The 5th Commandment: Thou Shalt Kick Ass!

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

The 5th Commandment a.k.a. The Fifth Commandment (2008): Breakdown by Rantbo

Hitman with a heart of gold realizes that while he is a natural born killer, he can still learn to love a horrible dayplayer.

[THE EXECUTION]

While working in Asia, Jazzman (one of the best hitman in the assassination business), shows mercy to an orphaned child and against his better judgment, decides to raise him as his disciple, (a la LEON). Now grown, Chance (Rick Yune) has become the world’s go-to professional killer, but much like his adoptive father, is unable to bring himself to harm women or children and as such has to pass on a high profile assassination of a pop singer. So, another team is hired to fulfill the contract and Chance along with it (a la THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS). Made all the more difficult for them, as Chance has vowed to protect the insufferable starlet, (a la THE BODYGUARD). And the game is on.

Now, if that combination of classic story elements didn’t sell you on watching this, how about the fact that Chance’s mentor, Jazzman, is played by Keith “THEY LIVE” David?

Yes, Keith Fucking David. Just when you think he couldn’t be more of a BAMF, they go and make him a Vietnam vet turned hitman and part time musician. Sure, David could be a telemarketer and still out badass most of the new Action kids on the block, but this role was truly inspired. He kills with double-guns, dresses like a 70s pimp and trains the film’s star to be a cold blooded hitman from childhood. I—Love—Keith—David.

As for the rest of the film, it was a pleasant surprise. I hadn’t heard of it, until just a couple months before the time of this writing, but I’m glad I made a mental note to watch it. The story is a simple re-hashed archetype, mix-matching of a bunch of well known action films from the past couple decades. Kind of like a low-budget, even more B-Movieish, Tarantino film. But instead of 70s action cinema, COMMANDMENT’s filmmakers were clearly inspired by the 90s. Which I guess is long enough ago now that it’s within homage territory… Fuck, I’m getting old.

The film and it’s main character are unintentionally cheese-ball corny at times, the rap laden soundtrack is atrocious and a lot of the gunshot sound effects seem off. Especially the grenades, at one point they sound like a silenced mac 10 and the next like a double-barrel shotgun. It’s odd and distracting, but it’s a small gripe. All of them are. THE 5TH COMMANDMENT is an early nineties-style shoot ‘em up, and while it doesn’t live up to a Woo picture of said era, it’s still completely worth watching. And I sincerely hope that Yune continues to write and star in similar flicks, as he could end up being something quite special. Oh, and Jesse V. Johnson (THE BUTCHER), has just become my new favorite DTV director. The man simply understands good action.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Rick Yune is Chance Templeton

His name is Chance—because Keith David took one. And he’s the best MC (hired killer) in the business. Which means that he has broken the 5th commandment. A lot. And thankfully, we get to watch him do it a whole lot more. The best way I can think to describe him, Templeton is kinda like Snake Plisskin, as played by Brandon Lee. If that makes sense? This was the first time I’ve seen Rick Yune as a Heroic character, outside of trying to kill Halle Berry in DIE ANOTHER DAY, and I have to say I’m all for it, 100%. Like I mentioned above, his character’s actions are a little over-the-top, but he makes up for it in spades with a classic stoic tough-guy performance.

-Dresses in black.
-Kills copious amounts of men, without mercy.
-Kicks the shit out of a bunch more, again—without mercy.
-Does not (will not) fuck the pop singer, Angel, even though she is mildly attractive.
-Gets tortured, but doesn’t cave.
-Fights every authority figure he meets. And wins.
-Was raised by Keith David.

[THE BODY COUNT: 55ish]

Chance himself mixes at least 20 groovy tracks. Papa Keith comes in with an esthetically pleasing 5 and the rest belong to the baddies. Of which, I counted 30. And anytime a movie cracks 50 kills without  a mass death sequence like a building or plane exploding, you know you’re in for a good time.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Angel’s scumbag agent for the win. Asshole gets popped like a birthday balloon and left to rot on the soiled floor of his posh apartment. Ha.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Rick Yune is one sexy hunk of Asian man-meat. The film’s training montage features him working out, naked (at least from the abdomen up), and sweating like a priest on a playground. His chiseled abs and hairless chest glimmer like a slip and slide on a hot summer day.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Naming the lead female Angel, is like naming a 6’5″ fat guy, Tiny. Shortly after complaining her way through her entire first rescue scene, she continues afterward by being a diva (read as: Cunt) that whines about her toenails and expensive shoes. They redeem her a little bit by giving her a knowledge of handguns, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s just a skinny Jennifer Lopez, and contributes nothing but headaches.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

EP-M:

Straight out of the original TERMINATOR movie, the hardcore villainous replacement killer, Damage (that’s the mother fucker’s name) storms a police station killing seven or so guards in rapid succession. And that’s just to get to their armory. Then, fully loaded with a machine gun/grenade launcher, he continues T-800ing the precinct, shooting the shit out of a ass-load of Bangkok’s finest.

MEANWHILE… Chance uses the opportunity, Kyle Reese-style to break out of his torture session, physically destroy a handful of officers and a half-dozen armed killers, get the girl and narrowly avoid his seemingly unstoppable pursuer with a well chucked grenade. And in the final moments of the sequence, Chance even finds his escape car’s keys in the visor. All-in-all, it’s a pretty excellent homage.

THE LINE:

Keith David catches a twelve (or so) year old Chance rooting through is things and admiring his custom guns…

The Jazzman: Nigga, what chu got to say? (calls his own kid, ‘Nigga’)
Chance: …Cool…

and the second one…

Eye-Patch Gangster: God damn you!

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

“In life, it’s all about the flow…”

[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [Rick Yune]
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery [Large Machine Guns, Grenades]
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting [Garrett Warren]
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

The Fifth Commandment (2008) © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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