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Film / The Fifth Commandment

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Thou Shall Kick Ass with Guns Akimbo

The Fifth Commandment is a 2008 action movie directed by Jesse V. Johnson, starring Rick Yune, Keith David, Bokeem Woodbine and Dania Ramirez.

Chance Templeton (Yune) is an orphan adopted by former elite hitman, Jazzman (David), who saved young Chance from a gangland massacre when he was still a toddler. Given the name "Chance" by Jazzman, since a child Chance is trained to be a fighter, an assassin to be absolutely ruthless when taking lives. After a successful assassination assignment, Chance realize his next hit in Bangkok involves pop singer Angel, and upon turning down the assignment he inevitably have to interfere with two deadlier assassins sent after her life.

This film contains examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Welcome to Purgatory."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Angel starts ranting about wanting to leave Bangkok and go home, after Milesí death by the hands of Z, Chance delivers these immortal words for her:
    Chance: "My brother died tonight, and you didnít even know his name. He died for a spoiled brat for you. He was always there for me. You didnít know, because you probably didnít think for anyone but yourself."
  • Assassin Outclassin': When Z and Li tries assassinating Angel during the concert, Chance is quick enough to spot them and fire first. He manage to gun down Li in a Railing Kill, but Z escapes and plots his subsequent revenge.
  • Attack Hello: Chance and Miles while they meet on the helipad. Firstly, with Chance sneaking up on Miles from behind, and after surprising Miles, with both men trading punches for a minute, before embracing each other where they proceed to chit-chat for a while.
  • Badass Bystander: Ultimately, in the finale, Angel actually becomes this when she breaks free of her restraints and sneaks up on Z who is about to kill Chance, by shooting Z and making him fall towards his Disney Villain Death.
  • Bald of Evil: Z, the Big Bad of the film.
  • Battle Couple: Z and Li, a married couple of elite hitmen who executes their targets together.
  • Battle in the Rain: Miles gets ambushed by Z and a group of Elite Mooks in the middle of heavy rain, and despite him putting up a serious fight while unarmed, Miles eventually gets overpowered by Z and is killed off.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Chance and Angel after the final battle.
  • Blood Knight: Z and Li again, who the movie describes as "Love killing as much as they love each other."
    • Heck, in the concert assassination scene, Li actually snipes away at a few random guards before turning her scope on Angel, for no reason other than wanting to kill more people in a night.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Angel, the singer who is a Defrosting Ice Queen that eventually warms up to Chance. In the latter half of the movie Chance finally realizes he has feelings for her too.
  • Car Fu: The car chase after Angelís concert where she barely escapes assassination, with Chance, Miles and Angel fleeing in their vehicle and Z pursuing them in a stolen police car. Chance Drives Like Crazy during the chase and smashes his way through road barriers, parked cars, and generally all kinds of obstacles.
  • Collateral Damage: Guess what the movie has to say about Z and Li when theyíre out committing their hitsÖ
    "Paris, 2005. 60 dead, 1 target. London, 2001, whole city block, gone, 2 targets. Bangkok better ready up on bodybagsÖ"
  • Combat Hand Fan: Zís preferred weapon for close-range combat. Notably used to slice up Milesí throat.
  • Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: In the final battle scene, Chance and Z are busy fighting each other while Angel is tied with her hands behind her to a chair, and as she struggles she inevitably falls over sideways, and manages to get hold of a sharp piece of metal nearby.
  • Convenient Escape Boat: Chance and Angel made their quick escape after Z and his mooks raid Chanceís hideout, through a boat conveniently parked in the waterfront outside.
  • Cop Killer: Z during the police station shootout, where he effortlessly wastes more than a dozen police officers in a lengthy massacre scene.
  • Dark Action Girl: Li, the wife and accomplice of Z.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Chanceís first hit is on a rival mob boss, a Villain in a White Suit who sports an eyepatch.
  • Fanservice Extra: Plenty of skimpily-dressed girls shows up in the strip club scene after the opening credits, and also the backup dancers during Angelís concert.
  • Faux Action Girl: Li, who is set up as a killer and mass murderer on the same league as Z, but actually gets killed by Chance in their first scene together.
  • Genre Mashup: Director Jesse V Johnson pretty much rehashes his previous film about a killer with a conscience, Pit Fighter, but this time integrates the script with elements borrowed from other, earlier action films, including Lťon: The Professional, The Bodyguard, The Replacement Killers, Heroic Bloodshed cinema from John Woo and a multitude of other action films in general. Somehow, it works.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: The final one-on-one confrontation between Chance and Z starts off with both combatants trading blows with each other, but after a while Z decides to whip out his Iron Fan.
  • Guns Akimbo: Chance during the shootout in the rain. Somehow, he didnít get to use double-guns while bare-chested, despite what the promotional poster above implies.
  • Hand Stomp: The final one-on-one battle between Chance and Z eventually culminates with Chance Hanging by the Fingers over a tall platform, and Z stomping on Chanceís hands trying to make him fall. But in the heat of their brawl neither men realize that Angel had broken free of her restraints, at which point she picks up Chanceís dropped pistol and shoots Z, making him fall off the ledge.
