Movies that have to do with assassins and their targets are often action-packed and have just enough meaningful dialogue to get the point across when it comes to revealing what they’re all about. But sometimes, these movies try to use a little too much exposition and end up becoming kind of a drag since the overuse of dialogue can kill the overall feel of the movie. Mark Dacascos is a fun actor to watch, but one thing that’s been well-established over the years is that he’s not one of the greatest actors in the world, and this movie kind of proves that. His action sequences are usually a lot of fun to watch since his time in Brotherhood of the Wolf and John Wick 3: Parabellum was entertaining as hell. But turning him into a hitman that’s essentially avenging his loss against those he feels are responsible comes off as a very weak version of another movie, a Tom Cruise flick titled Collateral. The only real difference is that in this movie, the kills are personal. In Collateral, it was just business.
There is an element that many people can understand in this movie.
Revenge is something that many people have seen fit to discuss over the years, and this is what’s driving Kai, the main character in the movie. After losing his daughter to a car accident that occurred in Bangkok, he does manage to create a fairly sound plan to gain revenge on those who were a part of the cover-up that allowed the driver who caused the accident to walk away freely. That would burn up a lot of people when it comes to seeking justice, but some individuals would gladly go above and beyond to see justice meted out in any manner that was physically possible. The unfortunate truth is that money and influence can sometimes negate any effects the law might have upon a guilty individual.
Mark Dacascos is getting old, and that’s a fact.
It would be great to say that he’s getting better with age, but it would appear that he’s getting more eccentric when it comes to acting since the character of Kai isn’t horrible, but he’s tough to believe throughout the entire movie. His reason for taking the lives of several people that had something to do with the death of his daughter and his planning is sound, but at the same time, he’s a bit off kilter when it comes to his reasoning. Let’s be honest, some of the people he decided to take out likely deserved it, but the moment he started taking innocent lives, it became an issue. The interesting part of this movie is that Kai manages to plan everything, even the ride that he’s taking around town to find his targets. Of course, the targets have no idea that he’s coming until it’s too late, and his skill at taking them down is good enough to keep him in one piece, at least until he finds someone who can fight back. In a sense, he’s more a grieving father than a deadly assassin, as there’s simply too much emotion in this act to make it work perfectly.
Once things go off the rails, the movie starts hitting the skids.
The moment Kai loses even an ounce of focus, it becomes obvious that he starts taking damage, and he starts making mistakes. Once this happens, the entire question of why he’s doing what he’s doing becomes a huge impediment to his mission, and as the cab driver, Fha, discovers his true purpose, she has to deal with the idea that she might be the final person on his list. While he does make it clear that he’s not going to kill her right away, the uncertainty that he will go back on his word once she finds out what he’s in Bangkok to do builds throughout the movie. When the police become involved later in the movie, it feels like an opportunity that was lost, to begin with, since for much of the first act, it’s simply Kai and Fha and the bond that builds between them as they make their way through the city.
This movie didn’t really make the impact it was meant to.
Maybe there are too many assassin movies out there to compete with, or maybe it’s just that this movie didn’t really hit the second gear at the right point. Mark Dacascos is a fun individual to watch, but between his acting and the threadbare premise, it’s easy to see this movie as kind of a lesser action feature that is better left on the shelf unless there’s nothing else. The idea of a father avenging his family is one thing, but this story still doesn’t meet the demands of such a premise.
Yeah, rent it, don’t buy it.