After being smacked by the many Rambos, by all the 36 chambers of Shaolin and
lately by the prolific mishmash of both (thanks to the a-china-man-in-America-that-finds-them-kung
fu-less syndrome spread by Jackie), we undeniably weren't expecting too much of
a script. No surprises here. But when there's Jet Li in the flick, the story becomes
as interesting as the parallel lines that never meet.
The supercop from Shanghai is this time around spelled Liu Jiuan (Jet Li). Through the introductory scene of Bridget Fonda, he figures that the glibly American accented head of the Paris police department (Pierre Richard) is the villain and is himself out to get the Chinese as well as their ambassadors. By this time Liu has already started doing his thing, undone it and started again. We notice that the action sequences are without any strings attached to them. Literally.
The whole incompetent department fails to apprehend such a skilled dodger of AK 56s, and hence tries to Bloodsport him. Meanwhile, the villain smoothly keeps killing every soul from the embassy and blames poor old Liu for 'em killings. Didn't that guy on TV ask us to stay tuned?
Liu finds another motive when he stumbles upon Jessica (Bridget Fonda), forced into prostitution by Richard who is keeping her daughter a hostage. Following the prescribed amount of déjà vu, i.e. cleaning up of an entire karate class a la Fist of Fury, the hell raising demonstration of pins and their punctures a la Once Upon A Time In China etc., he finally bleeds his victim to death.
The only thing mentionable about the action is the unpotting of that snooker ball.
Even after seeing it in the promos, it's still astounding. Without the customary
supports lavishly in use since The Matrix, Jet Li tries to make the soaring tigers
actually crouch and the flying monsters hide. There aren't any X-ray vision camera
lenses that were a main attraction from Romeo
, either. Compared to the humanly impossible marshal artistry from
the likes of The Master and Once Upon A Time In China, this one here is like driving
into a pole while attempting to kill a fly. It flops conveniently.
Bridget Fonda is taking the title of the movie that made her famous a little too serious. "This Could Happen To You" doesn't necessarily require her to reveal how one can land in a worthless role with enormous ability and all.
After the huge success of the soundtrack of his last film (Romeo Must Die), cacophonous catastrophe isn't precisely the way to describe the background score. The gangster rap with a bit of core culture passes for the run on the mill action scenes.
If you know that Charles Darwin was a naturalist that wrote the Organ of Species,
you also know that this is one terrific movie.