The Source for Parents

Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

War (1/1/2008)

Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence, sexuality/nudity and language.

Directed by Philip G. Atwell

Starring Jet Li, Jason Statham, Saul Rubinek, Nadine Velazquez, Luiz Guzman

Jonathan's Rating: Skip it

I think my expectations were a little too high coming into this film. I love Jet Li, I really enjoy Jason Statham and I looked forward to the two of them facing off in this film.

Unfortunately, the movie didn’t deliver.

The story is the cliché tale of cop loses partner and seeks to avenge his death. I was rolling my eyes at formula plot elements and lines I would only expect from 70’s cop films like, “What’s the word on the street?” And the film has a true textbook example of gratuitous nudity—a girl walks in the room donning a briefcase like a “Deal or No Deal” girl, takes off her clothes for no reason and walks away. Are audiences really that one-dimensional?

The film had potential. Li and Statham’s performances were both fine. Choreography was decent. The subplot of taking down the two big time crime bosses was entertaining—a reprise of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo plot (like Eastwood in A Fistfull of Dollars and Willis in Last Man Standing). And the film actually fooled me with a creative twist.

But this is probably my last choice in a Li or Statham film. I’d rather re-watch Li’s Fearless or Stathom’s Transporter films again and again rather than endure this cliché mess.

No. Violence, nudity… you name it.

Side Note:
As said above, we recommend you skip this film. But on the occasion that your teen actually has already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.

Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?

  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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