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Really, I like Jason Statham...I just don't really ever like any of his movies.

Once again, it really isn't Statham's fault that this movie isn't working out. He's doing what he can, which basically means that he's again playing the same character he always plays in action movies. But he's simply good at it, so I'm really not complaining too much about it.

So who to blame instead? I really blame director Gary Fleder, who picked the wrong directing approach for this movie. The way I see it; this should have been a gritty and realistic drama/thriller, in the vein of "Straw Dogs" for example. It really had the right sort of story and characters for it but the thing with the movie is that it's shot and told as a very standard modern action flick instead, despite the fact that the movie really doesn't have all that much action in it. It doesn't only make this a very standard movie but also a mostly ineffective one.

I really don't think that this movie has a bad story in it but due to the way it's being told it still appears like a very poor and at times even messy story. Everything about it feels too black & white and simplistic. The villains for instance; I really liked James Franco's evil performance and it was great to see him play a villain for a change but the problem with his character is that it's one of those characters that's just evil for the sake of being evil. Nothing interesting or compelling about his character really and his motivations also all felt a bit shaky to me. The movie besides is filled with some pretty pointless characters, that never get developed properly enough. What are Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth and Clancy Brown doing in this movie for instance? Seriously, this movie easily could have done without them and maybe it would have even made it a better one to watch.

It's weird really. On the one hand this movie is obviously still trying to be more than just another average and ordinary action flick and it wants to be taken more seriously than just that but on the other it's doing absolutely new or daring with its story or any of its characters. It's mostly doing formulaic things instead, which of course turns this movie into a very predictable one as well. And mostly because of this, I also never felt entertained by the movie.

The action also really isn't anything solid or spectacular enough for me to say that this movie is at least worth to watch because of its action and for Statham's butt kicking abilities.

A movie that misses the mark completely with its storytelling and approach and is nothing more but a below average, low-budget, action-flick, that doesn't offer enough entertainment.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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