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War is a film that I have not seen but I’m sure I would like, given that it stars Jet Li and Jason Statham. The film is the directorial debut of Philip G. Atwell and tells the story of FBI agent John Crawford (Statham) who becomes obsessed with hunting down an assassin named Rogue (Li) after he brutally murders his partner. But, as it turns out, the story isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seems, there are some mind-blowing twists involved.
Unbelievably, it comes out that the assassin Crawford has been hunting down is none other than his supposed-to-be-dead partner! It turns out that after being supposedly killed, he tracked down and murdered the real Rogue in order to work his way into the Yakuza to find out who ordered the assassin to take out his family. But there’s another twist: it comes out that Crawford is the one responsible for giving out his partner’s address to Rogue (albeit under heavy duress) because he’s been in the Yakuza’s pocket for quite some time. Talk about twists upon twists!
The film was produced under the working title of Rogue (named for Jet Li’s character) but it was changed to avoid conflicting with an Australian horror film of the same name that was released the same year.
In the interview (which can be accessed in the link above), Tyler explains that he was approached to work on War after the premiere of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and after watching some footage from the film-in-progress, he begged for the chance to score the film. Additional music for the film was provided by RZA, Mark Batson and Machines of Loving Grace.
A major element of the story involves the Chinese Triad going to war with the Japanese Yakuza. As a result, Tyler created a musical blend using Chinese and Japanese instruments against one another to symbolize the growing conflict between the two groups.
I have to say, looking at Brian Tyler’s work has given me a completely new appreciation for action films and their music. A lot of people write off action films as being “mindless” or somehow “less than” bigger dramatic films, but I think action films can be just as good as any other film genre if they’re done properly.
It was really exciting learning how Brian Tyler created the score for War and I hope you enjoy the interview too.
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