Even well before its release this movie got bombarded as a B-movie, due to its budget, concept, studio, or whatever. Rightfully so? Well, let me tell you, I have seen lots of B-movies and this really isn't one of them. It is definitely better than just another lame and cheap action movie attempt. It is well made, quite original, but more importantly; also really fun to watch.

If this movie was made in the '80's it probably would be a semi- genre-classic by now. It is simplistic, straightforward and yes, even quite stupid, which in other words makes it quite perfect as a genre flick. Despite its straightforwardness and simplicity it still manages to be creative and original as well. It only features a handful of different characters, only a handful of different and not even all that much action once you start thinking about it, but it works! It manages to turn its simple concept into something both original and interesting enough to watch, by going over-the-top but at the same time by telling a decent enough story as well.

Not everything works out well though. It for instance isn't all that convincing how the Antonio Banderas character turns into a action- hero halfway through. The action also definitely gets a bit ridicules at parts, which is entertaining, but definitely goes at the expense of its credibility as well.

It also is true that besides the Antonio Banderas character the movie doesn't have an awful lot to offer. All of the other characters are truly secondary ones and remain terribly underdeveloped. Even the main villain, played by none other than Ben Kingsley, is a bit of a bland one. Too formalin and not involved enough with any of the action and other events of the movie. Too much a background character, if you will.

It is good to see Banderas has still got it though. At age 57 he is still a very convincing action star for this movie and I bet he had tons of fun with it as well. Too bad that not everybody manages to impress. The little girl, who plays a key-role in this movie, is disturbingly weak for instance.

I still really had plenty of fun with the movie, luckily. It is never boring and a good looking movie to watch. Definitely a professionally put together movie, in terms of camera-work, editing and action, among many other different things. Nothing about this movie screams 'B- movie', with perhaps the exception of its main concept and some of its action sequences. But lets face it, isn't every action a bit ridicules and simplistic in its core? Nothing wrong with that, as long as it manages to entertain, which this movie clearly does.

A pretty good and certainly entertaining action-flick!


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About Frank Veenstra

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