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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024


As summer slithers into fall, what better segue from light-hearted summer fare to the heavy stuff than a suspenseful hayride with Chinese overtones and Wesley Snipes? "The Art of War" will snap you right out of the summer doldrums and into fear and thrills. Perhaps.
Snipes is secret agent Shaw, a top-secret guy working for the United Nations on a high-stakes trade pact between China and the U.S. – until, that is, the Chinese ambassador is assassinated and Shaw, of all people, is framed for the murder.
Our hero now must grapple with Chinese Triad gangsters, the FBI, and high-tech assassins to not only prove his innocence, but to prevent the U.N. from being humiliated and the deal falling through. Oh my Chinese Whispers, (or is it whiskers?).
The only people who help Shaw are a Chinese translator, (Marie Matiko) and another agent (Maury Chaykin). However, it's a beautiful translator and a wily agent; not your run-of-the-mill sorts here. Snipes gives a memorable performance "half James Bond and half Shaft," according to one reviewer, in what another has called "an exciting action thriller that transcends its own plot." Whatever does that mean?
The film has received more praise for its audio gambits than its direction. It was filmed largely in Montreal by Canadian director Christian Duguay, who brought us "Screamers."
It is rated R for strong violence, some sexuality, language and brief drug content.
It starts Thursday at Cinema One and Market Square East.

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