While his career never slowed down for the last few years Jean Claude Van Damme shifted from big budget action star to the straight to video market, but after his film JCVD things seemed to start changing. Ever since then he started taking on much more interesting like his scene stealing villain role in Expendables 2 and comedic turn in his more recent release Welcome to the Jungle. Now he is taking on another villain role with his latest Enemies Closer and going head to head with Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones, but does it continue the trend that he has been on or will this be a fall back to his previous straight to video releases?
Enemies Closer follows a forest ranger and ex-Navy Seal who comes face to face with a man with a personal vendetta against him and has returned for retribution, but when their own confrontation is disrupted by a group of drug runners who are tracking a plane that crashed with their product on board. Now they must team up and put their differences aside to not only survive each other, but against the ruthless gang trying to kill them both. While this is not necessarily Van Damme’s show, he once again steals every scene he is in. He has really found his calling with these villain roles and is clearly having a great time. Van Damme sports the wildest look to date with a crazed hairstyle that borders on silly, but as you realize how insane the character is works perfectly. He has some more toned down action moments here, but all of them are well executed and he hasn’t lost a step. The story is simple enough and keeps everything just complex enough to have some meat without over burdening it with nonsense. While neither Scott nor Jones are people you would normally look towards as action guys, they both step up to the challenge and do a great job. Their chemistry with each throughout the film help make it work overall and thankfully moves along pretty quickly as opposed to the usual long drawn out boring aspects they usually go with.
As a whole this film is pretty average in terms of the action genre with a few predictable twists and some mainstream action, but manages to deliver nonetheless. Hopefully this will be the new trend for Van Damme’s career as he is so awesome as these crazed villain characters and it’s great seeing him branch out to a wider variety of roles. In addition to the film this release also features commentary and the behind the scenes featurette “A Closer Look: Making Enemies Closer”
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