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War Wagon 2006 Universal release - Lighthearted and entertaining Western
on 13 January 2011
Two of Hollywood's most charismatic stars, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas team up to provide as entertaining a 90 minutes as one could wish for.
The war wagon of the title is an armoured wagon full of gold that Wayne plans to steal, on the premise that it was stolen from him in the first place. To achieve his goal he needs the help of Douglas, who, in an added twist is hired by the bad guy to kill Wayne's character.
It follows the general template of most heist movies - the first half of the film is the gathering of the team and planning the job. The second half is the heist itself. There are a few twists and turns along the way that add to the fun.
There is an excellent feeling of lighthearted humour running throughout, accentuated by the easy banter between Douglas and Wayne. The two leads are at their charming, magnetic bests, and dominate the screen. The supporting cast is unusually strong, including Keenan Wynn and Howard Keel, so many of the bit parts make an impression as well, and it is this aspect that helps make the film memorable and entertaining.
The action sequences are well filmed, and the heist itself is a well thought out and well constructed set piece. Humour, action and plot development are all mixed up and evenly spaced through the film, making it a very well paced and watchable piece.
This release has a very good clean and sharp transfer, though there is the occasional scratch on the film. The soundtrack is in excellent shape with a good crisp sound. An very good budget release of this entertaining film.