Jake (Jason Yee) is a guy who let his gambling debts spiral out of control. Consequently, he considered himself lucky that his bookie was willing to let himself work off his debt by serving as a chauffeur and bodyguard for a mob-owned escort service run by a pimp named Simon (Ron Yuan) out of a whorehouse called the Naked Eye.
Over the course of his brief tenure there, Jake develops feelings for a sweet, 16 year-old runaway (Samantha Streets), the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold. However, before their relationship has a chance to blossom, Sandy turns up dead.
In the wake of the grim discovery, it becomes clear that nobody's interested in solving the gruesome murder. So, Jake decides to take the law into his own hands, and proceeds to leave a bloody trail in his quest for the truth.
That is the basic plotline of "The Girl from the Naked Eye," an ambitious neo-noir by 25 year-old David Ren, a wunderkind who shot his directorial debut while still a teenager with the romantic comedy "Shanghai Kiss" (2007). Here, he makes the most of a modest budget via a visually-captivating whodunit laced with highly-stylized martial arts action.
The movie's play-by-play is narrated pulp fiction-style by the picture's revenge-minded protagonist played by Jason Yee. The former World Kick-Boxing Champ also orchestrated the acrobatic fight sequences, and proves himself far more adapt at delivering punches than delivering dialogue.
A compelling chopsocky made in America, featuring a homegrown matinee idol who might very well blossom into the next Bruce Lee.
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for violence, sexuality, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity.
Running time: 84 minutes
Distributor: Naedomi Media