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Archeology Professor Robert Burns is on location leading an important dig in the ancient ruins on the Far Eastern Chinese border. He accidentally discovers that the Chinese Mafia, the Tong, is using his newly discovered ancient Chinese artifacts to hide and smuggle narcotics across the border. Robert immediately tries to flee with his assistant and narrowly manages to escape the pursuing Tong but not without a heavy price. His loyal assistant is killed and he is framed with the evidence at the Chinese border by the Chinese military and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He is locked up in a Chinese prison where he is guilty until proven innocent. His loving wife Maya vows to help get him out of jail. The DEA finally convinces the Chinese military that Robert may be of more help to them outside jail by leading them to the real smugglers. Once he leaves his Chinese prison cell Robert would rather enjoy his freedom back in the U.S. and keep his past behind him, but The Tong catches up to him ... Written by
Philip Steinman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Uncredited writer Sam Hayes was assigned to touch up the original script without knowing the film was to star Steven Seagal. The producers claimed that Hayes' version, which was set in Mexico, would cost too much to film, and thus, very little of his material remains in the finished movie. See more »
When in the Chinese Barber Shop, the barber pulls the blind down over the door, a few seconds later, he closes it again. See more »
I only wish there was a rating below 1 for this turkey. What can I say: bad editing (oh and you don't have to be an expert to catch this), terrible acting and dialogue, ridiculous fight scenes, stupid character development and on and on.
Seagal must have been short on alimony payments or something to put this mess together and lay it our for viewers. Most action heroes get better with experience but Seagal'S earliest works are so superior to this.
Instead of being a semi-plausible character like a Navy Seal or CIA operative or cop, he plays an archaeologist who dresses like he's auditioning to be Neo in the Matrix or John Shaft. Looks completely ridiculous on a dig in the wilderness of China. They try to explain in hindsight where this professor got his superior kung-fu fighting skills, but it works as badly as their attempt to explain how a convict gets a doctorate in archaeology while in prison (without any field work of course).
Then there's the simple technical aspects of the film like being in Bulgaria, but all the signs are in English and the people are either Chinese or American. Even some of the Chinese dialogue is subtitled in English completely wrong.
Then there's the acting. First the movie contains some of the worst Steven Seagal pseudo Feng-Shui/Asian/mysticism/philosophical babblings that one could ever imagine. Stupid metaphors that apparently only make sense to him. Chooi King-Beh as Wong Dai is definitely the "Wrong Guy" as he desperately tries to deliver each line as some sinister comic book villain rather than the Chinese businessman that he is. Cory Johnson is equally as stupid as a FBI agent who has no role other than to wander through scenes and deliver lines that insult Catholics, Chinese and the French. What I didn't understand is how him and his partner seem to be able to walk around steps behind Seagal invisible to him and the Tong until almost the very end.
This is not even a good action film for those who enjoyed Seagal as Casey Ryback. The fight scenes are either prolonged patty-cake slapping with dubbed bone cracking to the height of dumb with the monkey style kung-fu in the barbershop complete with all the ridiculous gravity defying stunts of Crouching Tiger.
I cannot conceive of any audience other than reviewers for the worst film of 2003 that this movie would appeal to.
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