Former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin is pulled into a cat-and-mouse game between Russian mobster Arkady Karasov and the women seeking revenge against him.
Sitting in the theater waiting for the film to start, the usual thoughts crossed my mind, would this be a good film? I hope the writing is decent. There's no Jason Statham, yeah, but the fight scenes should be good. Right? The answer to all of these questions was a resounding "No. Nope. Nyet. Nein." The movie could have been good. I could see where it maybe could have been good, but it misfired on cylinders.
At times, the movie felt like an Audi commercial, even the opening scene was almost a shot for shot re-dux of the opening car selection in the Grand Turismo video game series. The driving scenes would start off so spectacular and then would just delve into unrealistic scenarios that were just so over the top that it would pull you quickly out of the moment. Seriously, there were scenes that were supposed to be "cool and hip and edgy" but instead had people laughing in the theater.
Ed Skrein does an extremely good job of sounding just like Jason Statham, but didn't have the panache that Statham has. He tried, but even the fighting scenes seemed over done and without the substance. They were almost empty fight scenes because there was nothing new to them. It was same old, same old. You can't blame Skrein for the writing or the directing; the guy did his best Jason Statham impersonation. At the end of the day, that's what the movie felt like, an impersonation.
The rest of the cast did their best, but at times it felt just like a bad B-movie (i.e. plot, writing, motive, etc.). They did what they could with the dialogue, but there were times when, once again, the audience was laughing at the movie, not with the movie. The one shining point was Ray Stevenson. The guy is just good and was one of the few bright spots in the movie.
The plot is cookie-cutter, and there were no real surprises whatsoever, and instead of putting in driving scenes that would be realistic, it played out on the screen like the writer was playing with his Audi Hot Wheel and was playing while he was writing and going "Oh! This would be cool if he drove through an airport!" No, he drives his car on to and through the ramp that connects the plane to the airport. Quick question, have you, my good reader, ever walked down that ramp to the airplane? There is barely enough room for two people to walk side by side, let alone a full-sized Audi. And then he drives through the airport and out the window and you're left their scratching your head wondering why and how anyone thought this was a good idea. I'll leave the most ridiculous scene for anyone who actually does want to watch the film, but it involves a Sea-Doo, a Land Rover, 20 yards in-land and bad CGI. Let your imagination run wild with that one.
In the words of Peter Griffin, the movie was "shallow and pedantic." There wasn't anything new or original to it. It was the same stuff we've seen before. Don't bother watching this movie in the theater or renting it on DVD/Blu-Ray, if you must watch this movie, then wait for it's inevitable 24-hour marathon on TNT or TBS in about two years, but even then there are going to be other movies, much better movies that you can spend your 96 minutes on. You know what? If need be, open up a book. The "femme fatales" in the movie quoted the Three Musketeers quite a bit, go open that book and start that.