Black Eagle (1988) Poster

(1988)

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5/10
A poor man's James Bond
gridoon11 October 2005
Playing a cross between James Bond and Jackie Chan, Sho Kosugi is likable enough, but unlike Jackie when he does a stunt the camera is too far away from him and it's hard to know if he is doubled or not (if you stick around for the end credits, you'll discover that he WAS doubled on at least two occasions), and unlike Bond the action of the movie is limited to one location (Malta) most of the time, plus there isn't too much of it. Jean Claude Van Damme makes an awesome villain, but his two major showdowns with Kosugi are rather disappointing. In the role of a female CIA agent, Doran Clark handles her two opportunities for action capably - she should have gotten more. The funniest thing about this film is that Kosugi shows little chemistry with his on-screen kids, even though they are his kids in real life as well! (**)
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5/10
watchable,but nothing spectacular
disdressed127 April 2011
this action movie staring Shô Kosugi and Jean-Claude Van Damme was not all that exciting,but it was watchable enough.there isn't really a lot of action in the movie.Van Damme plays one of the villains here and has two showdowns with Kosugi.both fight scenes are OK,but not thing spectacular and of very short duration.the movie itself wasn't boring,but it wasn't exactly exciting either.it's one of movies where you can take it or leave it.i doubt i would watch again anytime soon.it has a rating of 3.2 here on this site.i would rate it a bit higher than that,as i didn't find it awful,just underwhelming.for me,Black Eagle is a low 5/10
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6/10
Malta is the real star of this feature
naughtyjimmy26 February 2016
Granted, this is not a great movie by any measure. Its plot, acting and direction are enjoyable but not really memorable.

And I'm no expert in martial arts movies, so I can't review Sho Kosugi and Jean-Claude Van Damme fighting performances in this flick.

But I nevertheless find it to be an entertaining and refreshing movie because:

a) It is slow-paced compared to movies churned out by Hollywood nowadays. I can't stand shaky cam photography nor "frantic" editing. I find 1980s pop-corn flicks quite relaxing.

b) It is full of nice sights of Malta, a location you very rarely see in motion pictures. Its fortifications, distinctive architecture, sunny beaches, beautiful landscapes... It's quite refreshing to enjoy the beauties of an oft-overlooked location in movie-making. Malta is the real star of this picture.

c) Doran Clark. She's a beautiful woman and quite convincing as the CIA agent "babysitting" the two kids. Why we haven't seen her in more movies is beyond me.

All in all, this flick is a guilty pleasure, but for good reasons.
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5/10
Pre-Glasnot , anti-soviet tale of two high-kicking spies : Sho Kosugi and Jean Claude Van Damme
ma-cortes6 January 2022
It begins with one of the US Air Force's most modern tactical aircraft, an F-111 Aardvark with a new laser guidance system , down into the sea near Malta . Codename Black Eagle , Ken Tami (Sho Kosugi) , is summoned to Malta to thwart KGB plans to steal a sunken laser device and to salvage the system before it falls into enemy hands . To ensure his loyalty, they bring his two young little boys (Kane Kosugi , Shane Kosugi) to a nearby hotel on the island. There are no enemies. There is no glory. This fight is one on one. Two warriors meet...only one will survive!

So-so flick with more than a semblance of an embarrasing story without much sense , including thrills , chills , high body-count , spectacular fights and in which CIA and KGB agents race against time to recover innovative equipment in the Mediterranean . In spite of its violence , and adding some wholly as well as corny moments , in this is mediocre yarn there are some impressive combats and rousing confrontations . This thrilling film is jammed with several messy trappings , such as : barring sundry explosions , murders , fights , gadgets , plot twists , a subplot in which two children are kidnapped and a car chase through La Valleta streets . The main spectacle is to see how to fight the two greatest idols of the martial arts at the time, in the Eighties : Sho Kosugi as the best FBI secret agent , and , Jean Claude Van Damme as his tough opponent, KGB agent Andrei. It is a film that defies easy clasification , it's either a spy thriller without glamour or a martial arts movie with only two real fights . Here the authentic star is Sho Kosugi who shows his fighter skills playing an agent must outrace KGB agent in searching of super weapon lost in Mediterranean . While Jean Claude Van Damme proves his early and elegant martial arts manners as the KGB's balletic kung-fu king. The only difference between this one and countless other short-budget action films is that the main hero, Sho Kosugi, is not the typical macho man , as he's thin , doesn't screw around and even fails , at times, to defeat his implacable enemy : Jean Claude Van Damme.

Directed without flair-play by Eric Karson , an expert on thrillers and action movies . His debut theatrical feature film was in 1980 with "The Octagon" with Chuck Norris . Subsequently, he directed "Hell Camp" and "Angel Town" . Equally , he produced "Nemesis" and "Lionheart" with Van Damme in one of his best vehicles . Action addicts will give this one a passing grade , all others need not apply . If you're a Sho Kosugi and Jean Claude Van Damme fan , you'll appeal this movie , that's why it contains action enough and violence for enthusiastic of the chop-socky or kung-fu genre .
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Seems every time Van Damme plays a bad guy he does his mute method acting
DunnDeeDaGreat27 May 2003
Black Eagle was released a few months after Van Damme became a star with Bloodsport. The film could have made Van Damme a wash up but luckily he didn't. The martial arts chorography in the film is very sloppy and the fight scene between Sho Khogusi and Van Damme is weak. Skip this one.
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7/10
Good Kick Flick
qormi17 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, they weren't working with the biggest budget here. The plot was a little confusing - if an American plane sunk in the waters off Malta, why doesn't the U.S.Navy send all its resources to retrieve it? Malta is their ally, after all. What's with all the covert stuff? This would be an overt operation. The Russians, meanwhile, are trying to get the jet with the high tech systems on board before the Americans do. It would have been difficult for them if the Americans had about ten ships and ten helicopters searching the waters. But no... they need to send for their #1 agent to do it alone. Pleease!!! Before sending for the Black Eagle, another U.S. agent was assigned. He was caught by the Russians and subsequently dispatched by Van Damme. What was he doing? Trying to attach a homing device to the Russian vessel. Homing device? Why? Malta is seventeen miles long at its widest point. Were they afraid of losing the ship?? Van Damme was cool as the evil Russian guy. In the two fight sequences with the Black Eagle, he actually beat him - the Black Eagle retreated both times before he got killed; both times diving into the water after receiving a beating from Van Damme's character, Andre. Then, Andre first gets shot by the Black Eagle's sidekick, then he gets sucked into a boat's propeller after diving into the water to save his girlfriend. The Black Eagle is the first action hero to get his butt kicked by the bad guy and run away both times! Good location shooting on Malta, a very historical island and fun vacation spot. One funny note: At the end of the film, Black Eagle and his kids are supposed to be in Rome. They are standing at a street corner, looking at the Coliseum. The street corner is obviously still in Malta and it looks as if the camera panned a closeup of a postcard of the Coliseum. Like I said, not much of a budget here.
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3/10
Sho vs. Jean
BandSAboutMovies11 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Sho Kosugi was a big deal when I was growing up in the 1980's. His movies like 9 Deaths of the Ninja, Pray for Death, Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja 3: The Domination - and his role as Okasa on the TV series The Master - made him the ninja movie actor. In Black Eagle, he plays Ken Tani, a special government agent who just wants to spend more time with his kids. However, standing in his way is a villainous Jean-Claude Van Damme, not yet ready to embrace superstardom.

Codenamed Black Eagle, Ken is needed when a jet carrying a laser tracking device is shot down over the Isle of Malta by Russian forces. Soon, Colonel Vladimir Klimenko and his men are all over the place looking for the device. His key man is Andrei (Van Damme), who goes up against Black Eagle, CIA agent Patricia Parker and Black Eagle's kids Brian and Denny (Kosugi's real-life kids Kane and Shane).

Director Eric Karson was also behind the Chuck Norris movie The Octagon and produced Lionheart, another Van Damme film. The story kind of crawls in the beginning, but the fights between the two main characters is pretty much worth your time. That said, you also get to see Van Damme doing a split while throwing knives, which is always fun.

There's also a Catholic priest who went into the faith to avoid a life in the CIA. So there's that, I guess.
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7/10
Welcome to the Video Store Action Aisle
kirbylee70-599-5261795 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
MVD's Rewind Collection is offering another release, this time the action adventure film BLACK EAGLE starring martial arts star Sho Kosugi in the lead role and a then unknown martial arts actor named Jean-Claude Van Damme as the bad guy's henchman. Let me begin by saying that this series from MVD is great for those of us who not only ran video stores back in the day but frequented them as well. The slipcover for this release will bring back those memories complete with the "Be Kind Please Rewind" stick to the category sticker slight bent tearing off the cover itself.

When a US plane carrying a new laser tracking system is shot down over the Mediterranean the country can't afford having it fall into the wrong hands. With some dastardly Russians led by Col. Vladimir Klimenko (Vladimir Skomarovsky) nearby the CIA needs to get an operative to Malta fast. Their second best man is already on his way but they need the best. They need code name Black Eagle.

Ken Tani (Kosugi) aka Black Eagle, is already in the middle of a mission but is pulled for this operation. He's unwilling to go since his agreement calls for him to have these two weeks free to be with his sons Brian and Denny (Kosugi's real life sons Kane and Shane). His handler Dean Rickert (William Bassett) has already prepared for this having had agent Patricia Parker (Doran Clark) pick the boys up and take them to Malta already. Tani agrees and heads there as well. In addition to Tani and Parker Father Joseph Bedelia (Bruce French), an ex-demolitions expert who once worked for Rickert but is now a priest in Malta, is recruited as well.

Tani arrives and with the help of Bedelia is able to find the sunken aircraft just as the Russian trawler pulls alongside their boat. Helping Col. Klimenko is his personal aide and bodyguard Andrei (Van Damme). Taking photos of Bedelia and Tani they feed them into their computer to find out who they really are. Now the race is on to recover the tracking system first.

Of course this will involve a face to face confrontation ala James Bond between combatants where they act civil to one another. That ends and with the gloves off they can now fight using any means necessary. And since the kids are there why not use them as bargaining chips?

When Tani and Bedelia go after them to rescue them from a seaside castle the bad guys are no match for Tani's flying fists and swirling kicks. As Bedelia helps rescue the kids and Parker who was captured as well, Tani eventually faces off against Andrei. This is the fight we've been waiting for as martial arts fans. But the fight, while well done, is short lived with Tani leaping into the ocean to join his sons aboard Bedelia's boat.

With no choice now but to see the mission through Tani sends his sons to safety. He meditates, puts on camouflage makeup and sets out to board the Russian ship to reclaim the stolen tracking system. And there is no doubt that confrontation between Tani and Andrei will finally take place.

I remember seeing the movie when it was first released on video actually having bought it for the store I owned. It was a decent movie then and actually holds up fairly well today. It may not be the greatest of action films but it delivers on all counts. There is story, combat skills, explosions and gunshots enough for any film. It's well shot too and the locations are used to their full effect. Perhaps the weakest component here is the acting abilities of Kosugi's sons, much of which is due to their age.

A second weakness is also a problem with the MVD release and that is no subtitles. Both Kosugi and Van Damme, having two distinctive and thick accents, are a bit hard to understand at various points in the film. This isn't a poor reflection on either but it does make you miss some of the dialogue. Perhaps it was decided that the dialogue didn't matter as much as the action. Still, they would have been nice.

As I said earlier the MVD Rewind Collection is showing to be one worth picking up. The transfer of film to disc is impressive and well done. And the extra included are some that will please fans of the old video stores. To start with included in the disc is a mini poster for the movie, about the size of those used to decorate the counters at many stores years ago. The extras on the disc are enjoyable as well starting with the option of watching the theatrical cut or an extended version with over 11 minutes' worth of extra footage. In addition to that option there is SHO KOSUGI: MARTIAL ARTS LEGEND a featurette with interviews of both Sho and Shane Kosugi, THE MAKING OF BLACK EAGLE with 2017 interviews with Kosugi, Clark, Shane, Dororta Puzio, director/producer Eric Karson and screenwriter Michael Gonzalez, TALES OF JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME featuring the cast and crew discussing the then unknown who went on to bigger films, THE SCRIPT AND THE SCREENWRITERS featuring both Karson and Gonzales, deleted scenes and the original theatrical trailer.

It's not only a solid movie that can be enjoyed but the extras are entertaining as well. And for fans of video stores you'll enjoy being able to find yet another of those movies that at one time could only be discovered by making a trip to your local mom and pop store. The memories generated by this release are enough alone to make it one worth picking up.
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2/10
Did they re-shoot after Van Damme's success?
MikeyMo_nl8 September 2006
Strange movie this is. It's a typical 80's action movie trying to be a James Bond film (with Van Damme in the Jaws role) with two non-English leads (the heavy accents are all over the place) and it works on no level at all.

The story is plain stupid and could probably be resolved in real life through simple diplomacy or a quick Navy Seals operation. But of course this is one-man operation and boring it is...

Set against the background off Malta only one men can take on a ship full of evil Russians while entertaining his kids on vacation (and I'm not making that up). What surprises me about the man that goes by the codename of Black Eagle is how 1-dimensional his character is considering he has the most screen time and they tried to flesh him out by having his kids around. he stays bland, but then again he has no charisma at all...

Then Van Damme, here having about half the amount of lines Ah-nold had in Terminator he comes off as a baddie we all like. He gets more physics to display, he gets the cool moves, he even is more fleshed out (physical and character-wise) then the good guy. At the end I was just hoping Van Damme would knock his lights out.

Unless you're watching a horror film (allthough this movie is a horror to watch) you're not supposed to root for the bad guy. But I was. I'm thinking they re-shot scenes making van Damme's character more likable after the success of Bloodsport, but it messes the movie up even more....
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3/10
100 minutes can save you thousand dollars on a trip to Malta.
mark.waltz9 March 2021
Warning: Spoilers
That's the only thing that I found worthy of my time in this spy drama that stars Shô Kosugi and his kids, as well as a rather boring Jean Claude Van Damme who couldn't act his way out of a glass of vodka. The location footage, particularly the hilly streets and the views of the sea, are gorgeous distractions from the plot about a crashed jetliner with a newfangled contraption that the Russians want to get their hands on.

This is your standard 1980's action flick with lots of kickboxing, chases and explosions. I didn't mind the family story here involving Kosugi and his kid's nanny and fellow agent, Doran Clark whom he become involved with, because the interracial romance gives it a different angle.

I just didn't care so much for the plot and easily found myself looking at the various shots of local architecture. Kosugi is very likeable so his lack of acting skills isn't as distracting as Van Damm's. William H. Bassett is the only other actor worth mentioning, a memorable character actor I've seen in quite a few things. Unfortunately, this is a good 20 minutes too long, so the boredom does creep in here and there.
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5/10
Generic late 1980s action movie...
paul_haakonsen28 December 2021
I sat down to watch the 1988 action movie "Black Eagle" again in 2021. I believe that this is actually only my second time to watch this movie since it was released. Yeah, I can't claim that I was much of a fan of the movie back when it was newly released.

The storyline told in "Black Eagle" is very generic in terms of late 1980s action movies go. You know, the type where it is one man against an entire army and a single arch nemesis. Yeah, such was the writing of A. E. Peters, Michael Gonzales and Shimon Arama. But hey, it was a formula that worked back then and actually still have something to it even today. However, I found "Black Eagle" to be a bit too much on the bland side, so it is not going to become an action classic for me.

"Black Eagle" does have martial arts star Shô Kosugi and action star Jean-Claude Van Damme on the cast list, so you are not in for a boring time in terms of action and fights. With "Black Eagle" being one of the first proper movies for Van Damme, it was fun to watch him over-act the fight scenes in that way that only he can manage.

And you are in for an abundance of thick accents throughout the course of the movie. That has to count for something, right?

I will say that "Black Eagle" is watchable, but it is not an outstanding gem in the action genre. And I doubt I will be returning to watch it again any time soon.

My rating of "Black Eagle" from director Eric Karson lands on a five out of ten stars.
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One of Van Damme`s worst
action-631 July 2000
I picked Black Eagle up in a shop last year because Van Damme was in it and it was cheap. The movie isn`t worth seeing due to the following reasons: 1: Van Damme is barely in it 2: Very little action 3: A poor hero 4: A poor and confusing story

But Van Damme still had some good fight scenes(which is why the movie doesn`t score 0/10 in my book), but the movie isn`t worth seeing.

2/10
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2/10
Shô Kosugi's European Vacation.
BA_Harrison26 February 2020
Jean-Claude Van Damme performs a great move in Black Eagle, dropping into the splits to avoid a kick from Shô Kosugi, and then quickly popping back up into fighting stance; in fact, he does it twice. This impressive acrobatic trick is about the only notable thing about the whole movie, which is little more than an excuse for Kosugi to take his kids on a jolly to the Mediterranean. As such, it's a real bore for fight fans, being much more travelogue than it is martial arts flick, Kosugi and sons taking in the sights and sounds of sun-drenched Malta and Rome.

The weak James Bond-style plot sees special agent Ken Tani (Shô Kosugi) given the task of retrieving a top secret laser guidance system from an F-111 jet that has crashed into the sea off the coast of Malta. Also trying to get their hands on the contents of the plane are some evil Russians, who stoop to kidnapping Tani's two kids (played by Shô's reall-life sons) to get what they want. Van Damme, in one of his early non-heroic roles, plays Soviet martial artist henchman Andrei.

Sloppily directed, poorly acted (its two stars mangle the English language), badly written trash, Black Eagle isn't even laughably awful - it's just boring. With this kind of cheap straight-to-video nonsense, one usually expects a decent dose of action, no matter how poorly executed, but the film delivers very little to get excited about: Van Damme's three bouts against Kosugi are (nifty splits move aside) poorly choreographed and all too brief; it says a lot about the movie as a whole that one of Kosugi's young sons has the best fight scene.
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7/10
Kosugi and Van Damme fans will have a good time.
Hey_Sweden24 January 2021
Sho Kosugi is engaging as a secret-agent hero named Ken Tani. He's tasked by the American government to retrieve valuable missile guidance systems from downed aircraft. His nemeses will be Russian goons led by Colonel Klimenko (Vladimir Skomarovsky, "2010: The Year We Make Contact"). Klimenko's main asset is a martial artist, Andrei (Jean-Claude Van Damme, the movies' other star attraction) who gives Tani a few good fights. But Tani has reliable associates on his side such as Patricia Parker (Doran Clark, 'Emerald Point N.A.S.') and priest / oceanographer Father Bedelia (Bruce French, "Christine").

"Black Eagle" will have some appeal for more than the martial arts cinema audience, as it's also part international intrigue story, with a decent enough story and excellent location shooting in Malta. It also refrains from the kind of graphic violence that tends to turn off some people. It has a rousing score by Terry Plumeri, and naturally it features some pretty good action sequences. The fights between Kosugi and Van Damme are solid if not epic. Overall, "Black Eagle" doesn't really set out to be a superior example of this kind of thing, but simple, straightforward entertainment, given efficient direction by genre specialist Eric Karson ("The Octagon", "Opposing Force").

Kosugi is not dubbed here, for a change, and while his English may not be masterful, it's passable. Van Damme has good screen presence; it's worth noting that his character doesn't have a lot in the way of dialogue. Naturally, the filmmakers don't pass up opportunities for the star to show off; he has an early scene where he's doing the splits for no important reason. The supporting cast includes such other familiar faces as Gene Davis ("Cruising", "10 to Midnight"), William H. Bassett ("House of 1000 Corpses"), and Czech actor Jan Triska ("Apt Pupil"). Kosugi's real-life sons Kane ("Ninja: Shadow of a Tear") and Shane ("Pray for Death") have supporting roles as his characters' kids, who feel somewhat neglected by their dad. (C.I.A. agent Parker is obliged to babysit the kids while dad is off saving the world, but does get her own chances to be badass.)

Overall, "Black Eagle" is a solid dose of escapism, no more and no less. It's available in both the 93 minute theatrical cut and an extended 104 minute version.

Seven out of 10.
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3/10
Watch a Bond movie instead
sveknu16 May 2005
This movie looked really cool on the DVD-cover. In addition, this is in 1988, the same year that van Damme starred in Bloodsport. Because of this, the movie had a great potential. Unfortunately, potential doesn't mean anything at all. This movie was in fact a VERY bad one. The plot is surprisingly equal to a Bond movie. An American airplane with a new laser guidance system crashes in the Mediterranena sea. The movie takes place on Malta, where both Soviets and Americans want to get their hands on this airplane. The lead in this movie is not van Damme, but instead Sho Kosugi who plays some kind of American agent. It was surprising to see van Damme as some kind of bad guy, and as a Soviet. The action scenes in this movie are very bad. So is the story, and totally this means that the movie sucks.
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5/10
Literally so bad, it's good!
jim-j-moore29 June 2010
It's imperative that you approach this film in a mood to be amused by a movie so bad, so clichéd, that it's quite funny. This film is the cinematic equivalent of a quattro formaggio pizza, literally dripping with cheese. Van Damme features very little in the movie and when he does, its in such a banal villain stereotype that one just has to chuckle. His death cry almost sounds like a cry of relief.

And as for the script, it's pure corny laughs throughout...

"The unidentified aircraft has turned out to sea" "Get me the police!"

The police? It's like one of those farcical multiple choice quizzes for imbeciles. An unidentified aircraft is encroaching on your sovereign airspace, do you (A) lock anti-aircraft missiles on the bogey, (B) scramble air force interceptors or (C) call the police. Yeah, police - good call. They've been itching for a chance to use those rocket powered jet skis!

Yes folks, this movie is jammed packed with the best of the worst. Great, grimacing camp fun. Enjoy!
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1/10
The worst Van Damme movie I have ever saw in my Life!
ivo-cobra82 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILERS*

Black Eagle (1988) oh boy, where should, I start with this poor boring lame action movie? Seriously this movie is by far the worst Van Damme, Sho Kosugi action movie I have ever seen! Not only the movie is boring and lame, It also rips off the same plot from James Bond 007 Thunderball (1964). When Sho Kosugi's character is looking for those missals under water, the same plot was in Thunderball when Sean Connery was looking under water for those bombs. Three minutes in, already looking like the worst stinker ever made, dumb dialog, bad acting, like Van Damme is there waiting to get discovered, holding his nose because this smells so bad. It seems like Van Damme was kicking Sho's ass more than vice versa and was stronger than Sho. And Sho didn't even kill Van Damme...JCVD dies saving his woman and getting pulled under (almost like a hero's death, weirdly enough). Very boring, not much action, and nothing to it.

I liked the two fights between Sho Kosugi and Van Damme, I am confused with the first their fight, Van Damme kicked and almost defeat Sho Kosugi, when Sho gives up, shows his finger to Van Damme all bloody around his face and jumps in the water off the cliffs, I don't get it?! Why Is Van Damme bloody around his mouth, when Sho did not even injured him full bloody? On the docks their last fight between those two guys fighting each other, Van Damme was wining but than his girlfriend calls his name and he get hits from Sho Kosugi's foot in his head. Than Sho's agent shot Van Damme in the leg. When Van Damme tried to safe his wife in the water, he was pulled down and killed why? Van Damme does not uses any real weapons, the same goes for Sho./: Sho's girlfriend Doran Clark shots and kills one of the bad guys when she and Sho's kid are kidnapped, in real life it wasn't a real gun, even the shot wasn't heard real. In reality Van Damme could have, definitely defeat Sho Kosugi, because he was winning both of the fights.

None of the actors did not know how to act, Van Damme has no any good liens. I really don't wanna go on about this terrible forgettable action movie, that is not even an action movie at all!!! I am not saying Sho Kosugi is a bad actor he definitely is not! The first time I watched him in an underrated action film Pray for Death (1985), I thought he was Bruce Lee, he looked a like Bruce Lee, I was a kid than when I watched his movie. Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, Pray for Death and Rage of Honor are good movies of him. I like those four movies, I think Sho Kosugi is a real master Ninja and a good actor and an martial artists star. Anyway the action is boring and really awful bad, this film isn't even an action movie! As a kid I hated this film and I even hated now! Poor Van Damme, he did not deserve to go and make that kind of awful stinker movie! Don't waste your time on this stinker, it is not worth of your time, just skipped. This film get's 1 by me. F*** this movie!

Black Eagle is a 1988 American martial arts-action-thriller film starring Sho Kosugi and Jean-Claude Van Damme. It is notable for its location shooting on the Mediterranean island of Malta.

1/10 Grade: F Studio: Rotecon B.V. Magus Productions, Taurus Entertainment Imperial Entertainment Starring: Sho Kosugi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Doran Clark, Kane Kosugi Director: Eric Karson Producer: Shimon Arama Screenplay: Michael Gonzales, A.E. Peters Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 33 Mins. Budget: $3.000.000
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Jean Claude Van Damme loses the cold war
modius12 February 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I have no idea what this film is actually about. Is it about Soviet Forces putting heavy pressure on the Maltese government to become a Soviet satellite country? Is it about a laser weapon? I don't really know, and to be honest the film never really cares about the plot, the characters or indeed the fighting sequences.

Van Damme plays Andrei, a tough KGB trained guy - who for some reason works on a Russian trawler and performs splits at will and karate katas for the amusement or bemusement of the trawler workers.

Kogushi hams up his role as the American 007 equipped with ninja like weaponary and a tux to boot. For some odd reason, he thinks its a good idea to take his kids to Malta as well - naturally they are kidnapped.

The fight sequences between Van Damme and Kogusi are sparse and lighthearted attempts at the "warrior code" - Kogusi smiles at Damme, and Damme smiles back whilst performing a split - which bemuses Kogusi - he doesn't know how to fight back against a guy who does the splits.

In a hilariousily bad and cop-out ending, Anderei (Van Damme) is killed by being thrown overboard and pulled into the Trawler's water blades...oh dear, what an opportunity lost.

Overall: 1/10
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5/10
Enjoy the Sho
damianphelps28 January 2021
I am a Sho Kosugi fan without apology.

This movie is B grade for sure, the acting, particularly JCVD, is awful.

It fits into the Delta Force realm quite nicely and at a time before the second wave of martial arts movies were coming (sparked by Bloodsport and delivered by JCVD, Seagal, Chan and Jet Li) (Bruce Lee being the first wave) it did a nice job of filling a bit of a void.

Sho Kosugi was kind of the asian Chuck Norris at the time, in that his movies had a similar feel to them (along with others like the American Ninja series).

No Oscars for this but there are way worse :)
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3/10
Poor James Bond rip-off.
poolandrews13 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Black Eagle starts as high ranking American military dude Dean Rickert (William Bassett) is informed that fifty million dollars worth of F-1-11 (yes that's F one eleven) fighter plane with a state of the art SX-1 laser tracking guidance system aboard has landed in the Ocean somewhere just off the coast of Malta, his best man Steve Henderson (Gene Davis) is put on the case as the sneaky red Soviet Russians are already there trying to steal it. Unfortunately the Russians lead by Colonel Vladimir Klimenko (Vladimir Skomarovsky) kill Steve, Rickert then sends in Father Jospeh Bedelia (Bruce French) & his other best man besides Steve, a Japanese dude named Ken Tani (Shô Kosugi) to retrieve the SX-1 & teach those Russians a lesson they will never forget...

Directed by Eric Karson one has to say that Black Eagle is a poor spy thriller in the vein of James Bond but unlike James Bond there's barely any action in it, the plot sucks & it stars a funny little Jackie Chan wannabe. The one & only thing of any great note with regards to Black Eagle & it's one & only claim to fame is that it was one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's first films, I am sure it's plastered all over the video/DVD case to try & sell a few more copies but in reality he isn't in that much & gets about five lines of dialogue during the thing. If your a fan of JCVD then I suppose you will feel compelled & obliged to see Black Eagle but be warned it's pretty tough to get through. The script by Michale Gonzales & A.E. Peters is a really poor low rent James Bond spy thriller with the Americans trying to beat the Russians to their super laser guidance thing & sending a whole two people to get it including a poor mans Jackie Chan & a priest. There's a fair amount of pointless running around Maltese locations & plenty of near misses as the Jackie Chan wannabe stays one step ahead of those Russians. It's pretty forgettable stuff all the way, the action scenes are few & far between, the dialogue is poor, the character's are poor & it's pretty slow going as well.

Director Karson probably wasn't working with a huge budget but Black Eagle is really lacklustre stuff all the way, there's not one memorable fight or action scene in it apart from the very slow car chase where the bad guy's are actually chasing the good guy's in a Lada! I have to admit some of the Maltese & Italian locations look very nice but I'm not watching Black Eagle for the scenery, I want action & frankly it fails to deliver the goods. When Ken dives under the Ocean (& holds his breath for about ten minutes) he finds the F-1-11 jet plane down there completely undamaged & in one piece! Wouldn't it have been smashed to pieces on impact with the Ocean if it had indeed crashed? I think so.

Technically the film isn't much to look at, it's got no style & is pretty forgettable on all fronts. Actually shot on location in Malta & Italy which is where most of the budget probably went. The acting sucks, I think Shô Kosugi is trying to be Jackie Chan but fails miserably. JCVD only speaks about twenty words (he apparently still got paid $70,000 though) & still sucks although he does do the splits a couple of times.

Black Eagle is a poor, poor film which I barely got through. Probably JCVD's worst film although he can't be held totally responsible, one to avoid unless your a masochist.
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P. U.
MmeMadness31 December 2002
This not only was Van Damms' worst movie, it might have been one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I found myself fast-forwarding to the fight scenes and they were not even worth watching. Thank goodness I borrowed this from a neighbor so it didn't cost me anything except the time I wasted watching if.
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2/10
Very Low
Rodrigo_Amaro5 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The name of the movie is "Black Eagle" but to me it is known as the film where Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the villain and he does a terrific job. Van Damme is better than the hero simply because he's more scary than Shô Kosugi (who plays the heroic main character) and because the hero is too difficult for any audience to relate with.

The story follows clichés after clichés. It is about the old duel between USA and URSS, during the bitter days of Cold War and Van Damme plays a deadly KGB agent working for the bad guys who stolen a powerful device found in a crashed American air force plane. Kosugi plays the agent who needs to track down and rescue this device in order to be the hero of the moment and stay home with his two kids. The whole operation takes place in Malta, a very beautiful place, and there's going to be lots of action and many boring and unimportant dramatic moments.

These unimportant moments drags this film way down considering that this a film starring Van Damme, with many punches and kicking. On the action level there's two or three sequences that really goes well but there are two annoying things: 1) Of every 10 fights performed here 7 features someone having his neck broken. No shooting at all, only broken necks. This become so overwhelmingly lame that it's almost laughable. 2) the soundtrack played through the first half hour, the same tune played over and over again. Nothing against these kind of thing after all Carly Simon used Coming Around Again's tune during so many moments of "Heartburn" and it is a really great soundtrack. But here it was annoying to hit rock bottom.

The major flaw of "Black Eagle" is not having a good plot. Many things are obvious, there's nothing interesting to see. To name one of the bad moments I need to mention are the encounters between Kosugi and Van Damme, where they fight for a second and then the hero escapes. That's right. One can assume two things: He is a total coward or he doesn't wanna hurt the soviet man (perhaps he's even sexually attracted to him). All the three times they've met something happened and he couldn't handle with Van Damme in a great fight.

Van Damme's performance and fights are quite good, if only he had the chance to play the good guy and have a better ending for his character perhaps this movie would be way better. 2/10
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4/10
Bond-type boredom with the added curio of a Van Damme villain
Leofwine_draca29 November 2015
A pretty much average thriller, like a lot of the supposed exciting rubbish which was churned out in the '80s. This one has some nice foreign locations to look at, but the muddled plot is both boring and headache inducing, involving a James Bond-like agent who must retrieve some technical stuff from the bottom of the sea. To make things interesting, there are some chase sequences and of course the expected martial arts action, but unfortunately both turn out to be disappointing.

Basically, this is because they offer up little in the way of excitement, because they're totally generic and therefore useless. The only exception is a cool rooftop chase but that's the highlight of the film. The fight scenes, when they occur, are too brief and too tame, I mean we know Kosugi is tough and can easily wipe out the bad guys, so there's no suspense and not enough action. The only fight scenes worth waiting for are the Van Damme/Kosugi fights, where the martial arts aces do their bits, and there are three of these to enjoy, with the second being the best (the first is too brief, and the third is too dimly lit).

The acting is typically bland for a film like this, just guys with stony faces barking out orders. There is the obligatory love interest but even the little kids are clichéd. Kosugi is okay as the hero of the piece, but he's never as engaging as he was elsewhere. People complain about Seagal and Van Damme having no charisma, but this guy makes them look like Clark Gable in comparison. Van Damme is pretty good in a rare bad-guy role, although he is no actor he definitely shows his mettle in the fight sequences, doing the splits and high kicking endlessly. It's cool to watch. As it stands it's an average thriller with a budget not high enough to do it any justice. Barely passable.
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An embarrassing photo,even in Van Damme's early career
wellthatswhatithinkanyway25 September 2003
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

This is an early Van Damme movie,and it shows.Cheaply filmed,cheaply shot,an incomprehensible,incoherent plot,a leading man in the form of the bland,charisma free Sho Kusugi,like a totally ineffective South East Asian James Bond,added to which drab dialogue and drab action,which,for a film of such a genre,there is an abundant lack of,which,on account of the lack of any oscar winning acting or screenplay,makes it quite a boring spectacle to boot.There are a couple of entertaining end showdowns between Kosugi and Van Damme,but they're hardly enough to make this one to be avoided like the plague any less.*
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10/10
Super Action Film!
sethn17217 February 2006
"Black Eagle" sounds like an excellent name for an excellent action film! And it is! This movie has it all - aviation, fighting, being a spy, etc. Now those - those, I tell you - those are the essential parts to an awesome action film. This was the rage back in the day when it came out, and although this movie has lost this rage today in 2006, it's still worth watching day in and day out! And Van Damme made superb acting in this movie, also. He's done the same in all his other works, too.

"Black Eagle" is the movie to rent this Friday evening - don't walk, fly to the Blockbuster video store and rent this movie! A 10 out of 10 movie, indeed!
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