Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Enemies Closer (2013)

Van Damme is back in action and this time he's the bad guy...again. This Peter Hyams directed action fest is a throw back to the 80's and early 90's but not in a good way unfortunately, its literately like going back in time and watching a straight to the videoshop Seagal flick.

There are some drugs at the bottom of a lake and JCVD and his bad guys want it. Little do they know there is a park ranger who stands in there way...Tom Everett Scott? errr yeah that guy. But wait! little do they know that before they turned up to try and grab these drugs Orlando Jones came along to try and kill Scott for not saving his brother in a war torn scenario years earlier (Scott is an ex-SEAL you see).

Both of these loose cannons, that's Everett and Jones, are now tangled up in this mess and must fight for their lives against JCVD, his son (again) and his henchmen. They gotta stop these bad guys taking off with the drugs and they gotta work together even though they don't like each other, plus one of them is white and the other is black...just to spice things up.

What can I say? this has to be the most cliched flick I've seen for some time. Every action flick cliche they could muster is shown here in all its glory. The bad guys are French Canadian so this gives the excuse for JCVD to have some wild eccentric Euro-esque blonde bouffant quiff that makes him look like a cultured down n out artist. All the action is set within a national park type setting at night so expect lots of Indy style booby traps, darkness and generally not being able to see what's going on. The only thing they left out was the obligatory snake bite moment.

Everytime one bad guy gets the chance to kill someone point blank they pause and talk endlessly until the moment has passed. JCVD does this over and over it becomes annoying...just shoot the guy!!! then you win!!! ugh!!!. People manage to miss each other point blank when it just seems impossible to do so, weapons are available for use to make things easier at times but they are conveniently forgotten about to ensure a good fight.

Towards the end there is a big assault rifle that gets dropped...but hey lets just knife fight and grapple instead. One bad guy gets his leg spiked by a wooden stake but carries on never the less. There's the crazy old man in the woods bit who tries to fend off the bad guys ('Hard Target') and of course the standard double cross at the end by the person you least expect. Oh and at the very end...I don't wanna give it away but Jesus Van Damme you could of just jumped over the side, you had plenty of time if you hadn't come out with that unnecessary last quip.

There is so much I could mention its hilarious, of course the film isn't meant to be an accurate flick but its definitely meant to be a serious action flick. The two hero leads play it damn straight despite being utterly useless, Scott is a bad actor and not a convincing action man. Jones just does stuff any old sidekick would do in this scenario...generally turning up at the last second to bail Scott out.

Really the whole thing is so ridiculous, the best thing about it is watching JCVD spew out all his cheesy one liners and dialog with that hairdo. Had this come out about 15 years ago it probably would have gone down well. These days its just hokey as hell and its meant to be a serious action flick!. Funny thing is you can tell they really tried hard to give it this kind of stylised night vision-esque survival quality visually.

I love the unintentionally funny final moment right at the climax of the films final action sequence. As the music swells to its peak and the camera quickly closes in on Scott's face so he can calmly say his final action man quip...'almost'.