Korean-American character actor Rick Yune first made an impression on audiences playing bad guys in The Fast and Furious (2001) and Die Another Day (2002), but it was several years before he’d step into a heroic role.
After disappearing from cinema screens, guest starring in a small number of popular television shows, he made a return to features as the lead in 2008’s action movie The Fifth Commandment.
Some actors, Jason Scott Lee for example, seem to find themselves in this genre purely as a result of their careers are not going so well, but for Yune it seemed a very conscious choice to move in this direction. The Fifth Commandment was written and produced by Yune with the clear intent of relaunching his career.
With prior experience in the genre and a black belt in Taekwondo (he qualified for the Olympics when he was 19), Rick (short for Patrick) does seem at ease in the film and his brooding presence works for the anti-hero he’s playing; an orphan raised as an assassin.
Made in Thailand by prolific action director Jesse Johnson, The Fifth Commandment (“honor thy monther and father”) is a stylish movie with shades of Bangkok Dangerous and The Bodyguard and some cartoonish touches.
Dania Ramirez fails to arouse much sympathy as the heroine Chance Templeton (Yune) must protect but there is some great action, including yet another variation on The Terminator’s police station assault.
Yune doesn’t quite convince as a hero, even a conflicted one, and seems he’s destined to play bad guys (he’ll next be seen back on the big screen as a villain in Ninja Assassin), but The Fifth Commandment is a stylish modern action B-movie that’s much better than its terrible cover art would suggest.