ART OF WAR 2
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
Agent Neil Shaw is back in action after his mentor is killed. It all leads him back to put his training to the test when somebody is killing off folks for political reasons. Where are you Blade?
Is it good movie?
In Art of War 2: Betrayal, you basically have Wesley Snipes looking cool and doing what Mr. Snipes is good at. But I said basically because while he is still kicking ass, the film is far below the quality of his earlier work. What happened to Blade man? The fight sequences here are so poorly lit and they use slow motion to varying degrees. But they never look good, they just look like badly staged fight scenes in a not very good B-movie. I kept wondering if Wesley isn’t in shape to do these flicks because you can hardly tell who is fighting whom. While I almost find it hard to blame any stunt coordinator involved because I think if this had been shot well there might have been some good stuff happening on camera. But alas, the scenes are repetitive, dull and lifeless.
As for making a sequel to Art of War, I’m sure there was a good reason. Hell, they even seemed to put a lot of advertising behind this DVD release. But as it stands, this is a pretty weak return to the life of Agent Neil Shaw (Snipes) who comes out of hiding after the murder of his cross-dressing mentor. And it seems that he may have been killed because of his knowledge of Shaw. It also seems that more of his friends are in trouble including his actor buddy, Garret (Lochlyn Monroe) who is now a Senatorial candidate. Once Shaw begins to search for the truth as to why people are dying because they are not supporting some bill in Congress, he finds that he is being used as bait. The plot is so convoluted and the script makes little sense. Why in the world would a Senator whose life is knowingly in danger, sit alone in a parking garage waiting for her assistant? Sure, they use bait to try and lead the baddies away, but would you seriously just go, ‘Sure, I’ll wait here in this car? Nothing will happen!’? No, nobody would do that if they were living in a smart script.
It was very had to find any real pleasure in Art of War 2. The editing was sloppy and the direction, even though the film looked surprisingly good, seemed all over the place. The use of speeding up and slowing down film is poorly used. It makes the budget look cheap and it lessens the impact of the action. I was actually hoping to have a good time with this, but it just doesn’t work. Whether you are talking the direction, the editing, or the bland relationship between Snipes and some girl that seems to only be there to drop her top (which she doesn’t), it all ends up as a poor excuse for an action flick. Give me the old Snipes back! I know the dude has had his fair share of bad times, but he deserves better than this dammit.
Video / Audio
Video: At least the 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen looked great.
Audio: I can say the same for the Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Surround if you’d like to watch it in Thai. I’m guessing that they are counting on this being huge across the world. And it probably will do pretty good business.
Well the most interesting aspect of this DVD is that you are given a bonus digital copy with purchase. Just pop it into your computer and you can download and enjoy it on your Ipod or whatever you have.
You also get a couple of Alternate Fight Scenes (7:49 if you “Play All). I didn’t think the fight scenes could get any worse. They did. They include “Crashing the Party”, “Assassins at the Academy”, “Gas Station Fight” and “Showdown on the Ferry”.
Finally, we get Trailers. They include “Blu Ray Discs is High Definition!” (not a movie, but just a little insight as to how cool Blu Ray is), “Zombie Strippers”, “Felon”, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder”, “Resident Evil: Degeneration”, “Impact Point”, “Cleaner” and “The Contractor”.
It seems like Wesley Snipes is back. He is still pretty cool when it comes to arse kicking. But the fact that his return is so frightfully dull is disappointing. There is no chemistry with the leading lady, the plot is convoluted and the direction is sub-par. While it looks good and seems like some sort of budget was attached, all the camera tricks and the silly fight sequences were just plain boring. Will it sell? Probably, and we might even be given Art of War 3, but if you are looking for a cool Snipes flick… there are plenty out there besides this.