Assassination Games Reviews
One is fighting to assassinate his target because of love, fighting to try and bring justice for his wife. The second is the opposite. Everything thing is about work, and he is just doing a job. Vincent (Van Damme) becomes more open to love throughout the film, as you see the change from the start to the end, and that was a good believable story.
Can't wait to see Van Damme and Adkin reunite again (at the third time) in the upcoming 2012 movie, The Expendables 2.
The film appears to be in sepia for allot of the action which is odd but looks quite nice, at first I thought there was something wrong (maybe there was haha) but it does seem to be like that for some reason. There isn't allot of martial arts fighting either I must reveal, we don't see Van Damage going on much, some fighting but nothing special, same for Adkins too, this is mainly a film about hitmen taking out targets swiftly but we do get one fast punch up with the two main men.
Nothing terribly new here, same old stuff but it is better than most run of the mill action films from JCVD and it looks like it was actually made well with some care and not as tacky as these films can be.
Don't expect too much of a dialogue or some complicated story... everything here is shooting and fighting. If you like that, there is a chance you could give it a positive review!
Roland Flint (Scott Adkins) is a former assassin who was once at the top of his game. However, Flint was forced into retirement and is now living in the countryside. Flint spends much of his time taking care of his comatose wife (Bianca Bree). As a result of a brutal attack by a drug lord and his gang, Flint's wife has been left in a coma. During that time, Flint watched in horror as each gang member took turns assaulting and raping his wife. Both Flint and his wife were left for dead, but both have survived . . . permanently damaged in different ways. Flint lives for revenge, and now there is an opportunity for him to carry out his revenge...
Polo (Ivan Kaye), one of the most notorious criminals on Interpol's list, has just been released after a stint in prison. A bounty has been put on Polo's head. Both Brazil and Flint want this bounty. One is doing it for the money. The other is motivated by vengeance.
Two professional assassins . . . on a collision course with destiny.
Assassination Games is a noble attempt at filmmaking. The filmmakers no doubt realize that they did not have a lot to work with. The film's look and production values reflect the very low budget. The movie was obviously filmed in a way as to spare as many expenses as possible. The sepia tone is an attempt to make the film look more stylish but does quite the opposite. Yet, I respect the filmmakers because they clearly aspired to make Assassination Games not just your ordinary action film, but a film that raises certain philosophical issues about life, the choices we make, and the consequences we have to live with. Brazil started out as a character who cared only about getting the job done, getting paid, and taking care of his pet turtle. But as he meets certain characters, including a prostitute whom he saves from an abusive pimp, he is forced to confront the lifestyle he chose and the emotional detachment he's had all this time.
At the same time, this movie is a very frustrating experience. I think the problem with Assassination Games is that it tries so hard to have more depth than the average action flick that it simply fails to entertain. Audiences go to watch a Jean Claude Van Damme movie not because they want to gain some deep insight on the human condition and learn a little about themselves and want it means to be human, but because they want to see JCVD kick some serious arse and take names. Honestly, I was bored out of my mind and that's troublesome, particularly for a film starring one of my favorite action heroes. I grew up consuming JCVD films and I'm a bit crestfallen that he doesn't have the "it" factor he once had during his box office reign in the 1990s. Assassination Games tries to appease action fans and fans of thriller dramas with an existentialist flavor, but it alienates both groups.
Assassination Games is hindered by a boring and mostly predictable plot, cliched characters, and a hackneyed script. Attempts at character development fail pretty miserably. The characters are all ridiculous cliches. The prostitute with the heart of gold? Check. The pimp looking to get revenge on one of the main characters for stealing his girl? Check. Crooked Interpol agents? Check. Conniving two-faced middlemen? Check. The plot itself is very by-the-numbers though I will give the filmmakers credit for having a shocking plot twist involving the one person Brazil has developed some feelings for.
Assassination Games is not completely without its merits. One of the film's few strengths is the on-screen chemistry between JCVD and Adkins. Alone, neither of them really stood out as performers though I would say both tried very hard. JCVD unfortunately simply has too limited range as an actor. He doesn't really have the talent or the skill to add emotional depth to his characters. Adkins fares a bit better. While he's by no means a great actor, I think he's getting a lot of good experience and he's learning to show range as an actor. Adkins has the potential to really be an A-list action movie star, similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, JCVD, and Sylvester Stallone during the 1980s and 90s and Jason Statham of the 2000s. Although Adkins has had small roles in mainstream fare like The Bourne Ultimatum, Adkins has yet to catch his big break.
However, when the two work together, there's surprisingly good chemistry between the two. Both actors feed off each other fairly well. One of my favorite scenes in the movie doesn't involve any action, it's just a dialogue exchange between the two leads. Flint confronts Brazil about his cold-hearted approach to dealing with life. Flint asks Brazil, "If you never really cared about anyone or anything, then were you ever really alive?" It's such a simple line, but Adkins delivered it rather well.
The action sequences are disappointing, and quite honestly, even lacking, especially for a film of this caliber. JCVD hasn't been in a mainstream film for about ten years and sadly, he's languishing in the B-movie market. Here, while he's still in shape and is able to move, he doesn't show off any real impressive martial arts techniques. The JCVD of the 90s, known for his splits and 360 degree jump spin kicks is nonexistent here. Scott Adkins definitely shows some athleticism in this movie and is certainly a talented martial artist, but even here, I feel he is being underused and his martial arts prowess is not being taken advantage of in this movie. Action fans will be sorely letdown by this movie. Both JCVD and Adkins also have a brief fight scene, but it's just that and neither really display any unique moves. It's really a shame that their talents are wasted in this movie.
Despite the filmmakers' efforts to make this movie something more meaningful than your standard kick first, ask questions later action movie, Assassination Games is unable to overcome its B-movie trappings. Although JCVD continues to be a fading star, it's not too late for him to turn it around. He just has to find the right script, the right director, and the right opportunity to get involved in some exciting action scenes. Adkins on the other hand will continue to improve and I hope he will have an opportunity to truly shine in an A-list Hollywood action movie.