Seoul Raiders (DVD Review)17 Aug, 2008 By: Matt Miller
Prebook 8/19/08; Street 9/23/08
Arts Alliance America
Stars Tony Leung, Qi Shu, Richie Jen.
Hong Kong action-star Tony Leung reprises his role as Japanese Special Agent Lam, a cross between James Bond and Jackie Chan, in the action-comedy Seoul Raiders.
This time around, Lam is tasked with stealing back a pair of plates used for making counterfeit American money before they fall into the wrong hands. The adventure leads him to Korea in pursuit of a rogue embassy employee, Owen (Jen), who is attempting to sell the plates to a violent counterfeiting ring.
Knowing he can't complete the mission alone, Lam turns to his "Charlie's Angels"-esque trio of fighting ladies and greedy renegade thief J.J. (Shu), who has her own hidden agenda, to track down the plates and safely return them to the U.S. Embassy for the $20 million reward.
With his mod squad in place, they only have a few days to chase down Owen and find where he hid the plates before the sale is made. Along the way, Lam and his sidekicks find themselves in one over-the-top fight sequence after another — from a plate-flinging incident in the alley of a nightclub to a classic scene in a bathhouse involving a wet towel as the weapon of choice. This is just a sample of the slapstick, soft-core fighting that makes this Asian actioner so lively.
Seoul Raiders delivers an entertaining mix of action and comedy thanks to its stars, including the debonair Leung (Infernal Affairs, Hero) and the always-vivacious Shu (The Transporter), and the cutting-edge filmmaking of director Jingle Ma, which together create a sure-fire hit.
As a box-office success overseas, Seoul Raiders, the sequel to Ma's Tokyo Raiders, is sure to find a welcoming audience in the United States among fans of Jackie Chan and Jet Li films.
In addition to the English-dubbed version, the DVD features 35 minutes of bonus features, including a making-of featurette, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage.