I think my expectations were a little too high coming into this film. I love Jet Li, I really enjoy Jason Statham and I looked forward to the two of them facing off in this film.
Unfortunately, the movie didn’t deliver.
The story is the cliché tale of cop loses partner and seeks to avenge his death. I was rolling my eyes at formula plot elements and lines I would only expect from 70’s cop films like, “What’s the word on the street?” And the film has a true textbook example of gratuitous nudity—a girl walks in the room donning a briefcase like a “Deal or No Deal” girl, takes off her clothes for no reason and walks away. Are audiences really that one-dimensional?
The film had potential. Li and Statham’s performances were both fine. Choreography was decent. The subplot of taking down the two big time crime bosses was entertaining—a reprise of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo
plot (like Eastwood in A Fistfull of Dollars
and Willis in Last Man Standing
). And the film actually fooled me with a creative twist.
But this is probably my last choice in a Li or Statham film. I’d rather re-watch Li’s Fearless
or Stathom’s Transporter
films again and again rather than endure this cliché mess.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
No. Violence, nudity… you name it.
As said above, we recommend you skip this film. But on the occasion that your teen actually has already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
- How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
- How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?