Jean Claude plays an official who's just been appointed as Second In Command to the U.S.Ambassador at an American Embassy in a small, turbulent Eastern European nation. When local ... See full summary »
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
This review is for those that are not hard-core Martial-Arts Movie fans. They have another perspective, more closely associated with the popular genre. It is for those that drop in occasionally to see what all the fuss is about or to check out the "new kid on the block".
In this one it is a real life fighter of some sort or another and has made his way to the screen via his physical abilities and was the best at what he does. Cung Le makes Jet Li look like a great talent in the acting department. But as these things go, no one much cares.
The film looks, again, like a sepia-tone, washed out, colorless, "style" that is supposed to say this is hard-boiled stuff, nothing pretty here, only dudes allowed. All it really does is look pretentious and lifeless.
The fight scenes are very good and are shot with a focus and not quickly edited so you can actually see what's going on and there are a lot of them and are quite convincing and brutal. The plot is confusing and way over written. Van Damme is a secondary mentor type, but Peter Weller makes an impression as a cartoon cop. Worth a view for fans but there is really nothing here for outsiders slumming it.
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