August 31st, 2007 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 9,453 Views
The plot: Jack Crawford (Jason Statham) is an FBI agent from Asian crime division seeking revenge for the murder of his partner (John Lone) and his family. Although his 3 year-long quest for vengeance cost him his marriage, he doesn’t stop looking for a mysterious and illusive assassin called “Rogue” (Jet Li), who has his own score to settle, setting up Japanese mobs, the Triads and Yakuza, against each other. When Jack catches up to Rouge and meets him face to face, the truth about their past will be revealed.
The good: action scenes were very well choreographed. Jet Li is martial arts.. well.. artist, and Jason Statham has proven to be very effective at action sequences as we know from the Transporter and mindless, but entertaining Crank. His cynicism and sarcasm is a great match for the character of Jack Crawford. I actually think that if Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” hadn’t come out earlier, this could have been a new Japanese-sword-wielding-gangster-action classic. We’ve got very descent shoot-outs, sword fights and car/motorcycle chases. The photography creates sense of urgency with well-paced quick changes of camera angles. Kudos to Ryo Ishibashi (2006’s “The Grudge 2″) and Devon Aoki (2005’s “Sin City”) for portraying father and daughter at the head of the Triads.
The bad: So many clichés: from music to visuals and characters. it took two writers to create yet another story about a cop seeking revenge for his partner. Predictable. The final scene where Jack faces “Rougue” was not worth all the build-up: it’s a very average scene. The war between the Triads and Yakuza never went to full scale and amounted to basically a few shootouts and bar fights.
The gangsters are just being gangsters, who also constantly talk about century-old rivalries between clans and various things of “honor”. No character development. Not enough action! Forgettable.
The summary: Not worth seeing in theatres. Save your eleven bucks and rent it on DVD.
If you liked this post, buy me a beer
action movie | Jason Statham | jason statham movies | Jet Li | jet li movies | martial arts | movie blog | movie reviews | Triads | War | war 2007 | war movie review | war review | Yakuza