5.7/10
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172 user 114 critic

The Art of War (2000)

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0:32 | Trailer
UN's secretary general uses covert operations to help diplomacy along. Shaw's called back 6 months after one such operation. He witnesses the murder of Chinese UN ambassador at UN, NYC, chases the assassin and ends up a suspect.

Director:

Christian Duguay

Writers:

Wayne Beach (story), Wayne Beach (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wesley Snipes ... Neil Shaw
Anne Archer ... Eleanor Hooks
Maury Chaykin ... Frank Capella
Marie Matiko ... Julia Fang
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... David Chan
Michael Biehn ... Robert Bly
Donald Sutherland ... Douglas Thomas
Liliana Komorowska ... Jenna Novak
James Hong ... Ambassador Wu
Paul Hopkins ... Ray, FBI Agent
Glen Chin ... Ochai
Ron Yuan ... Ming
Bonnie Mak ... Anna Li
Uni Park ... Tina Chan
Erin Selby Erin Selby ... Hong Kong Reporter
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Storyline

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. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Do you know who your enemy is? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some sexuality, language and brief drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Art of War See more »

Filming Locations:

Hong Kong, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,410,993, 27 August 2000

Gross USA:

$30,208,599

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$40,400,425
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the film's shooting schedule, many action sequences and scenes in the film were shot by the film's Second Unit, including much of the car sequence where Wesley Snipes escapes the clutches of the Asian gang that kidnapped him early that morning. See more »

Goofs

When we first see Thomas in the car when he says, "...if that treaty with China would just go through..." but his lips don't match the words. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jenna Novak: What is he waiting for?
[putting on headset]
Jenna Novak: What are you waiting for?
Neil Shaw: [over radio] Novak, I'm experiencing the moment.
Bly: He's going to experience a Chinese labor camp in a moment if he doesn't stick to schedule.
See more »

Alternate Versions

R-rated version has been cut on the so-called "Mirror Scene" where Neil Shaw (Wesley Snipes), in flashbacks, sees his partner being smashed against the mirrors in her apartment. In the US version you only see her being knocked against the mirrors three times. In the uncut version right after she hits the third mirror you still see the following: She pulls her head back an there is a lot of blood on the mirror. She then kicks her attacker against the knee, who then smashes her against a piece of wall between two mirrors. He then grabs her again, pulls her back and throws her against the mirrors again and you can see her actually flying against the mirror, breaking it completely. At this point the R-rated version continues with her falling to the grounds and several pieces of glass dropping on her. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Zoolander (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Eye Out
Written by Devanand Blake, Orion Curiel and Justin Phillips
Performed by Shades of Culture/Devanand Blake, Orion Curiel and Justin Phillips
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good plot and acting, but confusing presentation
10 February 2001 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

Most people can't differentiate between a bad film and a film they don't like. Many people didn't like this motion picture because of its liberal subtext. That doesn't make it a bad film. Most people don't realize that this was a Canadian production and that probably explains the political slant. However, as action films go, it was intelligent, high tech, stimulating, bordering on believable (seldom are action flicks actually believable), with plenty of violence. I didn't particularly agree with its `New World Order' message, but it was still a solid film.

The main criticism I have of the film is the editing. In an attempt to make the story more intriguing, it is pasted together in a convoluted way that makes it very difficult to follow. All the factions and motivations are eventually explained, but one has to pay very close attention or see the movie a few times to catch them all. The screenplay suffers from an excess of subplots, which makes following the story that much more difficult. The biggest sin committed by the producers and director was that they did not understanding their audience. This film targets action lovers, who are a visceral lot. They want to be stimulated, not confused and intrigued. They also tend to be more conservative politically (God, Guns, Guts). So naturally, the film bombed.

Wesley Snipes delivers a strong performance in the intelligent action hero role. Snipes seems to be locked in the action genre when he is really too bright for the roles he plays. He should take a lesson from Samuel L. Jackson and look for scripts that are more dramatic. Jackson still does action films (Shaft), but he picks parts portraying complex characters and scripts with strong character development, instead of straight macho testosterone parts. Snipes would have done well in some of the roles Jackson has had. Anne Archer does a fine job as the manipulative career diplomat, pulling everyone's strings behind the scenes. Donald Sutherland is a bit flaccid in this film, but his character really didn't have a lot of bite.

Overall, this film is a strong entry into a genre dominated by mindless body count. I rated it an 8/10. Those who like their action flicks to be completely believable subtract two points. Subtract another two points for those who don't like confounding story lines. For those who abhor screen violence, don't even bother.


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