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Genre: Action
Starring: Treach, Warren Derosa, Sung Hi Lee, Janet Carroll, Leo Lee
Director: Gerry Lively
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2009






Languages: English/Portuguese/
Subtitles: English/Portuguese/
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




When international diplomacy comes up short, extreme measures must be taken. In the newest installment of The Art of War, Agent Neil Shaw, played by Naughty By Nature's sensation, Treach, is on a covert mission to stop North Korean terrorists from obtaining a nuclear bomb. But when the deal turns deadly, Shaw is drawn into the crossfire to save a beautiful facilitator (Playboy model Sung Hi Lee)... and ends up framed for murder. Now a wanted man with only his newbie partner and the mysterious facilitator by his side, Shaw must rely on his kick-ass martial arts skills and bad-ass warrior code to fight through Korea's mean streets and find the terrorists before they detonate the bomb at a United Nations peace summit. This is war, and there is an art to it.


For knowing when to do battle or when to walk away is to know the true art of war - Neil Shaw

The Art of War continues in this third instalment of the Wesley Snipes' front franchise. Wait a minute, is that Snipes on the DVD cover? Apparently not. The role of Agent Neil Shaw is now taken over by rapper artist Treach from Naughty by Nature. In The Art of War III: Retribution, Shaw is drawn into a covert mission to stop North Korean terrorists from obtaining a nuclear bomb and detonating it at the U.N. summit.

This is obviously not a high-end, no-brainer action flick given the amateur production values that generates more laughs and entertainment fodder than the movie itself. The prologue is a laughable attempt at portraying Islamic terrorists, the firearms sound like fire-crackers and why is that guy thumping so hard on the dummy-looking laptop thingy? Throughout the duration, we never lay our eyes on the nuke too.

Frequently intercut with archival city shots of Korea to bring out the supposedly set in Korea storyline littered with lots of makeshift Korean signage courtesy of the set designers only expand the joke further.

While the original Art of War was no action classic at least it passes off as mindless entertainment as noted in my review of The Art of War II: Betrayal. The sequel starring Snipes was a straight to DVD release as per this one. Snipes takes himself seriously despite the less than appealing plotline and well, possessed the charisma to carry a movie. He is still Blade for heaven’s sake, the man can still pull a punch or two. Apparently, Retribution goes a few notches lower as compared to Betrayal that even Snipes, the go-to-man for home videos shunned it.

Treach tries hard to reprise the role which Snipes originates. You know Snipes has a certain air of mannerism that's difficult to replicate. The cheesy dialogues and clumsy action choreography don't help in creating a believable character let alone a hero who saves the nation. Playboy model Lee Sung-Hi (though she didn’t strip off here if you are keen to know) pairs off with Treach as a mysterious woman caught in the war and the one who looks like he is having a ball of time is wannabe agent J played by Warren Derosa.

You want to see how bad a home video release goes? The Art of War III: Retribution is the perfect example. And no, inserting nuggets of wisdom doesn't elevate the status of the movie nor conceal the bulk of crappiness.


The Code 3 DVD contains 14 trailers including The Fifth Commandment, Blood: The Last Vampire, District 9, Moon, The Art of War II, The Informers and many others.


We can clearly hear the laugh-inducing popping sounds from the firearms courtesy of the Dolby Digital and visually speaking, it looks awfully close to a TV drama.



Review by Linus Tee

Posted on 17 August 2009


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. The International

. Rabbit Without Ears

. Paul Blart Mall Cop

. Fired Up!

. Cadillac Records

. Underworld Rise of the Lycans

. Rachel Getting Married

. Not Easily Broken

. Anacondas Trail of Blood

. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

. Punisher: War Zone (Blu Ray)

. Seven Pounds

. Red Sands

. Fireproof

. Plasterhead

. Slam

. Quarantine

. Center Stage: Turn It Up

. Street Fighter

. The House Bunny

. The Cook

. Step Brothers

. Open Season 2

. Anaconda 3: Offspring

. Hancock

. You Don't Mess With The Zohan

. Prom Night

. Casino Royale

. Redbelt

. Felon

. Tortured

. Penelope

. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

. Away From Her

. The Take

. Saawariya

. Black Book

. The Shepherd

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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