Really good action
ribcage | Lantana, Florida United States | 10/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Fifth Commandment was a fun, somewhat mesmerizing film. The cinemtography was awesome, giving a really immersive feeling, although there's a blue tint to it that occassionally threw me off, but it was still a beautiful film to watch. And that's something really special coming out a straight up action movie.
The story follows an assassin who is troubled with his choices in life who is contracted to kill a troubled young pop star. The problem is that his adoptive brother, who his adopted father told him was dead, turns out to be part of her bodyguard troupe. So he passes the assignment, and protects his brother and the target from the next duo of assassins who are given the job leading to the main conflict of the movie.
And the conflict was top notch. Every burst of gunfire felt powerful, the car chase sequence jarring, the fistfight sequences grueling and damaging. All of it was choreographed and filmed expertly, and there was plenty of it at just the right pace. It's everything an action junkie could ask for. The finale even takes place in a FLAMMABLE MATERIALS WAREHOUSE!
The story and characters give the film a sort of classic 70s grindhouse action feel too, so this separates it from being a run of the mill action movie. Even though the story's not all that gripping, and the dialogue is 100% typical action movie lines (no one-liners but lots of melodrama) it all meshes. It's a really, really fun film and definitely packed full of grade A action.
The soundtrack is great too. It calls back to the glory days of the late 90s/early 00s when anytime something exciting started to happen exciting songs would start playing. So leading into almost every fight we get some bass-heavy music or excitable violent rap songs playing. It may sound, tacky, but it's not overused and the songs are very well chosen and fit nicely.
All in all, a very solid action flick."
DO THE RIGHT THING
Mark Turner | 09/06/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Cold blooded killers are found everywhere in films. No doubt they exist in the real world as well. The biggest difference I would think would be in finding the cold blooded killer who has a moral code, who changes his mind midway through a job or who turns one down. Such is the case in the film THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT.
Chance Templeton (Rick Yune) is a high profile assassin. There are few if any out there better at their work than Chance. As the film starts we see how good he is with the extermination of one target. Showing no emotion, Chance moves on to his hotel room and word of his next target.
But this is when conscience kicks in. The next target is a pop singer who, for whatever reason, has been targeted to be killed in Bangkok. Chance's reason for turning down the job? The man in charge of overseeing her protection is Miles Templeton (Bokeem Woodbine), chances brother.
Though not truly brothers, these two were raised as such. Miles' father Max "Coolbreeze" Templeton (Keith David) was a hired assassin who failed to reach one target, a man who killed both of Chance's parents. Murdered before Chance's eyes, Max took the child with him and raised him as his own. And Max trained both of his son's in his profession.
Chance takes it upon himself to visit his brother at work and a warm welcome starts between the two. That all fades when he lets Miles know about the contract and his refusal to take it. Instead, they both realize that someone else will seal the deal and now must work together to prevent this from happening.
A side piece between the two that talks about Miles change of life, how he joined the military and made something of himself more constructive than destructive is used to show the bond between brothers as well as the differences. It also gives Chance an opportunity to change his own life should he choose to do so.
The pair take to protecting the pop star, a spoiled brat if there ever was one (can we say cliché character) named Angel (Dania Ramirez). The attempt is made in the middle of a crowded performance hall. The one plot question here is, if this star can afford this sort of protection shouldn't she be performing in a much larger arena instead of what appears to be a large club? In any event, during the attack, Chance kills one of the would be assassins, a woman.
What isn't known at first is that the woman and her partner were married, a pair of assassins who are as fatal as Chance. Worse yet, the man is Z, the same man who killed Chance's parents years back. While Z has no idea who Chances is and vice versa, they are now locked in a grudge match as Z holds back nothing to find and kill the men responsible for his wife's death.
As they hit the streets in an attempt to save Angel's life, Miles and Chance find the streets of Bangkok not so welcoming. Instead word bets back to Z and they are tracked down. Fighting in the middle of the streets, Miles is killed and Chance and Angel are on the run again.
