Java Heat

Movie Information

In Brief: The second ActionFest monthly screening is the same setup as last time with all proceeds going to Homeward Bound of Asheville, and the $10 admission includes free Ninja Porter (from Asheville Pizza) and soft drinks and popcorn from Carolina Cinemas. This time, viewers get the chance to see the film Java Heat starring Kellan Lutz (the Twilight films) and Mickey Rourke before its official opening. The film is a wild yarn — that doesn't always make sense — offering more style (the director obviously has seen a lot of Brian DePalma movies) than you probably expect, and a lot of often very explosive action that you probably do expect. Lutz makes a stolid, enigmatic hero and villains don't come any more perverse than Mickey Rourke.
Genre: Action
Director: Conor Allyn
Starring: Kellan Lutz, Mickey Rourke, Ario Bayu. Frans Tumbuan
Rated: R

Unlike the first ActionFest presentation, I was actually able to see Java Heat — and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Oh, we’re not talking about a great movie here, but who thought we were? It’s an action picture first and last, and the plot mostly exists to string together — not always coherently — a string of action set-pieces with the requisite explosions. But at that, the film boasts an unusual buddy dynamic between star Kellan Lutz (primarily known for playing Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series) and Ario Bayu as a Muslim policeman he ends up teaming with. It’s a refreshingly different pairing that works nicely against the sleazy villainy of Mickey Rourke at his Mickey Rourke-est. (I swear at one point he’s wearing that seersucker suit from Angel Heart.) But the real surprise is how stylish Conor Allyn’s direction is here. It’s highly influenced by Brian DePalma (I haven’t seen this much use of split-screen in ages), but the influence definitely pays off. For action fans, it’s definitely worth catching.

ActionFest presents Java Heat at Carolina Cinemas Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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8 thoughts on “Java Heat

  1. Jeremy Dylan

    I haven’t seen this much use of split-screen in ages

    When was the last significant use of split-screen in a movie? The most recent I can remember is PHONE BOOTH, and that’s going on eleven years.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I can’t remember if De Palma used any in The Black Dahlia, but I don’t think so.

  3. Jeremy Dylan

    I can’t remember if De Palma used any in The Black Dahlia, but I don’t think so.

    I keep meaning to watch that. I’ll give it a look sometime soon and let you know.

  4. Ken Hanke

    Bear in mind, I am not exactly recommending Black Dahlia, but it’s so insane that it has an appeal.

  5. Jeremy Dylan

    I just went to reread your review, and realise I had watched it a few years back. I didn’t much care for it then, but I might give it another go.

  6. Ken Hanke

    It depends on whether you’re looking for a good movie or a fascinating mess verging on incoherent.

  7. Jeremy Dylan

    I can find value in both. Of course, ‘fascinating’ is in the eye of the beholder.

  8. Ken Hanke

    You admitted you found it fascinating the last time we argued about this.

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