Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Enemies Closer - Review

A disgruntled ex-con (Orlando Jones) seeks vengeance for his younger brother's KIA by going after his retired Navy SEAL squad leader turned island park ranger (Tom Everett Scott), only to be forced to team up with him when a drug dealing mercenary/vegan environmentalist (Jean-Claude Van Damme) comes to camp up the joint. He and his evil group of Canucks invade the docile island in order to extract a cache of heroin from a downed plane and they thought it was a good idea to bring only one guy capable of doing the diving and retrieving. I hope that guy doesn't die from a shotgun blast fired off 100 feet away. This throwback to 90's action junk comes courtesy of the once talented Peter Hyams, who has had a history of fun Van Damme flicks. Too bad it's utter garbage and makes you yearn for a reboot of BLOODFIST. For example, some of the goons that are killed off or suffer horrific injuries just suddenly pop back up later, walking around with barely any ill effects. The movie could have succeeded through its many MMA-influenced duels if not for the unbearable decision to have the entire flick cloaked in dark blue darkness. The most egregious moment of this comes at the finale when Scott and Van Damme battle in a giant tree; it is nothing more than a blurred rush of jump cutted shadows. Even though Jones is the true protagonist and a believable brawler, the story still keeps centering itself around Scott, who's a boring lead with a peanut-sized brain, possesses no fighting prowess, and frankly looks to be cast only after Timothy Hutton and C. Thomas Howell were passed over. The only reason to view this, preferably in short YouTube video form, is Van Damme, who turns his performance all the way up as if he was Radio Raheem. He gleefully steals laughs as he kills his foes while ingesting wild strawberries and possessing a Ronald McDonald-approved afro. But again, just wait for the supercuts to come later because this is near unwatchable.


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