Eventually the person responsible for paying Z to take out Angel is revealed and while not surprising what happens to him is. It all leads to a final showdown between Chance and Z that offers a well done fight sequence.
The movie is one that will be loved by action fans who clamor for the next big thing. Die hard action fans care little about plot devices, logic and over used stories. They wait for each moment of thrills, fights and explosions. All can be found here. And actually put together in an entertaining package.
Rick Yune, who's been seen in THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and DIE ANOTHER DAY, will be recognized by fans and should become a major force in the action film business if he's given a chance. And he rightfully deserves one based on his past work and the amount of effort he's placed here as writer/producer/star of this piece. His acting is fine, his martial arts moves slick and his ability to create a screen presence well done.
Surprising to me was Bokeem Woodbine. I've long been a fan of his since a film he did called CAUGHT UP. It's nice to see him in a vehicle he seems to handle with ease. What surprised me were the martial arts/fight sequences he has. It's a side I've never seen on display with him and he does a stand up job.
This film may not be for everyone but martial arts and action fans will want to add it to their rental list if not their own collections. It delivers the goods though with a plot seen before, but that never stopped a good action film before and won't in the future. Instead, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
"God doesn't care about people like us"
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 03/26/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Rick Yune has all the makings to be a good action hero: he's good-looking, legitimately athletic, and can act Van Damme under the table. "The Fifth Commandment" should have been the ultimate expo of what he can do in a starring role, opposed to the supporting parts he had in Ninja Assassin and Die Another Day, but I'm sorry to say that his first solo vehicle is lacking. At first glance, it's a promising DTV film that avoids several of the more obvious mistakes plaguing the genre, but at some point, you realize that it's only going to get so good and no better. I really hope that Rick gets a few more chances to refine his craft in starring situations; he really could be the next big thing, but for now, this one will have to stick with a limited audience.
The story: an orphaned boy is brought up by an aged master assassin (Keith David, "The Thing") to learn the trade of killing; now a man, Chase (Yune) finds himself being hunted down by the murderer of his parents (Roger Yuan, Shanghai Noon) for interfering in his plans to assassinate a struggling pop singer (Dania Ramirez, "Heroes").
Man, I like this cast, for some reason. Ramirez has the potential to get on your nerves when she starts whining and causing scenes, but you can push her into the background for most of the movie. Roger Yuan, veteran of B-movies, makes a great villain opposite of the inimitable Keith David, whose very presence in any film seems to better it by at least 10%. He really gets to milk his crotchety mentor role here, gets the best lines of the movie, and proves himself to be a badass even at age 52, so count your blessings. Bokeem Woodbine, who's as serviceable in low-budget fare like this as he was in Ray, plays Chase's brother with charm and flair as the opposite side of the coin. Yune doesn't exactly have his work cut out for him as the two-note hero, but proves himself capable of versatility and generally makes it work. Yes, the ensemble is definitely the best feature, here.
Production values are generally strong throughout the picture, mostly devoid of typical DTV shortcuts and time-killing scenes. The plot runs into a few snafus, though: in a special features interview, Yune admits that frequent rewriting of the script was required, and this shows via Chase discovering that his brother isn't dead like he had been told...but the audience is never made aware of this presumption prior to this, so there's a bit of head-scratching involved. The whole point of what Keith David does in the ending also continues to baffle me, but you'll have to check that one out for yourself. The fight scenes are the biggest letdown: shootouts are old-hat but generally passable, but three of the four hand-to-hand battles fall resoundingly short of matching the rest of the production quality via an overkill of quick-cut cheat editing...just like any old Steven Seagal movie these days. The final fight between Rick and Roger takes a noticeable leap forward in quality, helping to end the movie on a high note, but it's not great enough to make up for the laziness of the other encounters.
It goes without saying that Rick Yune is destined for greatness, even if he stays within the DTV realm...but only if he can get over the debilitating slip-ups that plague this movie in the future. You can definitely go worse than this one with your low-budget movies, but if you're looking for a solid action movie, consider this one merely reserve material."