Is a life without feelings a real life? What does it take to break your principles? Is the revenge as sweet as they say? Can a 50 year’s old Jean- Claude Van Damme still move like Jagger?
The answers to those questions are given in the action-thriller, skillfully directed by Ernie Barbarash- a well-known name in the industry.
Ernie was a co-producer of the critically acclaimed motion picture starring Christian Bale, “American Psycho” (2000). He is also an established action flick director, who has made such funny action movies as “Cube Zero” (2004), “6 Bullets” (2012) and “Falcon Rising” (2014).
With a budget of $8 million, the filmmaker has managed to create a decent and stylish action-thriller, despite the lame (and funny) acting and the tangible plot holes.
Shot in Romania, the plot of the story centers on the professional assassins Vincent Brasil and his colleague Roland Flint.
While Vince is not wasting his time, killing people for money and financially securing his future, Roland lives a quiet life and takes care of his wife, who is in a live coma.
Their paths are crossed when Vincent receives as a target the man who fatally injured and raped Roland’s wife who is now in a coma. At the same time, Roland is decided to take his revenge by hunting down and killing the man who destroyed his family and fatally injured his beloved wife.
Not without some personal issues and some exchanged punches, they agree to work together in order to bring down the vicious gangster Polo Yakur.
Vincent is driven by the money and Roland by his burning grief, turned to rage.
One has to admit that Jean-Claude Van Damme has done a good job by portraying the melancholic killer Vincent Brasil. The man ages like a fine wine.
Before going to Scott Adkins, the role of Roland Flint almost went to Vinnie Jones, who declined to participate due to scheduling conflicts.
Scott Adkins is impressive as always even though his spectacular martial arts skills are not entirely shown here as they are in “Undisputed” for instance. He is excellent as the mercenary Roland Flint.
The role of the villain went to Ivan Kyle, an English actor, mostly known for his role of King Aelle in History channel’s hit TV show “Vikings”.
Another addition to the glorious cast is the daughter of Jean-Claude Bianca Van Varenberg who has a minor role, playing Roland Flint’s daughter.
This is a Funny Action Movie Because:
It is an awesome and ridiculous direct-to-video flick, which is among the finest modern Van Damme films.
The combination between The Muscles From Brussels and the spectacular martial artist Scott Adkins is incredible. Together and with the help of the director Ernie Barbarash, they make this action film worthwhile.
“Assassination Games” stands proudly in the “funny action movies” hall of fame because of its clichéd plot, Van Damme’s stiff acting, Adkins’s great karate skills and some very absurd plot twists, that doesn’t make sense at all.
The first thing that comes to one’s attention is the place where Vincent Brasil lives. At the beginning of the movie, we see him entering in an apartment situated in a building twice as older than him where a regular rat with a little piece of self-respect wouldn’t want to spend a day.
When we start to think that Van Damme was given the role of the waif in the film, he presses the sink, the whole wall opens and a brand new world emerges. Almost like in Narnia.
An apartment so stylish and luxurious, that even Pi Diddy would be like “Daaamn!” The tough mercenary has several violins, a safe full of money, hidden behind a million dollar painting and a turtle in an aquarium. A real Don Corleone.
When it comes to Van Damme’s age, it is awkward and a bit sad to realize that the famous action star has aged so much. Sure enough, his tormented look is part of the character that he is playing but still the sands of time are visible on his face.
His moves are not so fast and his kicks are almost missing in the movie but this hole is filled by Scott Adkins who by the way is in a great shape.
He is showing some of his best fighting skills, which made him one of the world’s most demanded martial arts actors.
An absurd moment in the movie is when the evil gangster Polo Yakur keeps Van Damme’s new hot female neighbor friend as a hostage in his apartment and proposes him on the phone to spare her life if he surrenders.
Vincent Brasil refuses after a short reflection and after spitting a very clever and philosophical phrase hangs the phone. An hour later, when he gets back home and sees that they brutally slaughtered his new girlfriend (who by the way taught him how to have a healthier relationship with his turtle), he is unexplainably surprised by her dreadful death.
By the end of the movie, we see him with a candle in his hand, in a church, mourning her and regretting his deed with a pity face. A big bravo for the pointless and illogical character development. A lame attempt to add some drama to the plot.
The ending of the movie is very hilarious. Vincent and Roland use an ultra-modern laser weapon, which can be configured with the help of a smartphone and it can shoot from a long range.
The culmination comes when finally Roland Flint kills Polo Yakur next to the bed where his wife lies. After he makes Polo’s body a bloody mess, he apologizes to her: “I am so sorry baby!” And if she could, she would reply “Don’t worry, baby, it happens. Let’s go on with our lives”.
“Assassination games” is not a masterpiece but it is very easy to watch and very much enjoyable. The chemistry between the young and vital Scott Adkins and the slow and pitiful Jean- Claude Van Damme is great.
The flick includes some really worth-watching action scenes and the atmosphere is dark and intense. You definitely won’t regret watching it. Absolutely recommended!
Please tell me what you think about the movie and leave me a comment below. Is it better than “Timecop” (1994) for instance?