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Film / War (2007)

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War (also called Rogue Assassin in Europe) is a 2007 movie starring Jason Statham and Jet Li. Originally titled Rogue, the name of the movie was changed to avoid conflict with another movie with the same name.

Tropes this movie follows:

  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version uses "Strong Style" by Kreva.
  • Ambiguous Ending: The film ends with Lone shooting John in revenge for inadvertently getting Lone's family killed. If it killed him or not, however, is never revealed as the movie cuts to Lone escaping the scene and later seen taking the money he gained from Shiro, getting in his car and driving off to parts unknown.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • Played straight with Shiro, who manages to hold his own against Rogue/Lone in a Sword Fight much longer than several of his assassins did earlier in the film.
    • Averted with Li Chang, who is never shown to possess exceptional combat prowess and is killed without putting up much of a fight.
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  • Back Stab: Rogue/Lone shoots John in the back for being responsible for his family's death, even though John stops the sniper from shooting his friend.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
    Shiro: I ordered many kills.
    Rogue/Lone: This one was different.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The movie opens with Crawford and Lone dicussing the benefits of Oral Fixation when you Must Have Nicotine. It's only gradually apparent that they are crouched behind cover while Rogue is doing his One-Man Army thing on a gang of Triads.
  • The Chessmaster: Rogue ends up working for both sides in effort to bring both of them down.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Kira, the Yakuza boss's daughter, is a Dark Action Girl who is eager to please her father by working as his lieutenant. She briefly works alongside Rogue while not realizing that he's Playing Both Sides.
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  • Decoy Protagonist: For the most part, the film seems to follow John going after Rogue in revenge for the death of his friend. However his importance is largely minuscule to the overall story and in truth, the film is really about Rogue or rather, Lone, and his quest for revenge for said death of his family.
  • Demanding Their Head: Kira Yonagawa orders Rogue to kill Chang and his wife and daughter, so she can present their heads to her father. Rogue does kill Chang but helps his family escape, and at the end of the movie they receive a metal case containing a valuable statuette, and a note telling them to "make a new life" for themselves. Kira gets the same note and metal case...containing the head of her father.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Crawford was told that the Yakuza only wanted to work over his partner to teach him a lesson. Instead they send Rogue who proceeds to execute Lone's wife and child.
  • Downer Ending: John's obsession in chasing Rogue and avenging his partner Lone took a toll in his family life. In the end, he gets killed (presumably) by "Rogue", who's really Lone, as revenge for working with Shiro who sent Rogue to kill him and his family.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Rogue seems reluctant to kill Li Chang's wife and daughter, despite previously killing Lone's family. However, it was revealed that Rogue is really Lone.
  • Eyes Never Lie: John realizes that Rogue is Lone by looking into his eyes at the end of the film, recognizing his partner's eyes.
  • Face/Heel Double-Turn: John turns out to be the one who sold Lone out, while "Rogue" turns out to be the real Lone alive and well having taken his identity and altered his face.
  • Faking the Dead: After killing Rogue, Lone put his wedding ring on Rogue's finger and burned his house down so Rogue's body would be unrecognizable.
  • Friendly Sniper: Goi is an FBI marksman who loyally assists Crawford in his pursuit of Rogue and cracks jokes about the size of his sniper rifle.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Somehow the attack on Chang's home requires the Yakuza to dress in black clothing and ski masks, then sneak up and kill the guards with swords, even though they've been quite happy to use firearms up to then.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Rogue let his guard down long enough for Lone to get a chance to strangle him to death.
  • It's Personal: John had always been obsessed in apprehending Rogue. But it becomes more personal when Rogue murdered his partner Lone and his family. It turns out this is due to guilt over having tipped off the Yakuza to their location; he thinks getting Rogue will somehow atone for their deaths.
  • Kill and Replace: Officer Lone sets this in motion after he kills the real Rogue and takes his place.
