Complete A-Z list



Stars: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Clancy Brown, Izabela Vidovic, Frank Grillo, Rachelle Lefevre, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Marcus Hester

Director: Gary Fleder

Jason Statham has been a star for nigh on two decades now, and you keep hoping that he'll produce something really worthwhile one of these days (probably, so does he). There seemed to be promise in his latest project:: a script by Sylvester Stallone (who also co-produced), a cult director in Gary Fleder, a decent cast and a story about an undercover agent (Statham) who, disillusioned by working with trigger-happy police, resigns and re-locates with his dying wife (never seen) and 10-year-old daughter (Vidovic) to a remote town near the bayous of Louisiana.

Alas, the subtler nuances of this are all ignored in favour of a thick-ear thriller with the usual Statham ration of sickening violence. His acting, too, seems to have gone downhill since the relative highpoint of Hummingbird.

Plot: Statham and daughter settle in a nice house, with a cat, horse and friendly handyman (Omar Benson Miller). But there's trouble at school, when the daughter bashes up a bully whose redneck parents (Bosworth and Hester) happen to be two of the more disreputable residents of the town and create a fracas which ends with Statham pinning the husband to the ground.

Unfortunately, Bosworth's brother-in-law, Gator Modine (Franco), is the local druglord, and a succession of goons and then out-of-town bad guys enlisted by Modine's girlfriend (Ryder) besiege Statham in his home.

Cracked skulls, splintered bones and a massive final explosion are familiar elements on the ensuing menu. Vidovic is good as the kid, as is a cast-against-type Bosworth, and photography of the Louisiana backdrops by Theo van de Sande is crystal clear. But the fights are so fiercely edited you can't follow what's going on and the result, while keeping tolerant Statham fans happy, is disappointing.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour by FotoKem.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 02 Dec 2013