The Bouncer (2019)

Lukas (Jean Claude Van Damme) is a nightclub Bouncer who works hard to support his 8yr old daughter. After an altercation with an unruly clubber goes seriously wrong, Lukas is fired and left with no means to support himself or his daughter.

Becoming desperate he takes on the role of a bouncer at a strip club. However it’s not long before he tasked with more, extremely illegal tasks. To add to his misery the police take an interest in him after his nightclub incident, forcing him to spy on his new boss and report back to them. Things get progressively worse, building to a brutal denouement.

Van Damme fans hoping for a typical JCVD movie where he does his famous jumping round house kick, may be a tad let down here. The Bouncer is a different animal, and one where JCVD flexes his acting muscles instead. He is a man whose emotions bubble on the surface, barely able to keep it together. The action is sparse, but brutal when it does happen. Bones are broken, heads are cracked and people are dispatched brutally.

It’s a pleasant change to see Van Damme in a role a such as this, as he is never really given much of a chance to show what he can do when given the proper material. My only real gripe with this particular release was that it was dubbed. It is clearly a movie that was filmed in Belgium, so I think the option of subtitles wouldn’t have been too much to ask for. The only good thing about the dubbing, is that Van Damme dubbed his own voice.

This is a solid movie, and one that I think Van Damme fans will enjoy. Just know what sort of movie you’re going to watch, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Dazzler Media presents The Bouncer on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download from 8th April 2019
Pre-order from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2H5W5zN

4/5

JM

Hard Target (1993)

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Natasha Binder (Yancy Butler) arrives in New Orleans looking for her father who she hasn’t spoken to in some time. She meets Chance Boudreaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) who rescues her from some street thugs. She asks for his help in finding her father.

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Natasha and Chance find her father who has been murdered. He was a homeless veteran who was hunted down by a rich group of businessmen who hunt human prey for sport, headed up by the ruthless Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen) and his equally dangerous second in command Pik van Cleef (Arnold Vosloo).

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Chance and Natasha go to the police to tell them that something is wrong and that people are going missing. They find an ally in a Det. Marie Mitchell (Kasi Lemmons), who tells them she will investigate it. When Chance and Natasha begin to uncover what is happening to all of the homeless people in New Orleans Emil and Pik decide to up sticks and move on, but not before one final hunt with Chance as the ultimate prey.

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Directed by John Woo, this film was his calling card to the U.S, letting them know what he was all about. He brings the same amount of razzle dazzle to proceedings that he did in his bombastic Hong Kong movies. Some of the stunts are just amazing, and for me this is still Van Damme’s best movie to date. I have seen it numerous times and still love it.

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The supporting cast is excellent too. Yancy Butler is great as Natasha, bringing the right amount of vulnerability to the role. Wilford Brimley is great as the wily old Uncle Douvee, though his cajun accent leaves a lot to be desired. Arnold Vosloo brings menace as Pik. He casts a striking presence in the movie and also has some great lines. Lance Henriksen has always been a cult favourite and his role as the menacing Emil Fouchon is great, and you can tell he is having fun chewing up the scenery. The score by Graeme Revell is brilliant. The awesome bluesy guitars are in full swing and it fits brilliantly with the movie.

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Seriously if you’ve never seen this and you’re looking for a film for a friday night that will be the perfect accompaniment to beer and pizza then look no further. As I have always said to my buddies “It’s all about Hard Target”. Great movie!

4/5

JM

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