Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Tournament

This a slick action movie with a stellar cast. It was not lengthy and it was not completely original. They borrowed the idea from the Cuba Gooding Jr. comedy that took place around the center of the US called Rat Race. Seth Green was in this movie as well and everyone, certainly Cuba acting pretty bizaare. This was a race to win some cash, The Tournament was not a race but a movie where assassins compete like suckers while ethically challenged underground mobsters gamble on who is the greatest assassin. The gamblers in Rat Race were possibly addicted to gambling but they were not celebrating in people killing each other. Massive difference. They were delightful sorts, the big players funding The Tournament were morally bankrupt.

The organizer in Rat Race followed the goofy contestants with driving and flying cameras. Honestly, I do not remember that exactly. In The Tournament, the organizers had hackers who used the CCTV cameras in London to follow the movemements of the 30 assassins who volunteered for this mission or competition. Technology has changed in 10 years.

This movie also uses assassins as its cornerstone, how many assassin movies have we seen now? It is almost like Drew Berrymore love stories.

Ving Rhames is Joshua Harlow who has won this tournament 7 years prior. Why assassins would risk losing their lives for these type of odds is ridiculous. I do not believe one winner in 30, even with a $10 million purse, so? 1/30, the math does not work out. All others die and if the killing is not over within 24 hours, the organizers have the power to detonate the assassin because their is a miniture bomb inside them. Liam Cunningham is Powers and he is the creator of this lucrative gamble. How the gambling details are worked out, it is not explained well. There is a bunch of money in many currencies scattered around this massive glass table. It seems like mobsters from every corner of the globe are in attendance.

Harlow is a killer but the writing team gives him some heart and passion. Kelly Hu carries this movie. She is gorgeous, I do not grow tired of looking at her. She plays Lai Lai Zhen who has been hitting for the Triads for several years. She is one of the favorites. Hu was stunning in Xmen II and nothing has changed. She makes Kirsten Dunst look like a homely ACLU supporter.

Zhen and Harlow are portrayed as the good folks, the so called heroes. Zhen has just killed Harlow's wife which adds some intensity to the film. She was hired by Powers since Powers wanted to motivate Harlow. He felt Harlow would have declined The Tournament if he did not have an incentive. I am sure he would have. When Powers is killed at the end, that is satisfying. Albeit his bodyguards would have not taken 10 minutes to prevent Powers from being harmed in reality but whatever.

Lost's former star Ian Somerhalder is in this movie. That is refreshing where did he go after being killed in that airplane? Miles Slater is his name in this movie and he plays a psychotic Texan just shooting everyone. He kills a dog, gorgeous females, without the police ever arriving. I guess the hackers prohibited any emergency calls from reaching the authorities. Slater is so sloppy, I have no idea how he would ever get a clean getaway in any hit.

There is a priest in this movie. This movie does toss a little respect towards the Catholic church. Which will piss off Bill Maher and the 10% of people who just pretend God does not exist. It is fashionable and politically correct to attack Christianity since they know we have morals, we will not get as vicious as them. There is not any reason for that. The enemy does not have any boundaries. They are amusing though.

28 Weeks Later's Robert Carlyle is Joseph or Father Macavoy. He has a severe drinking problem but that is not that uncommon for a man of the cloth. Powers thought Father Macavoy was going to kill for the sake of the Tournament because he drank a tracking and the detonator which was in a cup of coffee. Sebastien Foucan, whose character's name I am not sure of, has brought his running and athletic ability from Casino Royale to this movie. It is incredible watching this guy jump around, I would like to see his time in the 40 yard dash/sprint.

He does something that I do not understand why everyone of the assassins does not do. He digs out the tracking beacon out of his rib/stomach area and tosses it into some coffee in a coffee shop. The Father inadvertently drinks that ruins his day. in the long run, it helps him realize he needs to be a better priest, control his drinking, and meeting the gorgeous Zhen helps as well. He may have converted her and although he can not date her, she is still special to him. It seems he needs someone on Earth, God speaks through her. She does to a strange confession in this bathroom scene, it is pure entertainment but the movie is touching in some respects. This movie is far superior than the assassin movie by Nicolas Cage called Bangkok Dangerous.

Wolverine's Scott Adkins is a lethal Russian assassin called Yuri Petrov. I wanted to see him fight Foucan but this did not happen. I love the casting of Kelly Hu in this movie, she is magnificent. The movie was not that long and the musical score was paltry. Nevertheless, if you like action movies, this is for you.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

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