At 60 years old, Jean-Claude Van Damme has racked up almost as many features as a birthday present. Given this abundance, Oddly Compelling “JCVD” (2008) Showcased Belgian Bruiser considering the options available to an aging action star.
“The Last Mercenary (Le Dernier Mercienne)” comes on netflix As one of those choices, Van Damme manifested a self-awareness about himself and the style that nurtured him. As Richard Broomey, a famed Secret Service agent once rumored to have taken down a rhinoceros with his bare hands, the actor is just fine. It may take him a little longer to film the stunt, but thanks to Thierry Arbogast’s skill with the camera, the seams are barely visible in the action.
That’s fine too, as Richard prefers arms and legs instead of guns. And when his estranged son (Sameer DeCaza) is falsely accused of arms smuggling, Richard must return to Paris after a 25-year absence to fix things. It would demand multiple disguises and international locations (the film was mostly filmed in Ukraine), a fresh batch of sidekicks and, perhaps, too much vibe.
A ridiculous fusion of terrorism, stolen identities and father-son treatment, the plot (by directors, David Charhon and Ismail C. The middle sags and not all performances pop. (Though Naseem Laiss shovels it in to play a “Scarface”-obsessed villain.) But the fight sequences are understated and Van Damme lines up his lines with just the right amount of tired good humor.
“You have aged,” a former colleague (Miou-Miou. played by none other than), and it’s a testament to the tone of the film that the comment, far from burning, is almost a caress.
The Last Mercenary (Le Dernier Mercienne)
not evaluated. In French, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. watch on netflix.