19 August 2008 | ccthemovieman-1
It's Mayhem, Pure-And-Simple
Hey, if you're interested in seeing a mostly-violent flick with a big body count, gratuitous in nature half the time, and a lot of hostility, anger, betrayal, a big twist near the end and tons of testosterone, then this movie is for you. If you want a quiet, low-key thriller, skip this one: this is somewhat brainless blood-and-guts, slice 'n dice. In other words: know what you're going to get here.
We get many, many gunshots to head., long range to up-close-and personal, swords into mouths and through back of head and through just about any other body part, a car chase, motorcycle chases, a few bare breasts and a bunch of attention-grabbing scenes of brutality, which definitely outnumber the quieter scenes.
Jason Statham seems to be the new macho man of the day, playing this kind of role in numerous films the past few years. Jet Li.....well, you know him. Statham versus Li? Yes, but not really. The two are only in the same scene twice, once for a couple of minutes of Jason giving threats and Jet standing there passively, and then in the finale fight scene. The latter, unlike most of these action films of today, is not overdone and go on and on. It's just about the right length.
The best part of this ultra-violent movie dealing with rival Asian gangs and FBI agent (s) in the middle in the BIG twist near the end of the film. At least it makes this a little more than a brainless action movie. I think it's kind of cool, although don't try to analyze it for credibility.
While a number of reviewers here weren't happy that the two big stars weren't on the screen at the same time for long, my choice for under-played actor is Luis Guzman, who is always very interesting but didn't have many lines here. I'd like to have seen his part a lot bigger, and I would have liked to see Statham tone it tone and sound a little more intelligent in his role. In real life, FBI agents have a lot more class.
Having said that, I still enjoyed the film because I knew in advance what it was, that it wasn't Li's best effort nor Statham's but it sufficed for a 100-minute diversion. I was looking for action...and I got it! I also recommend this for those who have HDTV and a Blu-Ray disc player. This is a very slick-looking film on Blu-Ray.
Just don't bring the kiddies or grandma into the living room to watch this!