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To be honest, I didn't expect a lot when I was invited for the
screening at Cannes. Another Van Damme movie shot in a East European
country with the same director of Assassination Games (AG), a good and
standard action movie with a cheap look and some solid but basic
And that is exactly what you get with Six Bullets but even more. This movie starts of interesting with a big actionscene with JCVD on a motorcycle..and the movie is filled with good directed fights. Joe Flanigan, who is basically the next big name in this movie, is great as Van Damme's co-star. The only thing that is annoying that the rest of the cast is filled with unknowns and Van Damme "talented" son Kristopher Varenberg. He plays, how surprising, the son of JCVD in the movie. Also some of the locations in the movie were recycled from AG. The openingsscene is shot at the same manor from AG ( the one were Scott Adkins kept his wife) It all feels very save (not mindblowing, but very watchable) and it is great to Van Damme doing some action again. Ernie Barbarash is developing as a solid director and seems to get the some good movies out off Van Damme, who seems to step of his basic moves and shows some new stuff. This movie was shot prior to The Expendables 2 and it shows. Van Damme seems to be very motivated. Not like he was in AG. Although his character has a dark secret and is kinda depressed.
Six Bullets is a fun movie. Overall people didn't like it that much. Lots of complaints about the cheapfactor in this one and comparing it to Van Damme's Cannes classic "JCVD". But Six Bullets is nothing like this movie.. It is your standard but good DTV.. Nothing more nothing less 6/10
Let me be as direct as possible: this movie rocks!!! I know most people
are expecting a cheap movie with flat dialogues and average acting but
this film will certainly surprise many.
OK, you won't have Academy Awards performances but the actors did a good job. The action is well executed and the plot line captivating enough.
I believe that Joe Flanigan made his character believable and convincing enough. Plowman was also decent as the mum looking for her kidnapped daughter.
Overall I give "6 Bullets" a solid eight. It is good fun. Van Damme is BACK!!!
Jean-Claude Van Damme shines as Samson Gual, an ex-mercenary haunted by
tragic accidents of his past job who seeks to redeem himself when he's
approached by a MMA fighter who seeks Gual's help in getting his
fourteen year old daughter back after she's abducted by sex
While a bit hokey in places and some of the acting by the bit players leaving much to be desired, all the major characters do a very adequate job and the action scenes are very good. I found myself enjoying this "Taken"-esque film quite a bit. JCVD indeed has another winner on his hands.
This is a Jean-Claude Van Damme action flick.
I've seen a number of his similar films over the years and feel that they have all been better than average. Meaning that if you like action movies, Van Damme delivers with ones that you will probably watch again sometime.
Like Assassination Games (2011), this one features his son and daughter (his daughter also produces). No, his kids won't win any acting awards either, but they turn in credible performances for their characters. For his part, Van Damme acts better than I have ever seen him act before as a troubled ex-mercenary who has built a reputation finding and returning kidnapped children. He also seems to have built one for leaving a lot of bodies behind, including innocents. Unlike most of his other movies where he does no wrong, this one has him a lot more fallible and even negligent. His realizations have him showing lingering regret that really spices up this plot.
While this film is vaguely similar to Taken (2009), there are more differences than similarities. It also shows what amoral lengths the family of a kidnapped child might be willing to go to to get their kid back.
This is a good action flick with some thought provoking moments about consequences and choices. I recommend it.
Finally ! Van Damme seems to be getting his act together and putting out a better product. This is one of the best "straight to video" movies he has done, kind of on par with Desert Heat and Legionaire, and dare I say almost good enough that it could have had a theatrical release. The plot borrows heavily from "Taken" and a few other movies but is pulled off well and JCVD is in good physical shape for this film, despite his haggard face. Could have used a bit more hand to hand fight scenes, but what we are given is filmed well. Definitely worth a view if you are a Van Damme fan, something that couldn't be said for most of his movies made in the 2000s. Let's hope he can maintain this momentum and have a bit of career resurgence like Stallone.
Hot off the heels of his great villainous turn in the Expendables 2,
Jean Claude Van Damme delivers another straight to video action film 6
Bullets. Over the years some of his films seem to have gotten a bit
better in both acting and quality. He still has a lot that get
international theatrical release, but still end up on the video shelf
here. Will 6 Bullets keep his streak alive after E2 has brought him
back to theatrical prominence?
6 Bullets follows an ex-mercenary known for finding missing children is hired by a mixed martial arts fighter whose daughter has been kidnapped, but is still struggling with a failed assignment. For the most part this isn't one of his better films, but is a decent addition to his filmography. There is plenty of action that's pretty simple and only averagely executed, but mostly loses some of its effectiveness due to bad editing. Where this film lacks on some of the expected action, Van Damme delivers another character with a wide range of emotions. While still nowhere near the performance of JCVD, he really carries the film well giving the character more depth than his normal bad ass persona. The supporting cast including Stargate: Atlantis star Joe Flanigan and both Van Damme's son and daughter all do a decent job with what they are working with. The story is simple, but does add some clever twists here and there to give it a bit of an edge you may not expect. The foreign setting really helps this movie both visually and size to give it a bigger feel than it may have had being shot here in the US.
While this wasn't a great movie, it still delivers enough of a kick to entertain the hard core Van Damme fans out there. Over time Van Damme, much like the other action stars of E2 has seemed to really embrace his age and seems to have enhanced his performances a bit more. Worse case, this film will serve as good filler while fans eagerly wait for his next film Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.
To my surprise, this is playing on Google Play for only 3.99 so I rushed to watch it...twice for that matter. I rather enjoyed it. I'd rank it pretty much on the same level as AG. Both movies were on the cusp of making the leap from being "good" to being "damn good". The script in AG is a bit stronger but JC does a much better job in 6B. He is in fantastic shape and doesn't sleepwalk at all through his performance. He looks and performs the best he has in years. The action is pretty well done and there is a good amount of it. Like AG, Ernie gives us a really cool opening intro to the movie! For the most part, 6B is shot really well, considering the budget. Acting wise, I thought everyone was above average for a DTV...with the exception of Bianca(JC's real daughter). Even though she isn't in it that much, I thought her line delivery was just awful. Kris(JC's real son), however, is better than usual. He still has a lot to learn but he didn't stink up the place like usual. Flannigan was good and I liked seeing him in something other than Stargate. Neal Acree turned out another good music score, although, a lot of it may be a little too piano heavy which kind of kills the tone in a few scenes. It sometimes added a "made for TV" vibe. Overall though, this is another good step for Ernie and definitely one of JC's best DTV's. I'll probably watch it one more time before it expires. 3.25/5
This is without a doubt one of the better Van Damme movies in the
entire course of his career. Why? Well because it is not the average
generic movie that he usually makes, where he is sort of a lone
underdog hero who is fighting an uphill battle against overwhelming
odds, and with some miraculous force he manages to singlehandedly
emerge victorious at the end, even after having received a beating that
would normally drop dead a prize-winning bull.
"6 Bullets" is a great story-driven movie, in which Van Damme plays Samson Gaul, a mercenary who is working in Eastern Europe to infiltrate human trafficking rings and rescue underage boys and girls, and bring them home to be reunited with their families after these horrible ordeals. However, during one such a mission, something goes horribly awry and two innocent young girls end up dead. Haunted by the apparitions of these dead girls, Gaul ends up seeking solitude and salvation at the mercy of alcohol while trying to make a living as a butcher. A young American girl is kidnapped from her hotel and the parents seek out Gaul for help. But can Gaul redeem himself of the past and step up to the task at hand? The storyline in "6 Bullets" was really interesting and captivating, as human trafficking is, sadly, every day events in parts of the world. So with that in mind, then this story really takes on a personal approach and becomes more than just mindless martial arts entertainment.
Plus, the storyline is really helped along by some powerful performances, not only by Van Damme, who really stepped into character and showed a great acting side, but also by Joe Flanigan (playing Andrew Fayden).
The movie was nicely shot, the dialogue was good and it moved at a great pace. There was a fair amount of drama in the movie, spiced up with martial arts, of course, and also gun fights. This is really one of the better Van Damme movies that I have seen in a long, long time, and it is good to see that he is back in the game.
There were just a couple of things in the movie that I didn't really understand. In the opening sequence, how did Gaul manage to plant all that explosive in the cars parked outside the building when there was all that much security personnel around? And also when he wanted a phone number traced, it started with 555, which is a number associated with Hollywood movies, so we must assume that it is an alleged American fake-movie phone number, so why was it showing up on an Eastern Europe phone? And finally, why would most people in Eastern Europe opt to speak English first whenever addressing strangers? Wouldn't it make more sense to speak in their native language? Anyway, these touches are just small flaws that don't really have much impact on the movie. I just happened to notice this and wonder about it.
