11 June 2012 | Oliver-S-K
Fast paced action, wrapped into a decent story.
Mei (Catherine Chan) is a little genius when it comes to numbers. She can remember everything and calculate anything in her mind. That's why she's very valuable for the Chinese Triads, who use her as a computer that can't be hacked or traced. One day, she's asked to memorize a long number and drive to another place to learn a different one. But the Russian mob steps in and assaults her ride, killing almost everyone. Mei can escape and this is when she meets Luke Wright (Jason Statham). Former elite cop, former small time MMA fighter, on the run from the Russian mob who lost a bunch of money for betting against him in a match and killed his wife in revenge. The will to protect this little girl gives him a new will to live, a drive to go on. And so they run away; away from the Triads, the mob and the corrupt NYPD, trying to figure out why everyone wants either those numbers or her death.
It's a bit of Mercury Puzzle and 16 Blocks. And despite my usual fears, the story did not turn cheesy due to the kid. But the girl didn't turn into an unrealistic bad ass as well. Also they did not develop a forced deep relationship between Luke and Mei, which would be unrealistic, considering that the story doesn't go that long. The film is featuring fast paced action, wrapped into a decent (though not great) story and is supported by good acting. Well, at least good acting from the leading characters, but the supporting ones weren't that bad as well, so you don't have to suffer from it. So overall, a quite enjoyable movie, which I would recommend to fans of story driven action movies and especially to all Statham fans.
Just for fun, let's check the Statham clichés. Shirtless? Yep, first time you see him in the movie. Car-chase? Of course. And when Mei was a bit concerned about his driving style, I was just waiting for a comeback from him that was like "Don't worry kid, I've been doing this for several movies now."