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Stars: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Robert John Burke, James Hong, Chris Sarandon, Anson Mount, Reggie Lee, Julian Marzal

Director: Boaz Yakin

Statham fans will get just about what they expect from this one, even though it's not one of his best. Grouchy, unshaven, unsmiling and lethal, our man guns down dozens of Chinese, Russians and - gosh - even Americans in his efforts to protect an 11-year-old Chinese girl, Mei (Chan) coveted by all three criminal factions.

A mathematical genius, she holds in her head complex number combinations to two safes.

Statham's Luke Wright is an ex-cop disgusted by corruption in the system, but who, unable to do anything about it, has become a cage fighter expected to take a dive by Russian gamblers. When he wins the fight, his wife is executed and he becomes a down-and-out bum - Statham's hangdog look suits this part to a T - saved from suicide only by the sight of Mei, having escaped her Chinese masters, being pursued by the Russians,

No one, of course, is subsequently a match for Jason's lightning-fast fists, feet and trigger-finger, mostly seen in eaterie shootouts. 'Been in restaurants all night,' he husks. 'All I got served was lead.' That's about the height of the film's humour, and the relationship between Statham and the girl is never developed sufficiently to really involve us: neither is good enough to overcome this problem.

But then Statham is not that kind of actor anyway, and his devotees won't be bothered, as shootouts and car chases are executed - like most of the cast - with ruthless precision.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Momentum. Technicolor.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 29 Apr 2012