"6 Bullets" is a great addition to movie collection for fans of Van Damme. And it is also good entertainment, even if you are not particular a fan of him.
My grade for this movie was 10 (excellent), because even with a limited budget of 10 million dollars Director Ernie Barbarash managed to make a wonderful movie, a movie much better than many films I've seen over the past decade and even year we are. The story despite being good, could have been used in a better way, but it is nonetheless engaging. What most impressed me about this film is the work of Jean-Claude Van Damme shows that there really is a great prejudice of the major studios with him, because the guy every movie shows that he has talent, who can act, which is a great actor, but people are prejudiced in his early films, he was not so good performance in the question, but if surpassed by their performance in fights and action scenes. Van Damme over time just came to improve their way of working, which is showing a great actor for drama in his last film role that usually always has a dramatic story behind. 6 Bullets is an action movie with drama and suspense fantastic, not shot anything he said, I just think it's time to return to Hollywood enchergar this myth and hero of martial arts and action movies, and my prayers and hopes Van Damme is to return to the top of the world. Michael Jackson said: "They say the sky is the limit, but I wait to see beyond it". I hope Van Damme reach this level of success because he deserves for being talented and his humility.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Six Bullets is directed by Ernie Barbarash. Who recently directed
Assassination Games also starring Jean Claude Van Damme and Scott
Adkins. Six Bullets was recently screened at Cannes 2012 and here is my
Review (contains spoilers):
Van Damme plays a depressed, ex military (or something along those lines. It's never really discussed) by the name of Samson Gaul who is hired to rescue the daughter of an MMA fighter, Andrew, played by Joe Flannigan. Joe portrays the equivalent of Floyd Mayweather in the MMA world.
Surprisingly, you get the feeling that Van Damme is not the lead in this film and from the off set it's apparent that Joe Flannigan is the main attraction here. Joe is an 'MMA fighter' whose daughter has been kidnapped due to his spiraling debts, you later learn that Joe is due to throw a fight and bets against himself for a large sum which he owes to "Vlad". Things don't exactly go accordingly and Vlad deploys a number of his team to kidnap Joe's daughter, Monica. Andrew then realizes that he is in over his head and calls on an old ally who is renowned for his recover of small children. Fans of Jean Claude will be pleased with what he has to offer and looks in tremendous shape when he is boxing a hanging piece of meat a la Rocky style with Joe Flannigan (There are a few references to Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude saves the best for last which I won't spoil). Samson and his son set out to rescue Monica and reunite her with her father.
Kristopher Van Varenberg is surprisingly entertaining in his role as Samson's son and his shoot-out albeit with the rather unimaginative villains is similar to the Van Damme movies we all grew fond of as a teenager and he certainly has the ability and is worthy enough of carrying the Van Damme name if he so chooses. The main shoot out takes place outside an old mansion and the slow motion 'shoot and kill' moment is very similar to that of the slow motion capture used in his father's earlier films such as the Hard Target. Kris also adds an element of comedy the way he dismembers one of the henchman in the knife scene that takes part in mansion's kitchen. Van Damme's daughter, Bianca Bree/Van Varenberg/Van Damme, I am not sure what she names herself, makes a brief appearance although it really feels like she happened to be on set and they threw a small cameo at her to keep her father happy.
Overall, there are a few action scenes that we have become accustomed with in a Van Damme film He certainly displays better punching prowess compared his more recent DTV efforts, he takes out three guys Transporter style in the end mansion finale in a small hallway. Although there is more gun action than fight scenes, there isn't really a need for Van Damme to demonstrate his kicking ability as there isn't the opportunity to do so. In fact, I would have expected more from Joe Flannigan's character given his supposed background as an MMA fighter. Joe doesn't participate in too many action scenes and it's transparent he doesn't have any interest in becoming an action star. He should have been a more lovable rogue than an MMA fighter
You kind of hope that Van Damme has more dialogue in the movie. Throughout the film, you feel slightly frustrated that he is not presented with more dialogue and most of his lines are no more than one or two in length.
For those that have seen Assassination Games will instantly feel the Barbarash vibe to this movie, the tone, well used locations and pace of the movie more than give this away.
The story is all too familiar in the direct to video market and isn't going to win any awards and fans of low budget, action, direct to video movies will enjoy this I give this 6/10.
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