Indonesian Buddy-copy Flick Java Heat Muddles Through
Java Heat's title refers not to hot coffee but to the Indonesian island, though caffeine is certainly recommended to make it through this tepid buddy-cop action flick. In Java, American Jake Travers (Kellan Lutz) is questioned about the bombing death of the nation's sultana by local officer Hashim (Ario Bayu), who quickly deduces that self-professed teaching assistant Jake is in fact a covert spy. When not trading tiresome barbs—many about militaristic Americans, replete with both men quoting Rambo—the duo discover that the sultana isn't dead; rather, she's the prisoner of a globe-trotting psychopath named Malik (Mickey Rourke), who plans faux-terrorist bombings as distractions for his jewel and art heists. Cross-cultural understanding is achieved as the heroes seek to avenge crimes perpetrated against their loved ones—said vengeance involving rote chases and shootouts staged by writer-director Conor Allyn with a visual competence that's at odds with his messily slapped-together story. With Lutz exuding only bland muscularity, the burden of providing these hackneyed proceedings with personality falls to Rourke. Alas, he's barely up to the task, delivering only stock ultra-cool villainy despite his floppy hair, puffy face, and a weirdo accent that not even the film's other characters can properly identify.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.