Saturday, November 8, 2014
Written & Directed By: Boaz Yakin
Cinematography By: Stefan Czapsky
Editor: Frederic Thoraval
Music By: Mark Mothersbaugh
Cast: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, James Hong, Anson Mount, Chris Sarandon
In China, the girl Mei is a genius that looks like a computer in numbers. She is abducted by the Chinese Triads and the boss Han Jiao ends Mei to Chinatown, in New York, to help him in the control of his activities. Meanwhile, the fighter Luke Wright has his life destroyed when he wins a fight against the will of the Russian Mafia and accidentally kills his opponent. The Russian mobsters kill his wife and the alcoholic Luke wanders on the streets and hostels with no objective in life. One day, Han Jiao asks Mei to memorize a long number and soon the Russian Mafia abducts the girl from the Chinese mobs. She escapes from the mobsters she is chased by the Russians; by the corrupt detectives from the NYPD; and by the Triads. When Luke sees the girl fleeing from the Russian mobs in the subway, he protects the girl and discovers that the number she had memorized is the combination of a safe where the Triads keep 30 million dollars. Luke is an elite agent and uses his skills to protect the girl.
It seems that Jason Statham seems to not only make the same film bit also the same type of films. I don't entirely agree. While they are in the same genre and similar in a few ways. They each had their own personality and quality.
I believe Jason Statham is the closest and one of the few of the true modern real tough action movie heroes other then Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He seems to be one of the last few actors who mainly only work in the genre of action.
He also looks comfortable and like, he can walk the walk. Pretty impressive considering he is a former fashion model. He is a likable actor and can actually act. To me he's like a descendent from the Bruce Willis school of action hero. Only a British version. Only Statham knows martial arts. In fact he even got to act amongst his predecessors with THE EXPENDABLES and THE EXPENDABLES 2
This film seems more made for the modern day straight to DVD star, Rather than one of caliber such as Statham.
This film has a ridiculous plot and cardboard villains that seem rather elementary story wise, not uncommon though. The story actually pulls you in so that you care more then you should. --Jason Statham here shows weakness but still when it comes to the action sequences still seems indestructible.
One of the shining qualities of this film Is that it occasionally surprises you with action sequences. Not stunners, bit enough to follow and be entertained. Also no sex scenes. No character for him to hook up with. Instead he is here more to protect as the little girl he is protecting is his savior.
Being a New Yorker I also enjoyed that it got New York somewhat geographically correct. So it's fun to know and recognize the locations.
The villains are so cardboard at first they seem scary and threatening, then by the middle of the film. They just become faceless and stereotypical.
Director Boaz Yakin previously directed the 2003 film, Uptown Girls, a film which also deals with a troubled adult bonding with an intelligent child. He has come a long way since his debut film FRESH. His films seem more and more commercial and less personal which is his right. After all how much of yourself can you put on-screen before even you want to try something out of character so to speak
The film feels a bit more realistic until a certain point, where all of a sudden Statham's character comes alive and unstoppable.
The train action sequence was the best scene of the film, a big graphic fight scene in such a small space is remarkable.
The film contains plenty of action for him to show off, but lacks a final one on one, hand to hand fight. Though I will admit his characters past belongs almost in another film as it seems serious then is used as a throwaway later on.
A satisfying rental