November 16, 2011

Reviews in Retrograde: The Art of War

Critical Outcast isn't my first attempt at a website, I had a few stutter steps in the late 1990's and early 2000's. These attempts generated a whole bunch of poorly written, often very short and spoilerific reviews. I recently stumbled upon them in my archives and thought you may be interested in seeing some of these early attempts at writing. They are as they were then, I make no apologies for how bad or how short they are. Feel free to have at them with reckless abandon! I present to you: Reviews in Retrograde.

Shaw is an operative for the United Nations' covert dirty-tricks squad, using espionage and quasi-ethical tactics to secure peace and cooperation. When a shipping container full of dead Vietnamese refugees turns up on the docks and China's ambassador is gunned down at a dinner celebrating a new trade agreement with China and the US, Shaw is framed for the murder and must evade the FBI and Triad gangsters to find out what is really going on.

This is the kind of movie that wasn't made for anything more than to make a quick buck. It's not a terrible movie, it's just not very interesting. They try to take advantage of the latest special effects, but it is just all flash without any substance.

We follow Wesley Snipes as a UN undercover ops agent. He is being used as a pawn in a plot to keep a trade agreement with China from happening. It's the kind of story that really doesn't hold your attention too well, the story is all over the place and none of the characters are all that interesting, they all fall into the standard character types. It's just a standard action movie.

There are so many action standards here that you start watching to pick them all out. For example, cop gets shot and left for dead, only to sit up and rip open his shirt to reveal a bulletproof vest. Why must they do this everytime? Another example is the whole sequence of good accused of crime, only to be rescued by the bad guys. It's really standard stuff, no new ground here.

The acting is typical, again nothing that stands out, just what you would expect from this kind of movie. Not much else to really say, again, it's not a bad movie, just an unspectacular action fest. Although it was kind of funny towards the end when they did their version of the subway shootout from The Matrix.

Moderately entertaining. One of those movies that isn't horrible but not terribly special either. Mild recommendation to see.

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