Friday, March 8, 2013

Will somebody get me a salad!?

War (2007)
Another one I'm not quite sure what to make of.  Statham plays another cop/agent/authority figure and it was a pretty by-the-numbers Yakuza/Triad/cops/assassins story until The Twist hit.  I ragged on The Twist quite a bit in Chaos because it was complete crap, but for whatever reason I really liked it here.  It's nothing more complex than you would find in your average Law & Blue Hawaii CSI Order-FiveO episode, but I thought it was competently executed with even a smidge of emotional punch behind it.  So while I was snoozing through the first half, the last half salvaged the experience and overall I was at least entertained.

Statham was again serviceable if uninspired.  Some really great action sequences and his work during the Yakuza/Who Cares/Triad shootout was excellent and a blast to watch.  So he's great to watch, but without an over-the-top or larger-than-life character to play, he just doesn't seem as into it as you'd like to see.  I think I'm starting to hit the Generic Statham Movie Zone here and it's going to get increasingly hard to say something clever or point out some new subtlety in his performance as he basically plays the same character over and over again.  Hopefully there will be some more gems to be found, but certainly have hit a fair number of throw-away roles thus far.

It's interesting that Jet Li again fell really flat for me here.  I like him quite a lot, but this is two Statham movies where he's pretty much phoning it in with very little charisma.  Normally he oozes charisma with the best of them, but until The Twist, he's a bit too reserved and standoff-ish to be much fun.  I did at least get that awesome fight sequence between Jet and Statham that I'd hoped for.  Their showdown is immensely more satisfying that it was in The One and it's fantastic watching two accomplished action stars spar off against each other.  Excellent choreography and really well executed.

Badassery Quotient - 8
Statham doesn't really have the commanding screen presence that I normally enjoy out of him here, but at least we offset that with some complete silliness and mayhem during the major shootout sequence in the middle of the film.

Rewatchability - Rarely
Knowing what The Twist is will likely diminish much of the enjoyment of a rewatch, but there's ample violence and craziness to be had here.  While I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again, I wouldn't refuse it if someone else were interested in giving it a try.  I wouldn't strongly recommend it to anyone because it's quite likely The Twist wouldn't work out for them and without that, there isn't much memorable here.

Up next - The Bank Job.  A Statham period piece!  Who wouldda thunk it?

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