The Art of War is a 2000 Canadian-American action film directed by Christian Duguay, starring Wesley Snipes, Michael Biehn, Anne Archer and Donald Sutherland. The film title refers to the ancient Chinese text of the same name by war strategist Sun Tzu.
The film was followed by two direct-to-video sequels, and The Art of War III: Retribution. The third film in the series did not feature Wesley Snipes.
Neil Shaw (Snipes) is an operative for the United Nations's covert dirty-tricks squad, using espionage and quasi-ethical tactics to secure peace and cooperation. In Hong Kong, Shaw infiltrates a Chinese New Year party held by Chinese business mogul David Chan (Tagawa) and covertly hacks an office laptop of a North Korean Defense Minister, and blackmails him with the misappropriation of U.N. aid money, in exchange for continuing negotiations with South Korea. Shortly after being discovered, Shaw fights his way out of the party, and suffers a gunshot wound to his shoulder during extraction.
Six months later, a shipping container full of dead Vietnamese refugees from Hong Kong turns up on the New York docks on the week as China's trade agreement with the U.S. Shaw's boss, Eleanor Hooks (Archer) suspects Chinese ambassador Wu's (Hong) connection with the Chinese Triad, and assigns Shaw to plant a bug on Wu during a banquet held by Chan. During the trade agreement banquet, Wu is gunned down, Chan is shot in the arm, and Shaw pursues a masked gunman. During the pursuit, Shaw's teammate Robert Bly (Biehn) supposedly corners the gunman, but perishes, and Shaw is arrested by the NYPD. In the middle of a prison transfer, FBI agent Frank Capella's (Chaykin) van is disabled by a roadside bomb, and an unconscious Shaw is captured by Triad members to be framed of the murder and disposed of. Shaw regains consciousness and frees himself from captivity, only to find his last remaining team member, Jenna Novak (Liliana Komorowska) murdered by a Chinese hitman. Shaw kills the hitman, recovers the audio file, and secures weapons and equipment from Novak's hidden armory. Shaw seeks out Julia Fang's (Matiko) help after reading a news article stating Shaw's innocence. Shaw manages to save Fang from an ambush by a Chinese hitwoman at a hospital.