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Stars: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, José Pablo Cantillo, Dwight Yoakam, Efren Ramirez

Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Never mind the quality, feel the pace. This may be a long way from the best thriller ever made, but it certainly is among the fastest.

The title could have been DOA if that hadn't been done to death(!) Chev (Statham), a hit-man, has been poisoned with 'Chinese shit' that will kill him in a few hours. Desperately, he fairly storms around the city in search of revenge.

The adrenalin rush that keeps him alive includes sex with his girlfriend (Smart) in a (very) public place, hair-raising car chases, non-stop use of his mobile phone, frequent calls to and from a doctor for medication to slow the poison and constant elimination of those who, astounded at his survival for even a few hours, would seek to finish him off.

'I told you I was a video game programmer,' Statham explains to Smart en route. 'Actually, I kill people'. The use of Ev'rybody's Talkin' from Midnight Cowboy to accompany him on his doomed rollercoaster ride is an amusing conceit.

Virtually no acting is required here, and indeed there are only a few roles that have any dialogue at all. The villain (Cantillo) has an endless supply of clean mauve shirts, while Statham's lethal glare still manages to look menacing in a hospital gown. The action includes a memorable moment when he wrestles a gun away from a severed hand in order to fire it.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: UIP (Lionsgate/Lakeshore). Colour by De Luxe.
88 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

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

Review date: 26 Aug 2006