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When it comes to his movie choices, Jason Statham clearly adheres to the old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". So anyone hoping for a costume drama or weepie will be disappointed, but those who enjoy slick, over-the-top action thrillers will be in their element. Statham plays cage fighter Luke Wright, whose life is torn apart when he incurs the wrath of the Russian mafia. Living on the streets, he saves the life of 12-year-old mathematical genius Mei (Catherine Chan), who has been smuggled into the US by the Triads. So now he's pitted against the Russians and the Chinese - oh, and corrupt New York cops, too. Naturally, Luke's enemies have underestimated him - let's just say he has a checkered past - and things get very messy, very quickly. There's something solid and old-fashioned about
; with its grainy cinematography and depiction of a sleazy New York, the film could have been made at any point from the 1970s onwards, and it's easy to picture Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone in the lead. Instead, we get to see a typically deadpan Statham showcasing his impressive martial arts skills in between some incredibly violent, well-choreographed shoot-outs. Writer/director Boaz Yakin adds a few contemporary touches: at one point Statham sheds a single manly tear and, instead of being a simpering cutie, Chan has a wounded toughness that makes the relationship between her and her protector almost believable. It won't win any prizes for originality, but
plays to its star's considerable strengths and is a perfectly entertaining piece of action.
A former cage fighter enrages a Triad gang, who respond by murdering his family. Seeking redemption, he saves the life of a 12-year-old girl being attacked by gangsters, only to learn she is a mathematical genius in possession of a valuable code - which several criminal factions will kill to get their hands on. Action thriller, starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan.
Cast & Crew
English, Mandarin, Russian +subtitles
DVD and Blu-ray
4 May 2012
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