Wednesday, February 29, 2012

JCVD vs. Death: Until Death

Are you proposing, JCVD film?  The final film of JCVD vs. Death Week (sort of) is a dark, serious film.  Unlike Wake of Death, however, the dark aspects come from Van Damme.  Yeah, he's going there!  In this film, JCVD plays a Cop who is addicted to heroin.  If he can't cry on cue, can he pull this off?  Is Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call- JCVD good?  Well, before you decide, bear in mind that they got a respectable actor to play the villain.  That man- Stephen Rea.  I love Stuck, so I'm willing to give him a little bit of leeway here.  Can Van Damme act...if it's as a complete asshole?  Can Rea make this film respectable?  Is this just an attempt to set a film in New Orleans as penance for naming the cargo ship in Wake of Death 'Katrina?'  To find out the answers to at least two of those questions, read on...
Rea here is a bad, bad man.  He deals drugs.  He kills people.  Oh yeah, he was also Van Damme's former partner.  On the plus side, he's not nameless and dead this time!
A lot of folks get down on Van Damme after a bust goes wrong and two cops die.  Sure, he does heroin and acts like an asshole, but it's not like he does anything really ba...
...never mind.  To be fair, she was a prostitute.  It's still horrible, of course, but you can at least see where he was coming from.
Despite being a bad person, Van Damme still pursues Rea.  Things catch up to him, however, when he takes a bullet to the head.  It nearly kills him, but actually turns out for the best.
While Van Damme is in his coma for months, his body goes through the withdrawal symptoms for heroin abuse.  That's...lazy screenwriting.

Oh yeah, Rea kills a bunch of people.  That's important, I guess.
While he's not a Cop anymore- since they know he did heroin and all-, Van Damme still goes after Rea.  This inspires him to attack Van Damme kidnapping his pregnant wife and killing some kid that he met twice.  You bastards!
As it turns out, the guy who was acting all indignant about Van Damme 'getting his fiancee killed' was working with Rea.  It all turns into a Mexican Stand-Off, a fact not aided by a former Cop coming to Van Damme's aid.
Well, this is it.  This is a Van Damme film, so it all comes down to...a gun fight.  To be fair, I wasn't expecting him to kung-fu fight Stephen Rea.  No, that would have been too cool.

Van Damme lives and all is well.  It sure was easy to get over heroin.  The End.
Evidently, heroin is the opposite of riding a bike.  Before I get all negative, let me cover the positive elements. For starters, it was daring for Van Damme to attempt a role like this.  While it's no Rush, it's miles beyond what Seagal is willing to do with his 'almighty, super-hero image.'  He does commit to looking damn-creepy and I will give him credit for that.  Furthermore, it was nice of them to bring some money into New Orleans, tax credits aside.  All done?  Excellent.  The movie takes a major crap on all of the good will it established by just skipping right past the whole withdrawal thing.  I can't get over that, sorry.  Why set that up if you're just going to give up?  I also like how his Captain finds out about his drug abuse, but doesn't charge him since he's in a coma.  Nearly-dying is a pass for all crimes, folks!  The movie tries some interesting things, but Van Damme can't quite pull off the role.  This is obviously not 'a Van Damme script' though.  It's better in overall quality than Death Warrant, if for no other reason than it's more daring.  Of course, they do forget to add Van Damme's head scar for this close-up though...
Next up, a film that I absolutely, positively have to warn you about.  Even by Ted V. Mikels' standard, this one is amazingly-bad!  Stay tuned...

P.S. I have no idea what that thing on his forehead is.  He's had it for a while, I guess.

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