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Renée Elise Goldsberry
When the governor of Tokyo is killed in his campaign for election, the former CIA agent Travis Hunter is assigned to find the responsible working together with the rookie FBI agent Sean. Travis was raised in Japan, has great connections with the underworld of the streets and is a master in sword and martial arts, trained by a former member of Yakuza. Travis discloses that there is a war between the old and traditional members of Yakuza and the new generation leaded by the deranged and sick Kuroda, who has associated to the Chinese Tong mobster Chen in a powerful drug dealing business. When his fiancée Nayako is brutally and cowardly murdered by one of Kuroda's men, the mission of Travis becomes a personal issue and he seeks revenge. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Average modern Seagal, but why did they mess the languages up so badly?
So it's well known that the movie takes place in the actual neighborhood where Seagal grew up and studied martial arts, and also that he speaks fluent Japanese, but why have Japanese terrorists that are always speaking English? Isn't it just a little off-putting that the American hero is constantly speaking Japanese but the Japanese and Chinese guys all speak broken English to each other? Of course Seagal would want to show off his Japanese, since he almost never gets a chance to do it in his movies, but if they're going to go for that authenticity, they should at least include it where it really belongs as well
As far as a Seagal film, it's about average as far as the films he has been releasing for the last ten years or so, none of which have really been all that impressive. But I still get a great kick out of his movies, even when they're not good. If nothing else, I can even enjoy the cheesy acting and paper-thin plots, and if even those fail at least Steve is always good for smacking around some bad guys.
But in Into the Sun, other than a brief skirmish near the beginning, it's a good hour into the movie before anything happens. Before then, we get a tirelessly developing but uninteresting plot about the Chinese and Japanese versions of the Mafia and how they are developing a massive drug corporation, with Seagal entering the mix investigating the murder of a government official.
Worst of all, however, is that the movie spends so much time developing the totally unnecessary and unconvincing romantic story, in which 54-year-old Steve in his floor- length leather trench-coat falls deeply and madly in love with a tiny, dainty Japanese girl who can't be more than 22.
Needless to say, my favorite part was when he sheepishly explains to her, "You know, I've never had the best luck with women. In fact, you could probably say I haven't had any luck at all "
What's that, he's a virgin? Is he asking her to go easy on him in the sack?
But stay tuned, at the end of the movie this impressive team of filmmakers utilize an unbelievably complex and difficult bit of cinematic trickery to make the wife disappear from Steve's grasp. I noticed this particular bit of movie magic because I did the exact same thing in a six-minute movie I made with a $250 video camera when I was taking an Intro to Film class at Fresno City College in 1998. They really spared no expense with this movie!
The other problem is the bad guys themselves. They are such tired clichés that it's impossible from frame one to take any of them seriously, particularly the leader of the Yakuza (the Japanese Mafia). He's your typical, b-movie villain slicked back hair, fishnet t- shirt, arm always slung over the chair he's slouched in and a lot of guys standing around him that jump to attention and do things for him when he snaps his fingers. Yawn.
The guy is so unimaginative and so unimpressive that he makes the movie seem longer because I'm just waiting to see him get killed at the end. Evidently, however, they knew when they were making the movie that some serious ingredients were missing, so they tried to cover up the gaps with things like the sound effects that make it sound like whenever someone gets cut with a sword they spray out a fountain of blood all over the place. Nice.
In the movie's defense, it's true that Steve does look good for his age, although he has certainly lost the hardened appeal that he had in his earliest movies like Hard to Kill and Out For Justice. At least he looks a lot better than he looked in Urban Justice, but unfortunately that's not saying a lot.
The movie is a bit of a curiosity piece because Seagal wrote and performed a lot of the music on the soundtrack, and he actually sings the song during the closing credits. It's a little disturbing to listen to, but I recommend you wait and check it out because it's not disturbing because it's so bad, it's disturbing because it's actually pretty good. Too bad the rest of the movie isn't quite as pleasantly disappointing
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