After a massive shootout, a mysterious stranger (Van Damme) arrives at a local hospital on the brink of death. Then, a foreign gang brazenly comes to the hospital to hunt him down. His ...
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After a massive shootout, a mysterious stranger (Van Damme) arrives at a local hospital on the brink of death. Then, a foreign gang brazenly comes to the hospital to hunt him down. His nurse, the sole surviving witness to the follow-up shootout, must face an FBI interrogation that unlocks a plot of international intrigue and revenge. With enough twists and turns, KILL'EM ALL will keep you guessing until the final bullet is fired.Written by
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Daniel Bernhardt actually go back a long way: on a podcast called Filmik: Action Matters, Daniel explained he was a big fan of Bloodsport and Kickboxer (and he starred in the Bloodsport sequels) and he was sent by a friend on an audition for a Johnny Versace commercial where Van Damme was the star and was an upcoming action hero. They also trained briefly together on set and starred in films directed by Sheldon Lettich on films such as AWOL (Lionheart) and Perfect Target. See more »
The family friend, who trains young Phillip to be an assassin, is wearing Russian Flora Camo pants (which wasn't issued until 1998) and a Army Combat Tactical shirt (with the Multicam Pattern on the sleeves) which wasn't issued until 2007). This sequence takes place in Austria in 1981, Years before these items were developed and sold. See more »
This isn't the badass JCVD flick I was hoping for, but there is a lot of action...
I can't deny that I'm still a Van Damme fan after all these decades. I've accepted that he will never make another film like Bloodsport, Kickboxer or Time Cop as his age simply won't allow. However, he's proved in the past ten years with kickass films (like Expendables 2 and the two most recent Universal Soldiers) that he can still execute impressive fight scenes. And with his solid acting (shown most notably in the 2008 film JCVD) I think Van Damme still has some kicks, punches and performances left in him. For this reason I couldn't resist checking out Jean Claudes newest flick (that just released yesterday here in the U.S.), Kill Em' All.
The films director, Peter Malota, may be a first time director, but he's been working with Van Damme since 1990. I looked him up to discover that they met that year on the set of Double Impact. Malota was the martial arts action choreographer and an actor in the film. He and Van Damme then teamed up, and Malota continued to handle all martial arts fight coordinating on films such as Universal Soldier (the original and The Return), Nowhere to Run, The Quest, etc. All of the above gave me much confidence in this being a fun action packed B-movie with some (hopefully!) exciting fight scenes. Does Kill Em' All deliver is the question..?
Unfortunately, this isn't the "low-budget but super badass" Van Damme flick that I was hoping for, but it's worth rental if you still enjoy watching an older Van Damme kick dudes in the face. It's not particularly bad (for what it is), it's just not particularly good. This film doesn't really do anything we haven't seen before- it's fight scenes are pretty average and what you'd expect. Van Dammes stunt double is obviously younger (and has a slightly different haircut/fade) and pretty easy to notice. Van Damme still gets into the fight, but most of the high kicks are shot from behind and obviously a double (though not nearly as obvious as Steven Seagals have been for the past decade!). On top of all of this, the film doesn't have the budget to ever feel convincing- after the intro scene you never see a single doctor, nurse or patient in the 5 floors of hospital they are running and hiding through (not one!)?! Combined with a weak story and script, Kill Em' All doesn't have too much to praise.
On the upside, the action is consistent from start to finish, even if it's nothing spectacular. It was cool to see Van Damme fight his own son (Kris Van Damme) in this flick (though I was hoping for a more brutal or impressive fight scene between father and son) as well as 90's B-movie martial artist Daniel Bernhardt (star of Bloodsport 2-4). Peter Stormare (The Last Stand) and Maria Conceit Alonso (The Running Man) co-star as the two detectives trying to figure out where Van Dammes character has disappeared to and what exactly happened at the hospital.
Kill Em' All isn't particularly exciting or original, but it is a worthwhile rental if you (like me) enjoy low-budget action movies and still want to see Van Damme beat up the baddies. If you are a JCVD fan and haven't watched the Amazon pilot for Jean Claude Van Johnson (2016) then check that out immediately. If you're caught up with Van Dammes resume (or like low-budget 90's actioners) then it might be worth a rental (or watch on late-night cable TV) but otherwise you should probably look elsewhere.
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