Right after winning a fight in Las Vegas, Kurt Sloane is stun gunned and taken to a prison in Bangkok. With mistreatment there etc., he's forced to accept fighting a 6'10" giant for freedom and $1M - but first some intense training.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Wounded men arrive at a closed down hospital save E.R. Then men with guns arrive and start killing. Who are killing who and why? The FBI try to figure it out by interrogating the only survivor, a nurse, about her and Philip's role.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Years after he fought his way out of an inescapable prison, Ray Breslin has organized a new top-notch security force. But when one of his team members goes missing, Breslin must return to the hell he once escaped from.
Steven C. Miller
In appreciating and evaluating "Black Water", you need to make some nuances. If you are a fan of JCVD and Dolph Lundgren, there's no doubt you'll at least applaud the concept of this flick and appreciate what they are trying to do here. But you'll also be all the more disappointed, as the movie does not live up to it's excellent set-up. Largely because of what seems to me an overall lack of funds: the set, the writing, direction, and the vast majority of actors are sadly sub-par, bringing the movie down to something painfully average at best. That doesn't mean it's not enjoyable as an action flick, especially if you're a fan of Van Damme or Lundgren. But it has some painful flaws that actively hurt the viewing experience and in no way does it live up to the very hype concept.
So, what's good and what's bad? The short opening scene is extremely pleasing and exciting. It's mysterious and has a slight horror-aspect to it, kind of like Pound of Flesh with Van Damme. But it's also amusing thanks to Lundgren's character, which was obviously a role written with him in mind. And above all it gets you pumped for a good action flick with two icons. Are JCVD and Lundgren going to have to escape an under water jail? Is this going to be Death Warrant meets Under Siege meets The Expendables? Whoever thought of the basic idea for this movie, knows what's up: this is exactly the kind of concept you want for a cool old school action movie with a few of your favourite old action stars.
Sadly the second scene, which is a flashback to how Van Damme ended up where he is, is one of the worst in the entire film. It involves one of the weakest aspects of this movie: the shoot-outs. This scene was supposed to be a big action-packed shoot-out, with an emotional finale. Sadly it doesn't deliver anything: it's boring, has next to no cool action moments. It just feels ridiculous and unbelievable, and not in a good funny way. The gun-action feels uninspired and has no impact.
This movie feels like a really good idea executed poorly. You could blame the director, the cast, or whoever's in charge of casting, or the set. But I think we should just blame the budget. If this had been a big budget film the action scenes, the cast, ... all those aspects would have been way better. The movie does have some good moments, and it's in these moments that you feel what this movie should have been. What this movie needs? 1: Re-writing of the scenes and especially the action scenes. I KNOW Van Damme has still got it. Why doesn't he do cool looking kicks in this film? 2: a better, more impactful villain, 3: more screen-time with Lundgren, 4: better actors for the crew and female agents.
I still love the idea and attempt. I love that Van Damme still makes movies. Because of that, and because it was in the end 'okay' for the most part, I still gave it a 7/10 through nostalgic glasses. I would recommend watching it at least once, it will likely give you some enjoyment and laughs, but don't go in expecting a great revival of old-school action. For that the action itself is too lacking, not to mention the other flaws.
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