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Rogue Assassin

Year: 2007
Production Co: Fierce Entertainment
Director: Philip G Atwell
Cast: Jet Li, Jason Statham, Devon Aoki, Luis Guzman, Saul Rubinek
How could an action film with two of the best action movie stars in the world today go so wrong?

Here's how; the director decided not to have any martial arts despite casting two renowned martial artists in a movie about the Yakuza and The Triads at war with each other. He also apparently decided to keep the action to a bare minimum and make it an engaging human drama.

Yes, it's Jet Li and Jason Statham's first Merchant Ivory production, where they play a cop and a lone assassin, the former who's been obsessively tracking the latter since the death of his partner.

Usually what makes movies like this so laughable is the lack of a decent story. Sometimes you want that - that's why you go and see a movie called Rogue Assassin with Jet Li and Jason Statham in it. But in a bizarre twist, this movie suffers an excess of story, which neither actor is dramatically qualified to carry and which ironically allows for little action. I will admit the twist surprised me, but that just goes to prove the imbalance between plotting and thrills.

When it appears, it's not the sort that makes you want to jump up and whoop in your seat. There's nothing choreographed or fantastical about it. Somebody, somewhere had the stupid idea to keep it real and dirty.

The marketing, the actors, the tone of it is all wrong. It's an idea in search of the movie it wanted to and should have been.

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