Supporting characters appear and disappear without moving the plot along. Nonsensical dialogue ensues as, in one notable example, Gooding’s character taunts his would-be assassin with an interrogation that ends with the phrase, “It doesn’t take three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.” Gooding’s delivery is straight, not tongue-in-cheek; no obvious attempt to unseat Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger as King of the Catch-Phrase. Your creative writing assignment for the week is to write a scene that uses that line of dialogue and manages to retain its realism. I dare you.
Is Way of War one of those cases we never hear about when a box office-obsessed studio exec’s intrusion into the process would have improved the picture? Sticking to a proven formula could have given the filmmakers an opportunity to land a solid dive from the lower platform; a fantastic goal for a team of first-time writers. Instead, because of undisciplined overreaching, Way of War attempts the high dive and ends up crash-landing by the pool.