Language - English [Dubbed]
Genre - Action/Drama
Year Released - 2008
Running Time - 96 minutes
Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri
Written by Mabrouk El Mechri, Frederic Benudis, and Christophe Turpin
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme (No Retreat No Surrender, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Lionheart, Double Impact, Hard Target, etc, etc)
Rating: 4 Skulls
Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in this comic action film. While visiting his family at home in Belgium, Van Damme is caught in the middle of a robbery, and the cops think the aging star has snapped and pulled the job himself.
Now, on top of dealing with financial problems, a nasty custody battle, and a waning career, he has to make like a real-life action hero and find his way out of a very tense situation.
I was pleasantly surprised this evening when I checked my Netflix Queue and noticed that this film was available to watch Instantly [it doesn't even officially come out on DVD until Tuesday!]
Being that this film was at the top of my queue anyhow, I removed it - put the kids to bed, took a break from the book that I am currently reading, and watched it on my computer, thanks to Netflix, and it was just as good as I was hoping that it would be!
Even though this is not a "traditional" Van Damme flick, it is, without a doubt, Van Damme's best performance.
The film has a great beginning, with a full-fledged action sequence during an un-named war movie, starring the one and only Jean-Claude Van Damme. This opening sequence only made me long for his glory days! There was so much action going on, that I wasn't even reading the credits. :-)
The film then jumps to a couple of foreigners discussing the action films of the eighties, with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis. The foreigners even take into account that it was Van Damme who brought John Woo to Hollywood [I never even thought of that, being that I have been a fan of Woo's long before Hard Target ever came along]
Anyway, as the foreigners are talking, one of them notices Van Damme getting out of a cab, and flags him over, so that he can have his picture taken with the action-star. Van Damme kindly does so and then explains that he was just on his way to the Post Office, across the street.
A few minutes go by, when all of a sudden, a gun shot blows out a window of the cab. It turns out that the Post Office/Bank is being robbed, and the police who show up on scene believe Van Damme to be a part of the heist/hostage situation.
The film is split into 4 different segments, each giving a different perspective of the situation. This made the film even that more interesting - I believe it was during the 3rd segment, where Van Damme gives an outstanding monologue, to us the viewers, that [I believe] was completely sincere.
A great movie - definitely recommended if you are a fan of Van Damme!
So, if you have Netflix, it is currently available to watch Instantly, or it will be available on DVD, as of Tuesday.
Here's the trailer: