by Indy Datta
The new Jason Statham vehicle, written and directed by Boaz “Remember the Titans” Yakin, starts with not one but two solid premises. In one plot strand, we meet Statham’s character Luke Wright – a NYPD detective turned binman/cagefighter – who angers the boss of a Russian gang by failing to throw a fight. These Russians have a taste for drama, so rather than killing Luke, they kill his wife, and promise him that anyone else he gets close to will get the same treatment, condemning him to a life of itinerant solitude. Meanwhile, somewhere in China, the mathematical genius and eidetic memory of an 11 year old schoolgirl called Mei (newcomer Catherine Chan) catch the eye of New York City’s Chinese gangsters, who put her to work as the ultimate unhackable mob-accounting computer and Johnny-Mnemonic style data courier. In the early stages, as the film cuts restlessly back and forth between the two storylines before bringing them together, you might wonder if all this isn’t a bit overcomplicated for a Jason Statham movie – if it isn’t all going to rather get in the way of the simple business of lining up as many people as possible for The Stathe to kick in the head or shoot in the bollocks.