  • Hate Sink: The closest this movie has to a detestable scumbag is Angelís agent, a self-indulgent obnoxious Smug Snake who is actually behind the attempt on her life because of her musical record sales failing to reach expectations and him deciding the best way to raise them is to get rid of Angel by way of murder. Too bad he didnít count on Z, the elite hitman he hired, to turn on him at the last second.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Chance Templeton.
  • I Broke a Nail: Angel complains about this after barely surviving the concert assassination scene. Talk about Skewed Priorities...
    Angel: "I need a manicure and a pedicure as soon as I get back."
  • I Have Your Wife: In a last-ditch attempt to force Chance out, Z kidnaps Angel, setting up the climatic final confrontation between Chance and Z.
  • In the Hood: Chance wears a black sweater with a hood over his head when confronting Jazzman early in the movie.
  • Ironic Echo: From Angelís douchebag agent, when revealing heís behind the assassination attempts on her life.
    Agent: "Youíre worth more to me dead than you are alive." ( says the man who dies two seconds later)
  • Laser Sight: Z and Li pack sniper rifles with laser scopes during the concert assassination scene. It is how Chance managed to spot them trying to shoot Angel from a distance, and follow the source of the laser to root out both assassins, killing Li in the process.
  • Meaningful Name: Why is Chance named as such? Because his mentor Jazzman took one.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: For the first ten minutes of the movie, Chance and Miles are depicted as kids being raised by Jazzman as trained killers.
    • Chance, especially, being a toddler when his parents are killed in front of him before Jazzman saves and subsequently adopts him.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Chance, after his picture of him holding a pistol was misidentified by the Bangkok police the night at the concert shootout.
  • The Mole: Angelsí agent turns out to be working for the vengeful Z, who wants to see her dead due to losing interest in developing her career further as a singer.
  • More Dakka:
    • Chanceís first assassination scene where he takes on a rival mob boss, when he killed off all the bodyguards the boss immediately grabs a chain-loaded Gatling gun to blast away at Chance. It didnít work.
    • The introduction of Z and Li have them marching into the hideout of a Yakuza gang, holding fully-loaded machine-guns, and firing away at their targets (around 7 of them) non-stop for an entire minute, even when the Yakuza bodyguards are clearly dead.
  • Moral Myopia: Z will stop at nothing to avenge his wife Liís death by killing Chance, despite the fact that his wife is another bloodthirsty assassin like himself who killed multiple people and that Chance is defending himself, shooting Li before she can shoot him.
  • Not Quite Dead: Z, despite being shot by Angel while trying to kill Chance, and falling over a platform some hundred meters tall, survives. It helps that he lands in some thick, dark liquid (oil?) which in typical Hollywood fashion could've cushioned his fall. It takes Jazzman plugging a few extra rounds into Z at the end to finish him off.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The ending of the movie implies that like Jazzman had shown up in the last minute to shoot Chance dead to Leave No Witnesses, but after a Time Skip near the end, where Angel is shown to be a successful singer holding a new concert, comes a quick flashback to the night of the climax; as it turns out, Jazzman did point his gun at Chance, but the gunshots are Jazzman shooting Z before he can sneak upon Chance. He then allows Chance to leave while surrendering himself to the police outside.
  • One-Letter Name: Z.
  • Parental Substitute: Jazzman, the Retired Badass hitman who adopts Chance.
  • Police Brutality: The Thai police donít hesitate to beat up Chance, who is handcuffed to a chair, after arresting him to make him confess to murder.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before Chance executes the rival mob boss in his first assassination assignment.
    Soon-to-be-dead mob boss: "God damn you!"
    Chance: "God doesnít care for people like us." (BANG)
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Angelís agent sells her out to Z, since he is actually The Man Behind the Man for the attempt on her life. For his betrayal he ends up getting three bullets into his torso from Z a few seconds afterwards.
    Angel's agent: "Come on, do your job."
    Z: "I will." (shoots the agent)
  • Sacrificial Lion: Miles, the closest Chance has to a lancer, who dies at Zís hands at the end of the first act.
  • Scary Black Man: Miles, played by Bokeem Woodbine.
  • Shout-Out: The police station massacre where Z rampages through the station, killing cops left and right is clearly inspired by The Terminator. Right down to a scene where Z, machine-gun in hand pointed upwards, strides through a corridor filled with dead policemen he killed in the shootout, before following Chance and Angel outside as the latter two are trying to escape.
  • Skyward Scream: Chance, after witnessing Milesí death and holding his sworn brother in his arms.
  • Suicide by Cop: Jazzman at the end of the film.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Chanceís silver locket containing his deceased biological parentsí picture. Towards the end of the movie after Chanceís supposed demise, it becomes a keepsake for Angel.
  • Training from Hell: Chanceís training to be a killer involves getting shot in the chest by Jazzman. In the middle of a casual conversation, no less.
  • Unwilling Suspension: The Yakuza mob leader from one of Z and Liís past assassinations ends up being hung upside-down from the ceiling before Li removes his head with a katana.
  • Workout Fanservice: Chance working out in a gym after an Age Cut from his teenage years to an adult. Yes, the camera lingers repeatedly on his sweat-covered abs.