|Index||3 reviews in total|
This is the kind of film that could be much better than actually it is.
The premise of the story is interesting: the double of a rich Japanese
man's daughter is kidnapped and the Japanese man refuses to pay her
ransom because anyway she is just a double. Then the bodyguard of the
girl (Louis Mandylor) decides to kidnap the real daughter (Rei
Kikukawa) for forcing her father to pay the rescue and in this way to
save the another girl.
Unfortunately, this TV film with a lot of Japanese names in the staff (not only the main actress but also the director, one of the scriptwriters and almost all the producers) goes by the most well-known and dead easy ways of the genre. The action is not exciting, most of the dialogs are too archetypal and many situations don't make big sense.
About the actors, Louis Mandylor is annoying inexpressive here and James Russo is totally wasted as the villain (Udo Kier appears only some minutes but at least his "bad guy" performance is more disturbing). Honestly, only Rei Kikukawa deserved my attention. She is beautiful but also a good and solid actress (in Japan she has a long screen career although she is still in her thirties, but obviously a film like "Double deception" didn't help her to get any kind of success in the United States).
I give the movie 5 out of 10 because it is a modest entertainment if you don't have anything better to do in a boring day (or if you like Rei Kikukawa). Otherwise I recommend you to read a book or to do other things.
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 decoy.
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.
Well - I watched about 20 minutes before giving up - can't comment on the whole film though - hey, maybe it got better? It looked like an interesting idea to start with but the characters, when introduced were so two dimensional and the plot so uninteresting it failed to grab my attention. But i think it was the acting which really blew it - very wooden and unconvincing right from the start.
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