  • Let the Boss Win: All of Shiro's men fear the consequences that may follow should they actually score a hit on him in sparring. When he is momentarily distracted, one of them accidentally strikes him, and the minion fully expects the worst. Instead, Shiro seemingly subverts this by reassuring the terrified mook that it was Shiro's own fault for being distracted and congratulates him on the hit. Then he double subverts this by ripping the poor guy's ear off.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Rogue. He changes his face so many times no one knows what he originally looked like, and even then his face is usually obscured by shadow. Which makes it easy for Lone to change his own face and being able to pass himself off as Rogue.
  • Mob War: Rogue is Playing Both Sides, inciting a war between Triad and Yakuza.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: John realized his mistake of working with Shiro and causing the death of his partner and his family. John tells Lone he's sorry for everything, but Lone doesn't forgive him.
  • Ninja: The five Yakuza Elite Mooks all wear black masks and use katanas.
  • Not Himself: Shiro ordered Rogue to kill Chang. But he seems to show reluctance when he's ordered to also kill Chang's wife and daughter. Kira points out Rogue that he never had problems killing women and children before. That's because he's not Rogue.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: When a Yakuza goon baulks at taking orders from Kira, she drops a knife from her sleeve and holds it to his neck. She tries the same trick on Rogue only to find her hand empty. Rogue then casually hands her the knife. "You dropped this."
  • The Nth Doctor: Rogue is infamous for wearing a mask and undergoing frequent plastic surgeries in order to alter his face. Which makes it easy for Lone to pose as him.
  • Public Secret Message:
    • Rogue kills Joey T and makes it look like the Yakuza did it. Chang orders his brother not to seek revenge at this time, but Rogue follows him out of the building and lights a cigarette for him, pointedly telling him to keep the matchbook. The matchbook shows the name of a tea house where the Yakuza will be meeting that night.
    • When John turns up with his fellow federal agents, brandishing the photos of Rogue's treachery in Yonagawa's face, the latter mutters, "Thanks for the tip." It looks like he's being sardonic, but he later reveals that John is on his payroll, so he really is tipping him off.
  • Redemption Equals Death: John has been continuously guilty after he sold out Lone only to get his family killed. After discovering that Rogue is actually his 'dead' partner, he steps into the field of fire of an FBI sniper to stop him firing, only for Lone to shoot him immediately afterwards.
  • Rogue Agent: Rogue is a former CIA assassin who turned on his own handlers. He appears to regard himself as a modern ronin, claiming to have no master, and even In-Universe he's known for being a Heel–Face Revolving Door.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The last Ninja Mook tries to run away after his companions are killed or incapacitated in less than a minute. Rogue shoots him In the Back.
  • Shoo the Dog: Surprisingly, the Big Bad gets to do this. Yakuza boss Yonagawa is an awful excuse for a person and Would Hurt a Child. However, he does care about his loyal daughter and lieutenant Kira, and makes an excuse to send her back to Japan, out of harm's way, before his final confrontation with Rogue.
  • Siblings in Crime: Chang's Co-Dragons are brothers. When one of them is killed, the other wants revenge on both Chang (for allowing it to happen) and the actual killer.
  • Sleight of Handiness: Rogue is holding his pistol when Chang's daughter enters the room. He puts the gun underneath a newspaper, and when she demands to know what's there, he lifts the paper to show the gun has disappeared. When the girl leaves and a mook then tries to threaten him, Rogue makes the pistol appear again.
  • That Man Is Dead: "Tom Lone is dead. My name is Rogue."
  • Was It Really Worth It?/What the Hell, Hero?:
    Rogue/Lone: Why did you do it? What did Shiro promised you that worth my life for the life of some petty assassin?
  • You Killed My Father: "You killed my partner and his family." However, he learns he himself was responsible.
  • You, Get Me Coffee:
    • After Crawford rudely takes over the case from the local police, they ask what they're supposed to do. As Crawford has gotten himself bloody doing a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, he says they can do his laundry.
    • Kira arrives in the United States to find the local Yakuza chapter gearing up for war with the Triads. She makes it clear that no-one is going to war without her father's approval, and when they start waffling, she holds a knife to the boss's throat and tells his minion to get her a salad. Chef, blue cheese. With dressing on the side.