Cuba Gooding Jr stars as David Wolfe, a government operative who is unlucky enough to discover a conspiracy which implicates several members of the cabinet to a terrorist plot in the middle east. To discover what is really going on, Wolfe has to go rogue and defies orders to become a one man army fighting for the trust, and indeed to preserve the American way.
The Way Of War received a lot of very bad reviews when it was released and they are to an extent justified. A great deal of the narrative is revealed in the form of flashbacks which can work as a plot device if they are correctly integrated into the script, however here they contribute to a plotline that can be very hard to follow, is muddy and confused. Clearly the script was in need of an experienced editor to give it another draft and it’s a shame that didn’t happen as it means that the movie which does have a lot going for it in other areas, is fundamentally flawed.
None of this is the fault of Cuba Gooding Jr who as ever, turns in a great central performance, really holding the film together and acting his socks off. The direction is at best a touch confusing with a lot of hand held shots that are I assume designed to involve the viewer in the action but end up looking amateurish and off putting. Production design is very good however and the middle eastern setting for the opening of the movie looks great on the big screen. It also scores points for linking the American government with Osama Bin Laden, and it’s a shame that the narrative didn’t delve more deeply into this darkly political plotline, eschewing it for becoming a more straightforward “man on the run” scenario as Wolfe is hunted down by his own people who want him dead before he can uncover the truth. Though flawed, there is a lot of good work on display in this film and Cuba is always worth watching so have a look for him alone.
Director: John Carter
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Clarence Williams III and John Terry