Steven Seagal looks in the best shape he's been in since Exit Wounds. The action fight sequences unfortunately were few and far between. There was a fight at the mall that was superb, in my opinion this was great, but it was over too soon. This was really the only time where he truly showed off his hard to hand combat moves as well as his Aikido throws. The other fights later on were mainly sword based although there were a few punches. ;) No care chases at all. :( The movie was certainly more plot based than we are used to for a Steven Seagal movie.
Steven Seagal get's a partner in this movie, but he is pretty much under-used. There's a few funny moments between them. The other characters are pretty poor too. William Atherton as the boss doesn't seem to interested in his role and the other Chinese and Japanese stars don't improve the movie much either. I sure miss the days when Steven Seagal made movies with a decent support cast.
The radio stations and restaurants in Tokyo must all be tuned in to Steven Seagal FM, everywhere he went his music was playing - i heard a few of his tunes from 'Songs From The Crystal Cave' playing through the film. Overall i counted at least three of his songs including the credits song. The soundtrack was good though. :)
The movie begins with an action sequence in the jungle, which is not very well done. The opening credits begin and then some graphic work happens to show the movie is in Tokyo. When i saw this is reminded me other Michael Oblowitz's work in 'Out For A Kill' and i thought the worst, but after that panic it was certainly well directed. Good job mink. :)
Pretty disappointing, i was expecting much more for a budget of $35 million, i don't know where all this money was used as it seems rather excessive considering not much was blown up. It is certainly a better movie than 'Out For A Kill' and 'The Foreigner', but it is not better than 'Belly Of The Beast' and nowhere near as good as his earlier work. :( For a direct to video effort it is certainly above average though. :) I must admit i pretty much agree with the review form 'Ain't It Cool'.