Mr. Ozaki, a Japanese conglomerate businessman living in Los Angeles, hires a beautiful young double (Maria) to protect his real daughter (Lisa) from harm. When Maria is kidnapped by a professional crime organization for a $2 million ransom, her bodyguard, Luke Campbell, conceives a plan to rescue her. By kidnapping the real Lisa Ozaki and turning her over to the kidnappers, Luke hopes to save Maria, and ultimately Lisa, as he knows her father will only pay the ransom for his daughter and not the double. However, the bodyguards hired to watch Lisa have another plan in mind. About to lose their jobs for losing Lisa when they were supposed to keep an eye on her at all times, they decide to steal the ransom money and rescue Lisa, in an attempt to be the heroes and save their jobs. Written by
Christa Hamilton <CHamilton19@aol.com>
Someone somewhere has probably compiled a list of all the films that
begin with an aerial shot of a city landscape. It will have taken them
a long time because it will undoubtedly be a long, long list. Every
hack movie-maker with a budget large enough to cover the rental charge
for the chopper, it seems, feels obliged to climb aboard the bandwagon.
Not that director Shundo Ohkawa is a talentless hack: 24 Hours to Die
is a competently enough made actioner with some interesting locations,
but there's nothing here you haven't seen countless times before.
Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), plays Luke Campbell an
ex-cop turned bodyguard working for a wealthy Japanese executive who
fears for his daughter's safety after a rash of kidnappings of Japanese
executive's family members. Rather than actually minding his daughter,
however, Mandylor drives a decoy around Los Angeles and manages not
only to allow her to be kidnapped (while he's doing a spot of
shopping), but also get his ex-partner killed into the bargain. When he
discovers the ungrateful Jap executive refuses to pay the ransom for
the decoy, Campbell decides the only way to resolve the situation is by
kidnapping the right girl and trading her with the kidnappers for his
This is one of those movies where everybody chooses the most difficult
and usually stupidest option when deciding what to do next: the Jap
executive hires an English girl to play the part of his daughter's
double and while she is chauffeur-driven around Los Angeles sipping
champagne, allows his real daughter to go surfing unprotected with her
buddies; instead of working with the police or attempting to pressure
the executive, Campbell decides to kidnap his daughter; and as for the
kidnappers, when you think about it, their plot is so ridiculously
convoluted that it defies belief.
Director Ohkawa seems to think that the key to success, when saddled
with a tiny budget and actors of only moderate talent, is to imitate
every hip crime flick of the past decade. We're therefore treated to a
couple of rival bodyguards dressed like the gang members from Reservoir
Dogs but without any of the smart dialogue or characterisation. The
movie's half-hearted attempts at humour are as false as the boobs on
the stripper at the King Henry VIII bar, in which the film's 'big' name
Udo Kier makes a brief appearance. The plot twists come thick and
fast, and each is that much more outlandish than the last, until the
whole thing becomes just plain silly and you start feeling embarrassed
for the actors. Apart from Rei Kikukawa, that is, who enunciates..
each word . so . very .. slowly and . deliberately . that ..
the other . actors .. have .. trouble . maintaining ..
their expressions while they wait for her to finish reciting her
lines. She's a pretty girl, and she might be a terrific actress when
speaking Japanese, but she just doesn't belong in an English-speaking
role. As for her father, his accent is so thick it's virtually
impossible to understand what he's saying most of the time.
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