Jean Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins
1hr 36 minutes
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What is it all about?
Brazil (Jean Claude Van Damme) is a contract killer, willing to take any job if the price is right. Flint (Scott Adkins) left the assassin game when a ruthless drug dealerÂ’s brutal attack left his wife in a coma. When a contract is put out on the same cold-blooded drug dealer, both Brazil and Flint want him dead–one for the money, the other for revenge. With crooked Interpol agents and vicious members of the criminal underworld hot on their trail, these two assassins reluctantly join forces to quickly take out their target before they themselves are terminated
The Hughes Verdict
Full credit to Jean Claude Van Damme, his career went off the rails a few years ago, the action star whose films in the late 80’s and early nineties were a must see for action fans everywhere before he slipped into some awful stinkers which I remember watching and weeping with sadness. When the rather excellent JCVD came out everyone thought it was a flash in a pan, a film that showed how great he is and was the last glimpse of his action talent. I too thought it was one final blast of good and he would simply go back to the films that he was turning out before that unexpected success.
Of course JCVD had other ideas and he once again stunned everyone with the brilliant Universal Soldier 3 that I voted one of 2010’s best films and yet despite even more praise, once more the doom merchants thought it was only a matter of time before failure strikes but now instead of having one flash in a pan he has had two. Well what are they going to say now with the release of Assassination Games, a rather splendid action film which again proves that the muscles from Brussels is back.
The best thing about this film and the perfect example of the maturity of JCVD is how he takes a back stage role in this film, yes I must point out he is the star and and is in most scenes, but he underplays the role to perfection. Van Damme knows that the days of doing the splits on two chairs are way behind him and here he packs more of a gun than a kick and he leaves the action fights to Scott Adkins who fans are growing to love in this market. With Adkins already having great success with Ninja and Undisputed III, his fan base is already growing rapidly and by teaming up with mega action star is a canny move especially as they are no egos on show here. Van Damme looks quite happy to let Adkins to the fighting, and he seems happy to let Van Damme take most of the scenes, its a combination that makes the film a real good delight and also there is a sense of a real effort gone into this film.
Anyone hoping for a film in the style of Double Impact will be massively disappointed because this is more of a slow burn affair, a plot vice that stunned me really because I was expecting some mindless violence. The plot of two assassins teaming up to take on the same enemy may be old hat but there is a sense of freshness involved and for a film set on the path of straight to DVD, it gives off enough tension and thrills to make it a very pleasurable viewing.
Assassination Games may well be the best DTV action film of the year, its a massive step up from many other films that clog the market and is perfectly set up to please fans of both actors. Its only a matter of time before Adkins gets a big film because the man is a star in the making and we could be watching the birth of an all new action star for a whole new generation, while for Van Damme fans, well this will do nicely as the world awaits for the 4th Universal Solider film and the roll he is on, its going to be a belter!