I wanted to give it three stars, I really did! However, a three star rating would have put this film at "average" and frankly, there is too much here to make it below average. A Junior High jock would love it. Not much acting, some great chase scenes involving cars, trucks and speed bikes. Explosions galore, and tons of sub-machine gunfire with plenty of bad guys to soak up the discharge.
The movies plot centers around a corporate high tech guru named Grant, whose son is kidnapped by a trained assassin type (Lui). Gant by now has been portrayed as a corrupt jerk, an rightfully so; he has stolen a technology that is a doomsday device of sorts...the problem is, the device was implanted in his son so he could smuggle it across the border! Now enter Antonio Banderas (playing the part of Jeremy). Jeremy is a former agent presumed dead who also has a special tie to Gant's current wife, who obviously does not care for her husband but just wants her son back. Through all the drama is the center of attention in Lui, whose character (Sever) is a one-woman army, taking out dozens of SWAT members at every turn, block, tennis court, school playground, and swimming pool in the city. At least with the constant overboard of machinegun fire (with Sever NEVER getting grazed let alone hit) coupled with the pyrotechnics, they did not throw in the Matrix/Crouching Poodle Hidden Porcupine bulletstopaction ridiculousness that has become a staple even in the lower budget action flicks. Lower budget? I should say lower grade, this film went OVER budget with how many Chryslers were wrecked during the chase scenes!
Bottom line, its to cliché', and often times the fight scenes are hokey. As said before, if you want something with car chases and explosions topped off with lots of ammo being emptied, this is your movie. Despite a decent storyline it is really nothing we have seen before. Lui doesn't talk much at all taking away from any special conviction that she can be any more than a "Charlie's Angel". Banderas does what he can only do, sit at a bar, act like he wants revenge, and pull low-toned one-liners like a tough guy. It is what it is, a B-grade action flick.
VHS Tape Ex rental (Blockbuster) in nice shape