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ROGUE ASSASSIN

SYNOPSIS:
After his partner is brutally murdered by the infamous assassin Rogue (Jet Li), FBI agent Jack Crawford (Jason Statham) vows to find the elusive killer. But Rogue disappears until three years later when he emerges amidst a war between Chinese Triad mob leader Chang (John Lone) and Japanese Yakuza boss Shiro (Ryo Ishibashi). In the bloody battles that follow, Rogue plays both sides against each other, as Crawford draws closer to his prey, but a secret revelation makes their final confrontation an unexpected one.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is the sort of script you'd expect to result from a late night session in a bar when a couple of frustrated writers begin egging each other on. The plot gets more and more improbable with each new round of drinks, as the writers propose wild new ideas. Bravado and booze end up fuelling the story until it seems like a brilliant creative burst.

The often wooden dialogue - coupled with Jason Statham's habit of mumbling his lines, perhaps to add gravitas - links the plot lines in a fanciful story of betrayal upon betrayal. Statham reprises his successful Transporter character, but without the aid of a good script. Jet Li plays the stone faced Rogue ... stone faced. His action scenes, with or without Statham, are still excellent. Fans of the action genre who care little for credible narrative or character will no doubt enjoy the film.

Director Philip G. Atwell uses lots of visual tricks, refined in his career as a maker of music videos and TV commercials, but tends to take these too far. Considering the extent of action/fight/chase/shootout and stunts, the film seems to drag a bit. But then I like my action films to have good stories and interesting characters. Too many of the Triad and Yakuza gang members and leaders are clichés, not people. But as mere, sheer escapism, it's fine.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

ROGUE ASSASSIN (MA)
(US, 2O07)

CAST: Jet Li, Jason Statham, John Lone, Devon Aoki, Saul Guzman, Saul Rubinek, Ryo Ishibashi, Sung Kang, Matthew St Patrick, Nadine Velazquez, Andrea Roth, Mark Cheng, Terry Chen

PRODUCER: Steven Chasman, Christopher Petzle, Jim Thompson

DIRECTOR: Philip G. Atwell,

SCRIPT: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J. Bradely

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Pierre Morel

EDITOR: Scott Richter

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Chris August

OTHER: Corey Yuen (martial arts choreographer)

RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 18, 2007







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