Sean Penn’s ex-mercenary-turned-do-gooder proves to be in lethally good nick when his past catches up with him in this globetrotting action thriller.

Penn shows off his social conscience as well as his muscles, but the action sequences are always more persuasive than the soul searching – a blistering shootout in a Spanish villa also involving ex-girlfriend Justine Trinca and ex-partner-in-crime Javier Bardem being a case in point.

The script – co-written by Penn – spoils things a bit by falling back on tired clichés, particularly at the climax, which heavy-handedly intercuts the gory action in a Barcelona bullfight with Penn’s final showdown with the bad guys.