I just finished watching the fourth movie, and realized in the one scene where Mickey puts the disc in the tape player that I've seen it before! Must've been a long time ago though, or maybe it didn't leave a very lasting impression. That's all I remember.
It starts promising, with a convoy of bikes, a brutal heist and then... it gets cheesy. Whereas the previous movie turned to the topic of race, this one turns to religion and family values, in a way that makes you want to look away and moan. And all characters from prequels are gone with the wind, along with all logical family ties. Really? Whatever happened to this series?! This movie had potential, it had some strong personalities (Tobin Bell in particular), one intense chase, a few fiery explosions and, amongst others - one dojo fight, but it's not enough.
I'm not as caught up in the action as I was with any of the previous. All of a sudden I'm noticing how Phillip seems to have watched too many Bruce Lee movies, in his gestures, in his stance, the way be smirks, looks both ways before running, even in how they slow down some throws and other particularly note-worthy martial art moves so you get to fully savor the action... only they aren't that noteworthy at all, and the slow-mo takes away from the tension rather than increase it. And then there's that moment in the shop where Tommy doesn't bother to finish the bad guys before going back to check on his buddy, resulting in that one tragic loss of life. What a waste! Nobody accuses him though, and he doesn't even accuse himself. There are inconsistencies.
Though I did enjoy the movie, it feels a bit like just one more action movie in the massive mass of B-movie action, much more so than the previous. The third felt like the real pinnacle of the series, with this one it started going downhill.
rated 3/5: not bad