28th Jul2013

‘Java Heat’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kellan Lutz, Ario Bayu, Mickey Rourke, Frans Tumbuan, Tio Pakusodewo, Atiqah Hasiholan, Mike Muliadro, Rio Dewanto, Astri Nurdin, T. Rifnu Wikana | Written by Conor Allyn, Rob Allyn | Directed by Conor Allyn

Java-Heat-Lutz

After the suicide bombing of a party in Indonesia, American Marine/FBI agent Jake Travers (Lutz), posing as a grad student, is bent on vengeance but quickly finds that the world’s problems can’t be solved with violence alone. He teams with a Muslim cop Hashim (Bayu) to hunt down a dangerous international jewel thief – with ties to Indonesian terrorists – Malik (Rourke), who has used the explosion as a cover to kidnap a Sultan’s daughter, Sultana (Hasiholan), in a plot to steal the royal treasury.

Following in the footsteps of Taylor Lautner, another Twilight alumni, Kellan Lutz, tries his hand at action movies with Java Heat – a sweat filled thriller that does nothing to stand out from the action movie crowd. Although you have to give some props to Lutz, he (unlike Lautner) at least looks the part – although his burly physique can’t make up a lack of charisma and a lack of fight skills. Another film in which Mickey Rourke phones in his role (as a sleazy thief turned kidnapper, with a penchant for underage boys), we at least have Ario Bayu, who plays the investigating cop, and Travers makeshift partner in Indonesia, to provide most of the films gravitas – bringing real emotion to his role – and his scenes are easily the most enjoyable in the film.

Writer/director Conor Allyn and his partner in crime Rob Allyn were responsible for the blockbuster Indo-actioner Red and White and its sequel, which means they have a real grasp on Indonesian culture, so it’s no surprise that Java Heat‘s real highlight in the gorgeous Indonesian location – from the filthy streets to the lavish palaces – and Allyn captures the hot, humid and bustling life in the city with ease. It’s just a shame this is supposed to be an action flick and not an episode of Wish You Were Here

The type of film you’re going to have forgotten half an hour after it has ended, Java Heat is released on DVD on July 29th, courtesy of Metrodome. One for Lutz fans only methinks.

* 1/5

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