The Art of War

Theatrical Release: August 25, 2000
The Art of War


Ruthless terrorists attempt to ruin Chinese-American relations in this political conspiracy actioneer. They frame the one man who can stop them, an impossible missions operative who works for a secret government agency. While eluding the FBI, he must take matters into his own hands and stop what could become World War III.

Dove Review

Excessive is the word for this too loud, too violent, too everything “Mission Impossible” want-to-be. Although the talk of extreme violence rages on, this film pays no heed to the argument. Not only are bodies strewn throughout the seemingly endless running time, but the camera enjoys lingering on corpses. In one scene, the grisly discovery of decaying Asian aliens in an abandoned truck gets the close-up routine. It becomes nauseating as we see the dead bodies in the background while FBI agents vomit, then discuss the crime. The shootouts and karate battles are reminiscent of John Woo’s style, but lack his finesse. And who’s behind the political conspiracy? Those bad old right-wingers, of course. Not meaning to be political here, but as an observation, when did you ever see a liberal democrat sell secrets to a foreign country in a Hollywood movie?

Content Description

Sex: Brief shot of a pornographic movie with sexual activity; underage girls perform oral sex on a foreign diplomat.
Language: GD-3; J-4; F-10; S-3; B-1; BS-2; OMG-2.
Violence: Explosions; gun and karate battles and shootouts throughout; a woman is strangled with wire, then later murdered in a hospital; a security guard has his neck broken; a man falls on a shard of glass, which penetrates his neck, killing him; a man is assassinated; twice a man is hit by cars; a woman is brutalized, then shot at close range; shot of rotting dead bodies; camera focuses on victims and on wounds; a woman has her back broken by the lead.
Drugs: Truck driver snorts cocaine while driving; people drink in a bar.
Nudity: Topless prostitute is seen; photo of a topless woman.
Other: None


Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: Wayne Beach
Genre: Action
Runtime: 117 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright