This is no better than at least 5 other JCVD films that I have watched in this testing last month, yet I will probably give it a bigger write up than any of those. Why?
Because it tries so damn hard to be something bigger, yet fails in spectacular fashion.
JCVD was a fireman but after a rescue goes wrong and a little girl is killed he loses the plot, and his nerve. Two years later he has gotten his shit together enough to be the fire marshall of a sporting arena, where coincidentally Game 7 of the NHL finals is taking place.
First aside – If you were planning an elaborate almost military criminal operation, why choose a Game 7? Surely the risk is too high that Game 5 or 6 will see a winner emerge, rendering game 7 unnecessary and your plan ruined!
So the Vice President is in attendance and JCVD is taking his two young kids along (from a former marriage). Security is (allegedly) tight, although JCVD seems to go where he wants with no visible ID, including wandering into the locker room with the players pre-game.
Aside 2 – You did see it was Game 7 didn’t you? Of the NHL finals! Something many players don’t ever experience over long careers!
And some guy wanders in with his two kids chatting to the players?
OK, so there is an elevator to the luxury box where the Vice Prez is viewing the game with his associated hangers on and other big wigs, access to the elevator is controlled by the Head Chef.
(You heard me!)
Bad guys take over the box, threatening to kill everyone if billions in frozen drug money isn’t passed into multiple bank accounts in their control.
From here you can decide if JCVD is a negligent fire marshall or a negligent Dad, as he does precious little of either.
Like many other equally dodgy films this rips Die Hard at every turn, only it is so shameless that I wonder why they didn’t just give characters names like Hans, Al and Argyle.
Some points of interest:
JCVD has a life or death fight with a woman wearing a penguin outfit! If that isn’t bad enough he very nearly loses, fighting someone in a bulky penguin costume.
JCVD wanders around the arena defusing bombs, no-one stops him aside from the occasional bad guy who tries to kill him. That would be bad enough except when you think that at one point the criminals were able to wander around themselves planting the explosives. I know this is pre September 11 but surely prior to a massive even like the Game 7 of any sporting contest some minor security checks take place?
In one of the most ridiculous sequences ever shown in a mainstream film, JCVD ends up on the ice as the goalie at one point, making a key save! I feel nauseous right now.
When the shit hits the fan and the entire crowd must rush for the exits everyone moves along in an orderly fashion and the arena is emptied in minutes, allowing the final series of ridiculous showdowns to take place.
Final aside – I’ve been to many sporting events, admittedly none where a major terrorist incident took place, and I have never seen people move in such an orderly and polite fashion where they are allegedly in fear for their lives.
1 – Why is he French?
2 – Who is he saving/helping?
His kids, the Vice President of the USA. The crowd I guess.
3 – Who is the Bad Guy(s)?
A Hans Gruber style criminal leading a supposedly vicious gang.
4 – Does he do the splits?
5 – Is he shirtless in the film?
6 – Does he hold poses after the final punch/kick? (Usually in slo-mo!)
7 – Is the soundtrack full of ‘orrible cheesy toons?
8 – Are there any other recognisable actors in the film?
A few, none notable.
9 – Is there a love interest? (Or at least some tit!)
No time for love Dr Jones!
10 – Is the damme thing any damme good?
Rips off Die Hard at every turn, only with a plot so ludicrous it was almost doomed to fail even as a brainless action movie.
Verdict – Look at all the No’s above! This movie tried harder to be different than any other JCVD film I have ever seen, which is probably why I am so hard on it for failing.