Night, neon, bodypainted women and cars that are both fast and furious. This is undoubtedly a dark underworld that’s ruled by fear. Oh, wait. “In a dark underworld ruled by fear…” Gangland murders, close-quarters explosions, and Honchos Who Have Sinned getting out of vehicles with conviction. This will end badly for them. “Until a lone assassin…” Come on. A lone assassin? Really? Is he going to be caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the partner he betrayed? Or maybe get caught up in an erotic love triangle? Wait, wrong cliche.
So Jet Li, that pesky lone assassin, has started a war on the streets of San Francisco, and that’s made Jason Statham angry. But he was already a renegade FBI agent, so he’s probaby angry all the time. He’ll also stop at nothing to get revenge, so watch out crime lords and associated vermin. You too, lone assassin. Bet you wish you had a partner now.
Cue rapid cut montage designed to heighten the heart rates of male viewers to levels approximate to Statham’s in Crank. Devon Aoki — her heart is as cold as the edge of her blade. Swordplay. Statham laying waste to what looks like the service staff of an Asia-themed fast casual restaurant. He didn’t like the complimentary pot stickers. Motorcycle gangs. Fire escape chases. Guns kicked from hapless henchmen hands. Bodies falling through skylights, which in trailer as cliched as this fit the film industry cliche – they’re built with glass panels as delicate as your grandmother’s fine china. Even better, the montage is followed by Proof of Car Chase and, finally, Running Montage. If the clip had ended with Statham and Li breaking into or out of a building via its conveniently large air conditioning vents, the name of the film would have to be changed from War to Bore. As it is, this one is too close to call. Or maybe it’s too close for comfort? Between a rock and hard place? Damnit, what’s the cliche that fits?