This list is complied from the films mentioned in Jack Lehtonen's Mubi list on vulgar auteurism, the films mentioned in…
In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong, has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself.
"Lay on the ground, get kicked like a dog. Stand like a man, get kicked like a man. Are you angry? You've got two tigers inside you. A weak one who doesn't believe and a courageous one who does. Which one will win? The one you feed." - Tiano
This is not really a Van Damme movie, he only plays a supporting character. We see through flashbacks how Van Damme shows Ryan Hong (Cung Le) the path of the righteous while in prison and learns him how to kick a lot of ass.
If you thought Van Damme was bland wait until you see Cung Le. He has a stone face and a monotone voice coming out of his mouth,…
This was on, and I didn't change the channel.
Lot's of threatening between tough guys, then kicking by some random guy. Cool use of a rake while fighting. Most of the fights are in Sepia for some reason. Way too long to get Van Damme on screen.
So, Van Damme plays the part of the mentor in prison in this one. Only his part is really, really small. That's a shame because Cung Le is just dull. He can fight but he has no charisma. On the other hand we have Peter Weller aka Baroski. He seems to have a lot of fun as a corrupt police officer. We also have Dan Henderson beating up Cung Le. Which was nice. But overall this one is dull, one part in the movie confused the hell out of me (the part where suddenly a police officer was in the chest and Weller wonders if Le is death and he lies on the ground behind him...??? WT???) and I wish JCVD had a bigger role.
Other than that the action was kinda nice!
Everybody who was annoyed by the Universal Soldier elements of the last two Universal Soldier movies should take a look at Dragon Eyes. All the John Hyams hallmarks are here: Long tracking shots, inventively staged action, brutal and anti-fun violence, shutter-stutter editing, but the narrative connecting tissue is a little off.
It's a Yojimbo riff, but in a (at least initially) realistic gangland milieu that throws off the tone - maybe it will play better if I see it again knowing what to expect, but my impression now is that it's caught in the no-man's land between realistic crime drama and psychedelic action insanity. Once the movie settles down into a more well-worn genre groove this mostly disappears, but in…
More visibly a result of direct-to-video standards than UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION, this low-rent MMA version of YOJIMBO is nevertheless so well shot that it still makes an argument for Hyams as a great talent to watch in action filmmaking. Also, Peter Weller!
I'm so glad I live in a world where the aging JCVD and Peter fuckin' Weller (Robocop!) appear in the same film — a badass action film, at that. This one's as much as a departure from the style of Regeneration as Reckoning is, but Hyams' touch is clear and his versatility is impressive. It's not as flooring as his UniSol movies, but still: has DTV cinema ever been so fantastic?
Basically a western without the visual style of one. Hyams instead uses his tremendous talents to create dark, deadened colors for this drab city and ditches the expansive vistas for something more personal and tactile.
Hyams has a strong sense of purely visual storytelling, using the chiseled faces and piercing eyes to tell the story, a good thing since he's working primarily with actors that are less prodigious in convincing speech.
That is except Peter Weller as the villain Mr. V, who I swear has half the lines in the film. As a smooth talking corrupt policeman speaking forced lines of Italian as to prove his multicultural-ness (the city he runs is primarily minorities) he sticks out like a sore…
Cung Le portrays a character named Hong who comes into town and manipulates two rival gangs into taking each other out. Sound familiar? You've probably seen this movie before when it starred Toshiro Mifune (Yojimbo), Clint Eastwood (For A Few Dollars More), Timothy Dalton (License To Kill), and Bruce Willis (Last Man Standing). Every so often, producers feel like they need to remake "Yojimbo" and this time they tried to put a martial arts and MMA spin on it. The fight choreography was not bad but the main character lacked the charisma, attitude and coolness of the other actors who have participated in the various incarnations of this story.
Peter Weller portrays the main villain in this movie and he's…
Not perfect by any stretch, but full of some lovely grace notes, and certainly worthwhile if you're already on the Hyams' bandwagon (and why wouldn't you be?).
Lukewarm reception might be because this seems to have been promoted as a Jean-Claude Van Damme film, and it isn't, really. He has a small role as the main character's prison sensei (Terrific introduction, though), before our real hero (Cung Le, who I only knew from Pandorum, doing a decent job) returns to his rundown old stomping grounds to clean up the place. The way the story unfolds is somewhat hard to swallow (given how rarely anybody tries to shoot our hero), but the name of the town, St. Jude's, encourages a reading of the film as metaphor that makes it easier to rationalize the ridiculous bits, as well as the dull grey color filter, and sit back and enjoy the broken glass and Peter Weller chewing the scenery. When Peter Weller's having a good time, EVERYBODY'S having a good time.
Bloody hell this was dull. Cung Le is as bland a leading man as I've ever seen and the plot is a confused mess.
Still there are a couple of good things. Peter Weller gives an excellent - and far better performance than this film deserves - turn as a corrupt cop.
Eighties action buffs will also enjoy the scene where a character recalls his Vietnam war story. This was such a staple of VHS action movies, but as that conflict fades in the memory such scenes have all but disappeared. The one here made me all nostalgic.
he sure kicked them all.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
So Mr JCVD is now taking roles as wise old mentors teaching the young stuff, reversed from back in the day when he was learning, that is pretty cool if you ask me, it just seems right like a perfectly fitting piece of jigsaw. Of course JCVD has still got all the silky moves but with age creeping up on him he is obviously not gonna be as believeable as in his hayday.
Cung Le takes on the role as main hero for this 'Yojimbo' remake (yep another one) a loner comes to a small town and uses the two local gangs against each other to get to the big man and bring peace. So completely and utterly unoriginal and…
Van Damme screen time:6 mins? If that! Robocop the baddie, dodgy gangs, scary Russians and a loner trained up by JCVD comes to clean up the town. Good fights, confusing plot.
Needs more Van Damme
Essentially a ranking of DTV action films I've seen. My experience with DTV is entirely limited to the Western…
Van Damme's films (excluding some cameos and such), ranked from favorite to least favorite. Mention: I rank the films, not…