Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA/Germany, 2002. Franchise Pictures, Chris Lee Productions, MHF Erste Academy Film GmbH & Co. Produktions KG, Dante Entertainment, Epsilon Motion Pictures, SuperMega. Screenplay by Alan B. McElroy. Cinematography by Julio Macat. Produced by Wych Kaosayananda, Chris Lee, Elie Samaha. Music by Don Davis. Production Design by Douglas Higgins. Costume Design by Magali Guidasci. Film Editing by Jay Cassidy, Caroline Ross.
Unimpressive action film treads all the same material covered by countless films before it. Antonio Banderas plays an embittered FBI agent who still hasn’t gotten over losing his wife to a bombing years before. When his former superior informs him that she is still alive, he agrees to help on the department’s latest case in exchange for information about her. A criminal mastermind has stolen a deadly assassination technology from a Berlin laboratory and plans to use it for his own purposes, but his efforts have been thwarted by a mysterious agent (Lucy Liu) gone rogue. Banderas is asked to step in and get the woman before she jeopardizes the situation, but in getting closer to her, our protagonist discovers that she might hold the answers to a few of his personal problems. The film deceptively draws you into a complicated plot full of interesting secrets, but none of them pan out with much finesse and the last half of the film is played out with half-hearted action scenes and very little emotion. Gaping plot holes are left uncovered by flat character development, and though Liu is excellent in her physical scenes, her character’s solid nonchalance comes off as aloof and boring. Banderas fares a little better, but even his unshaven, too-tired-to-be-a-hero look eventually gets mundane.