|"What is the nature of being?"|
Death Warrant (1990)
JCVD behind bars. The Shawshank Redemption with spin-kicks and splits, if you will. In this one, our hero is a French-Canadian policeguy named Burke, sent undercover in the belly of the beast in order to find out the truth behind some strange prison murders. Burke uses his karate to figure stuff out, and he 'rassles the truth out of his fellow inmates. Naturally, the naive, racially-sensitive Burke has some problems with the prison's gangs, particularly his Hispanic and African-American friends. This is a fairly routine prison film. But, for me at least, there's just something about the routine of prison life that lends itself quite well to linear narrative. That's a nice way of saying I like watching people hatch escape plans and then execute them, and if there's a bit of the splits thrown in there, maybe some sack-punching, perhaps a conjugal visit, all the better. This is an entertaining enough film. All the action scenes are cleanly edited, and Van Damme has some choice lines, and the escape sequence is actually very well done. Some parts are a bit homophobic for my taste, but like, 1990, what can you do? And while some of the plot in the middle could go (the homophobia too), the rest of Death Warrant is, as usual for Van Damme, totally watchable garbage.
|JCVG (Jean-Claude Van Goalie).|
Proud parent and divorcee JCVD (Jean-Claude Van Divorcee) at the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. D2: The Mighty Ducks with spin-kicks and splits and f-bombs, if you will. This time the big oaf's working security at a game in Pittsburgh. A whole bunch of terrorists kidnap the Vice Prez and hold him hostage. Later they kidnap Van Damme's kids and hold them hostage too. These punks are really asking for it. Sudden Death brings the cheese. There's some nice parallel editing between the hockey game and the rescue, as the terrorists plan to blow up the arena at the end of the game. I don't know if it's art, but I like it. The whole NHL gimmick gives Van Damme plenty of room for some absurd action, including his brawl with the Penguins' mascot, and an opportunity to switch places with the goalie for save or two. Van Damme sure loves the old switcheroo, doesn't he? If it weren't for the "confused identities" plot device, most Van Damme films would just be him posing in a mirror for an hour. Hell, that's mostly what they are anyway, but at least sometimes he poses in the mirror under the belief that he's actually his twin brother or whatever. Nevertheless, this is a great Van Damme film, like 4 1/2 spin-kicks to the 'nads out 5.