Release: July 29th, 2011 Rating: R Run time: 101 min Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins Director: Ernie Barbarash
Not counting The Expendables 2, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a good Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. In fact, I would probably say it was Universal Soldier: Regeneration, that would’ve been the last I saw of his films that I enjoyed. I grew up on Van Damme movies and it pains me to see him in some of the drivel he is in nowadays. Thankfully, Assassination Games does a good job of actually being a good film, with some solid action and an interesting story. It’s definitely not balls to wall action, or a light-’em-up action thriller that Netflix would have me believe it is, but it is a solid way to kill 101 minutes. If you need some more convincing, or just love to read the rest of my reviews, than by all means, read on…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Two assassins agree to work together as one tries to avenge his wife and the other collect a reward for a job.
Flint (Scott Adkins) setting his sights on his next target.
Van Damme plays Vincent Brazil, an assassin for hire, who is good at his job, due to the fact that he sees himself as a weapon and nothing more. He doesn’t feel emotion and doesn’t get involved with anyone and stays to himself, in his secret apartment. Meanwhile, we have Scott Adkins, playing Roland Flint, who is a retired assassin, due to a tragic event that left his wife comatose, with that tragic event caused by the scumbag Polo Yakur, played by John Rhys-Davies lookalike, Ivan Kaye. After Polo gets released from prison, Flint vows to extract some sweet revenge on him, but little does he know, Vincent has also signed on to take on the contract. The two bump into each other while on their mission and they are less than willing to work together.
Meanwhile, Vincent has started to not really befriend the next door neighbor, October (played by the super sexy, Marija karan), who happens to be a call girl, but instead takes her in, cause her pimp daddy is beating her. We start to see some cracks in Vincent’s tough exterior and this makes Van Damme’s character that much more layered, than just the grunt with a gun.
Or even a crossbow.
After something terrible happens to Vincent, he agrees to work with Flint to take down Polo and two professional assassins go on mission, which yields plenty of dead bodies, but not enough fisticuffs.
The story for Assassination Games certainly keeps you entertained, but I do wish there would’ve been more action and certainly more kicking and groin injuries by our two ass kickers. The movie goes for more story development and less brainless bludgeoning. I do applaud it for trying and for the most part succeeding, but I still would’ve preferred more action.
I would like to point out, that the music in this movie is pretty damn awesome, with some beats that make the scenes all the more exciting. Who knew that a catchy song could make Van Damme walking through the dirty streets of Romania, so awesome looking. Bravo Neal Acree, for making a great soundtrack and making the scenes come alive.
Polo (Ivan Kaye) interrogating October (Marija karan).
I think most will probably pass this movie off as another DTV Van Damme film, but I think you would be wrong in doing so. It’s got some heart behind it’s story and some pretty good action, although it definitely could’ve used some more. The performances from Adkins and Van Damme are top notch and that beginning assassination scene, which I didn’t mention, was pretty freaking sweet. Give Assassination Games a whirl, as it’s one contract worthy of taking.