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Well OK, it's certainly a better movie than most other modern, low-budget, action movies, starring the likes of Dolph Lundgren and Vinnie Jones in it but I just can't call it a great genre movie as well.

I have to admit though that I was really liking the movie at first. It had a great old fashioned action movie vibe to it and I was liking its style and characters. It seemed like the movie was going to turn into some silly, macho, entertainment but however as the movie progressed, I unfortunately started to loose most of my interest, since the story really is a bit too messy to follow at times and not quite engaging enough.

I really don't know what happened to the genre. Action movies used to be just as stupid, basic and over-the-top back in the days but at least they were fun and easy to follow. Most genre movies nowadays feel too convoluted with its story and storytelling and most of the time I'm not fully sure what's going on in this movie or who's after who and why exactly. It's not like I wasn't paying attention but the movie is doing a poor job setting things up and telling its story in a good and engaging enough way.

At first I literally had no idea who were supposed to be the good- and bad guys in this movie. Maybe it's a coincidence but this always seem to happen a lot with movies starring Dolph Lundgren in it. Guess that even when he plays a good guy he looks and sound like a villain and when he plays a bad guy he's just as macho and brutal as he is when he plays a good guy. In this movie he's definitely one of the bad guys though. Yes, I figured that out be myself eventually. Only another problem with his character is that he's supposed to be the main bad guy but he really isn't enough in the movie to make much of an impact as a villain. As a matter of fact, I think I would have preferred it if Lundgren played the 'hero' instead and they for instance used Vinnie Jones as the main villain.

Instead, the main hero now gets played by Cung Le. Who? Exactly! He's doesn't play a likable enough character, which also is really due to the fact that his acting isn't anything all that solid. He hardly displays any emotions throughout his performance, even though some real bad and sad things happen to his character, that causes him to also eventually go on a revenge spree. Also sounds very original all, doesn't it?

Of course the movie is a very standard and predictable one with its story, even though it's somewhat hard to follow at times. It's mostly confusing due to it that the movie stars a few too many different characters in it but the main story itself still seems to be a very basic and straightforward one. This isn't necessarily anything bad, since the same can be said about 90% of the action movies out there but it's just to show you how formulaic and average this movie is.

It also can't really stand out with any of its action either. At first it seemed like it was going to be heavy on some martial arts action but however as the movie progresses it soon starts to turn into a far more standard 'punching and shooting' action movie. Really nothing spectacular or exciting to watch.

It's still a watchable enough movie but obviously nothing worth recommending to you, not even if you are really into the genre and Dolph Lundgren movies in particular.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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