnt a few Hollywood bridges – something Asian actors can’t afford to do. You see, although Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s best movies will always be the movies they’ve made in their homeland – they’re, after all, more ‘stunts’ than ‘stuntman’ – Hollywood’s such a big market for both those guys that they’ve got no choice but to just suck it in and accept a boat ride down crap canal now and then (For Chan, it’s the ”Rush Hour” movies, for Li, it’s…. well, everything he’s done in the states.)

“War” is direct-to-video drivel in blockbuster clothing. It’s the kind of film Dolph Lundgren and Oliver Grunner do week after week – the kind of thinly-written revenge film that’s driven by frivolous exposition and cheap explosions. Since the producers have been able to twist Li and Jason Statham’s (”Crank”, ”The Italian Job”) arm’s – no doubt with money – it’s being spared the ‘DVD Exclusive’ treatment. Paying Cinemagoers will wish it hadn’t.

Li plays the cold-blooded killer responsible for the death of Statham’s partner (and his partner’s family). Several years later, the cop gets a chance to catch the crim. A fight ensues – eventually – someone dies, the end.

If you’re going to do a Jet Li movie you don’t waste an hour of film before you finally have kick someone… or something… it’s like going to an Eddie Murphy movie and not hearing that famous laugh of his; it just fells off. And even then, by the time director Philip G.Atwell has Li ‘do his thing’ its time for the film to come to its hasty end. The promise of a marvellous skirmish between brawny Statham and the Asian martial-artist never really comes – it’s all a maddening tease. ”Year of the Dragon” this ain’t.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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About Caffeinated Clint

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

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