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,
Forest ranger and Ex-Navy SEAL Henry is forced by the drug cartel to help retrieve a major shipment of drugs which went missing on the US-Canadian border. While in the woods, he runs into a man who has a vendetta against him, but both men must struggle to escape the forest and defeat the cartel, while at odds and at knife's edge with each other. Written by
Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Peter Hyams team up for the third time (after 1994's 'TIMECOP' and 1995's 'SUDDEN DEATH') to make this 'buddy action movie', with Van Damme once again playing the bad guy. It also stars Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones as it's action hero leads and co-stars Linzey Cocker and Van Damme's son Kristopher Van Varenberg (who appears in all of his father's films as of late). The script was written by first time film writers Eric and James Bromberg and their inexperience shows. The most clever thing the filmmakers came up with (for this movie) is it's title; which is about the two main characters being enemies at first and having to team up to fight a more dangerous foe (referring to the popular phrase 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'). People don't watch a Van Damme movie for the writing usually though, if you're a fan of his performances you won't be disappointed here (it's one of his better ones).
The story is set on the US-Canadian border where (as the film opens) a plane goes down containing a large shipment of drugs. Van Damme plays Xander, a crazy drug dealer who leads his ruthless cartel into the forest, near by the crash, to retrieve the missing drugs. Everett Scott plays an Ex-Navy SEAL turned forest ranger named Henry who becomes Xander's biggest obstacle. Henry's biggest obstacle (at first) is surviving the attempts on his life by a man named Clay (Jones), who blames Henry for the death of his brother (during combat). Henry and Clay must of course put their differences aside in order to outwit Xander, and his men, and save a young woman (Cocker) who recently took a liking to the ranger.
It's interesting how Van Damme went from always playing the good guy hero in B action flicks to always playing the villain (in B action flicks). He started out his acting career playing the main bad guy in the 1986 karate film 'NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER' and the 1988 martial arts action movie 'BLACK EAGLE' but after he hit it big as the hero of 'BLOOD SPORT' (also in 1988) he became known as a likable good guy. Ever since then he's kept that image in movies, until his turn in 2012's 'THE EXPENDABLES 2'. He followed that up (the same year) by turning his good guy role (Luc Deveraux) in the 'UNIVERSAL SOLDIER' franchise into the bad guy in the fourth film 'UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING'. Now, with his performance in this movie, it seems like he loves playing the villain; he's so over the top and darkly comedic that he steals every scene he's in. He's the only real reason to see this movie (that and Hyams direction; he used to be a really good director). Everett Scott is horrible as the action hero lead (in this) and Jones is wasted. The young Van Damme and Cocker are all right but their parts are too small. The movie is worth seeing for Van Damme though; you'll love it if you're a fan!
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