The Asian Connection full movie review - Don't Steal From Steven Seagal!!!
"Time Rush" director Daniel Zirilli's Orient-based bank robbery caper "The Asian Connection" qualifies as an average but interesting thriller.
If you want to attach a moral to this 91 minute shoot'em up, it would be: 'Don't Steal from Steven Seagal.' Although he takes top billing, Seagal spends most of his time talking instead of shooting or displaying his signature Aikido martial arts artistry. The "Exit Wounds" star plays a bearded Asian crime lord, Gan Sirankiri, who gets hoodwinked by one of his treacherous lieutenants, Niran (Sahajak Boonthanakit of "No Escape"), who has hired a couple of guys to start holding up banks that launder Gan's loot. Jack Elwell (John Edward Lee of "Terminator Genisys") and Sam (Byron Gibson of "Only God Forgives") like to rob banks in broad daylight in motorcycle crash helmets and automatic weapons. This two man team scores, but it turns out that they hauled off some of Gan's dough and it was marked. Niran tracks them down after they cross the border into Thailand and threatens to kill Jack's girlfriend, Avalon (Pim Bubear of "Ninja: Shadow of a Tear"), who dreams about living a fairy tale life with her beloved. Freshman lenser Orlando Herrera's widescreen cinematography is exemplary. Unfortunately, Zirilli lacks a sense of pace and intensity. This movie should have kicked into high gear during the robberies, the demise of Jack's pal, and the final chase scene between a truck and a BMW sedan. Had Zirilli punched up those scenes this could have been a contender. As it is, "The Asian Connection" has to coast on Seagal's presence, one scene with Michael Jai White as a bald arms dealer, and John Edward Lee's charismatic presence. Every time that I looked at Lee, he reminded me of "Transformer's" star Josh Duhamel. Lee could easily carve out a career playing matinée idols and looney villains. Let's not forget his partner in crime Byron Gibson. Gibson has what it takes to make a solid character actor if not more. The other shortcoming of his promising thriller is the downbeat ending. Some may compare it unfairly with Tony Scott's supercharged "True Romance" because it concerns a guy and a gal on the loose with a dastardly villain on their heels and the girl narrates it. A better ending, memorable dialogue, and more muscle than flab, and "The Asian Connection" could have connected. Finally, a better title than something generic like "The Asian Connection" would have improved this saga.