This is not your typical Jason Statham movie. It has almost none of the martial arts sequences that you might find in The Transporter movies. The ratio of action to acting is roughly 15 minutes out of one and a half hours. So, give it a miss if you are expecting to watch a formulaic action-adventure flick.
What you get is a really excellent - if somewhat complicated and unrealistic - melodrama with some good acting about characters that we come to care about. Statham is an AWOL soldier suffering from PTSD after committing a war crime in Iraq. He's living on the street with a girl. He's kicked out of his doldrum when he and the girl get shaken down. In escaping from these thugs, he breaks into an apartment of a gay photographer who is out of London for an extended period. Statham takes over the apartment and starts to recover himself. He gets a job at a Chinese restaurant, where an incidental display of martial arts prowess impresses the boss and earns Statham a job as a collector for his rackets. At the same time, Statham starts to contribute to a soup kitchen run by a beautiful young nun, which earns him a romantic connection with all of the "will they or won't they" tension - and we don't get a definite answer on that question.
Statham's character wants to be a "good man" but he's working for thugs and distributing drugs. He finds out that the girl he started the movie with has been killed and the police do not care. This, then, sets up the resolution of the movie as the question of what does it mean to become redeemed, i.e., does taking out one bad guy make you a good guy? (Like Statham's character, I think not.)
Despite its obvious religious theme, and the fact that the main character is a Catholic nun, and the fact that Statham's character is Catholic, I didn't find anything particularly thoughtful or Christian about the theme of redemption and salvation. That may be a good point if you are the type who gets offended by "preachy" movies, or it may be a weak point if you are looking for thoughtful explorations of transcendental subjects. I fall in the latter category, but I still found the story and the acting to be worth watching.
There is the good old Statham man of action stuff in here but the story line is more thoughtful than just a setup to more biff, bam, boom moves for Jason. Granted I'm not saying that the theme makes a telling mark but it's refreshing to see him not just a muscle kick boxer type guy all the time. There's some attempt to show the effects of PTSD on good men, how can someone get an opening to make a difference. It's also nice to see that sometimes the conclusion is a combination of bittersweet reality without rainbows and puppy dogs for everyone. It would of been better if the film audio was more evenly modulated so we didn't have to boost volume to hear intimate conversations. Last disclaimer this isn't Ingmar Bergman so yes a good bit of the plot is a bit predictable and trite but not everything is predictable.
Having watched all of Statham's movies so far, even the bad ones, I've often wondered if he could do something serious and more dramatic than his Transporter type roles. This movie proves that he can. Though he is still type-cast as the tough guy, this script requires a more dramatic and nuanced performance of him than he has so far produced, and I believe he's done it well. Thought the film is predictable in places and filled with stereotypical characters, the story is nevertheless interesting and the performances of the lead characters are enjoyable. Overall the film reminds of some old black and white performances of 1930's tough-guys such as Bogart and Cagney. Statham, though, brings his own larger than life style to make the film uniquely his. I hope that he will next take the challenge of breaking out of the tough guy role to try something completely different.
Ok this movie is a barn burner. Jason is my outstanding actor for this type of movie. I don't know here he was in his early life but in the last 10 years every one he has made I could give it a 5 star. Just something about ability to put his face features, his muscular movements, his speaking ability to engage together and make him the main character no matter if he was suppose to be character #1 in this one or #3 in previous movies. From what I read about this movie before I watched, it was a very special time for him and for what he was trying to say to us Americans. I wont give it away. Please watch.... I hope he continues his work in the movies---I will always watch every one he does. Why cant there be more Jason Statham in the business......
Another great performance by Jason Statham, and I expected nothing less. He brought the character to its peak showing his highs and lows portraying every aspect of the character life. A must see for Statham fans. Very entertaining with the right amount of action weaved though out, No doubt recommendable and worth the time to see.
Pretty good dvd....starts off slow...but is a good story plot..have to follow carefully. So you can understand film. Jason Strathem is great as usual. In addition action but not as much as you are use too...but just enough.I really enjoyed it because it shows how Jason can play a different roles he can play.