Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
If not for one of the random lists you like to read as you procrastinate, this film would have gone forgotten. However, you see the list of roles played by women originally written for me and see that Lucy Liu’s Sever from Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever was supposed to be a man. That’s when you remember that you saw this film in the theater and actually enjoyed it after the initial disappointment that this was the movie your group chose to see. It’s definitely not something you would go see on your own, which is why you tend to go to the movies alone.
However, you aren’t a Lucy Liu fan at the time, but you appreciate her character. She appears to have kidnapped a child after putting down some bad guys in order to get to him. She even keeps him in a large cage while she goes about her plans. She just might be evil. After all, she pulls off a one-woman Rambo-like assault on the entire Vancouver special tactics police force. So she might be evil, but she is definitely badass.
In the meantime, you get to know Jeremiah Ecks, who is tied to the case and portrayed by Antonio Banderas. The child happens to belong to his wife whom he thinks is deceased but is actually married to a diabolical madman who has developed a micro-weapon and plans to move it in a particularly skeevy way. The information that his wife is still alive does get Ecks interested in the case and soon he is in pursuit of Sever.
As you rewatch the film, you remember why you liked it even though it was the worst reviewed film ever on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is very stylized with some very impressive action sequences. However, what you remembered most about the film is that it has a viable plot. Ecks was led to believe his wife was dead by her current husband Robert Gant. She was led to believe the same thing about him. When they are reunited, you see that they are still very much in love with each other.
You also find out the truth about Sever. She worked under Gant in the DIA. When she broke protocol and had a child, her family was murder. What looks like a simple act of revenge against the man who murdered her family is not quite what happens. Sever knows that Gant’s child is actually Ecks’ son. She also knows that Gant has implanted the micro-weapon in the boy and the child’s life is now in danger. She is driven not by revenge but by motherhood. You can always get behind a mother in the film, especially on avenging her child in the only way she knows how.
This is why despite being such a reviled film you like this one. You also notice how many brown people including Lucy Liu, Talisa Soto and Terry Chen are in this film. Even the directed (credited as Kaos here but now credited as Wych Kaosayananda) is a Thai man. Furthermore, these brown people are the heroes and you need this every once in a while.
So despite its 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you appreciate this one. If you had remembered it ten years ago, you may have been more of a Lucy Liu fan before Elementary. But better late than never, right?