John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
St. Jude Square is a neighborhood living in fear and despair. The dueling gangs of local kingpins Dash and Antuan terrorize the streets and the citizens live without a shred of hope... until mysterious stranger Ryan Hong (Cung Le) arrives in town. He begins to play one gang against the other using his unparalleled martial arts skills, and by calling on the teachings of his brilliant mentor Tiano (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to find the strength to battle back. However, just as he begins to bring the community under control, Hong is confronted by Mr. V, the town's ruthless and corrupt police chief. At first Mr. V is impressed by Hong's skill, but soon sees Hong as a threat to his regime, and the two warriors are locked in a head-to-head battle, pitting the fear and corruption of Mr. V's regime versus the new beginning Hong represents for the people of St. Jude Square. Written by
Fan or not, there is no denying Jean-Claude Van Damme's action star status throughout the 90's. Over the years he has made a name for himself in the straight to video market, but unlike some out there his movies have held a sense of quality on some level. His latest film Dragon Eyes brings along MMA fighter Cung Le, but takes Van Damme in a different role than we are used to seeing him in.
Dragon Eyes follows a man who moves into neighborhood living in fear thanks to the rival gangs at war. Slowly he begins playing them against each other using his martial arts skills he learned from his mentor while serving time in prison. Just as he starts gaining control in the neighborhood he is thrust into a war with a corrupt police chief as well as the gangs to try and defend the scared people of this desperate neighborhood. While the story here isn't anything all that original it still gives it that old school feel. It kind of goes all over the place at times and seems to suffer a bit due to editing, but not enough to hurt the overall film. This film is very much like most martial arts films of the 80's and 90's. Cung Le takes the lead and does a decent job. His acting skills are slowly but surely getting better, but this is his first time out carrying one on his own shoulders and he does a fine job. Van Damme takes a back seat approach playing more of a Mr. Miyagi to Cung Le with very little dialogue, but still delivering an effective character through action. This film is clearly more about the martial arts and there is no shortage. Le does a great job with the fights delivering some well-choreographed entertaining fights.
This is an old school martial arts film that fans of the genre will have fun with. Cung Le has made numerous films, but his turn as the lead here showcases a new generation of action star that he could easily fill. Van Damme serves his purpose here very effectively and gives you just enough of what he does best to tide you over until he steps it up as the villain in The Expendables 2.