"A Decent Straight-to-Video Movie with a Cop Out Ending."
I never understood what happened to Cuba Gooding Jr's career. Who did he piss off that he's now in the straight-to-video bin with Jean Claude Van-Damme, Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren, and Chuck Norris? With being in some nominated and highly praised films like "Jerry Maguire", "As Good as it Gets", and "Radio"; what happened? I would see trailers here and there for his straight-to-video stuff and never got around to seeing any of them, until now...
"Way of War" is a 2008 action film with Cuba playing David, a war veteran on the run after the government kills his fiancee after David kills Osama Bin Laden. With the orders being given out by two officials high up in the White House, they are tracking David's location and are set on a collision course where someone dies.
I give the film a 2.5/5, what ruins my enjoyment of it is the cop out ending that this film has. Without spoiling it, when they all collide and it breaks loose, I expected so much more from it. Even though he has second billing in the credits, J.K. Simmons is in the movie for about five minutes and he does a good job. Clarence Williams III does a good job and is in for the last half of the film when David brings the fight to his character's shop. And for Cuba Gooding Jr, I thought he did good for what it's worth.
Presented in 2.35:1 and shot on film with only two instances of print damage that I caught with a few scenes with dirt popping up, I thought the transfer was pretty solid. Also, something else I caught, there's a shot of the Washington Monument where you see two seperate cars drive by, where this footage looked like hell. I don't know if this was something done later in post to be some sort of filler. The grain levels are very strong and detailed on this presentation, which is kinda surprising that this wasn't shot in High Definition since it would have been a lot cheaper. I give First Look's (Millennium Media) presentation a 4.5/5.
Despite being listed as "5.1 Surround Sound" on the back cover, we have a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track for the film, as well as a 2.0 Dolby Digital track for the film. The audio track is pretty solid. However, you can clearly hear where the sound editors stuck in these cheesy gun shot stock audio. So, it sticks out whenever there's shootout scenes in the Middle East. I give the audio a 5/5.
Trailers for "Way of War", "Stileto", "Sukiyaki Western Django", "Contract Killers", and "Smoke Jumpers". As mentioned on the Blu-ray for "Immortal", these are horrible quality and are possibly sourced from a VHS tape. Quality is shockingly bad. I give the extras .5/5.
For my first ever outing of a Cuba Gooding Jr straight-to-video film, I wasn't really disappointed with it. I figured Cuba would probably pull a Steven Seagal and just act in the movie for about five minutes and have someone else dub over him like in all of his movies. And First Look Pictures, now a part of Millennium Media, gives a better presentation on this film unlike "Immortal". Considering you can get this for $5 brand new, I'd say it's worth it for the price. 3/5.