First things first, this is rubbish.
The plot twists and turns, not subtly, but in a clunky way and sometimes it does a complete u-turn. A `rogue' detective, (Statham), is accused of killing a villain & his hostage and is suspended from duty. A bank heist seems to go wrong and the ringleader demands Statham be in charge of negotiations. Things go wrong and we follow the trail as Statham and his young detective minder,(Phillipe), and a handful of loyal mates hunt the gang down.
The plot changes towards the end become increasingly implausible and the ending may well drive you nuts. Oh and Ryan Phillipe is more wooden than a scarecrow.
This can be a little slow but to be honest I was not too fussed about the pacing. There were however other idiosyncrasies that were not so easy to put aside but that had me laughing. No.1 has to be Stathams accent. The monologue he delivers at the beginning is in his unique `American' that makes you cringe but when he first appears he's cockney. Get used to it, he changes the accent from scene to scene. The intro. Tells all the background story via newspaper clippings and we are treated to about 50 different clippings in order to pack the complicated preamble in. The whole chaos theory idea was obviously a subject dear to the writers heart as it is repeated throughout and in the end even a reference work on the subject is tied in. All completely unnecessary. The dialogue takes some swallowing at times too, a police chief saying `it's not rocket surgery' is one of my favourites. The action is limited and not exactly set to get your pulse racing.
So why 3 stars? Well it just has a certain something...I would watch it again! The twists are mad but make for an enjoyable unpredictability. The final two turns are so ludicrous you simply have to give in and laugh. Wesley Snipes continues to steal every scene he is in without really trying.The final nod to Hannibal Lectors goodbye to Clarice Starling in the closing scene is so blatant it's a wonder no one was sued!
Mad as the plot is it is solid and keeps you glued. This is car crash home cinema and makes for a great blast of dumb fun while insisting you use your brain every now & then.
It's way too long, wordy and scatterbrained but it just has enough to entertain and a host of lousy one-liners to make you both cringe and laugh.
By no means a classic but a clunker that delivers and just refuses to lie down and die.