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Second in Command
DVD disk
05.08.2006 By: The Arrow
Second in Command order
Director:
Simon Fellows

Actors:
Jean Claude Van Damme
A bunch of no-names

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
JCVD and his crew find themselves under siege at an American Embassy set within some politically unstable European country. They’re protecting the president of that said country on the inside while a large group of rebels pulling a coup d’etat” are trying to get in to mince meat them all. A game of cat and bulldog ensues, bulldog as in Jean Claude Van Damme!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
And he was doing so damn well! After the his last 2 superior flick, In Hell and Wake of Death, I was hoping that Van Damme’s recent one would follow the same path; ambitious, in depth and well done. Second in Command broke that streak and Van Damme took two steps back. Now that’s not to say that the film was awful.

Action driven from beginning to end with countless twists in its storyline, all kinds of “kaboom” and a slew of extensive shootouts, Second in Command was far from boring and it made for an okay time waster. Van Damme himself was the best actor of the lot and once again proved that he’s now on top of his game when it comes to Grade performances. Age has done the lad well and he has never had so much presence onscreen. I just expected more than your average "Nu Image-ish" action flick from the Muscles of Brussels at his point.

Cheap looking (those pathetically CG helicopter had to go), with shoddy slow motion and shot in a “get that coverage and make sense of it in the cutting room” way, this baby felt a B Movie trying to be more than it is, as opposed to a B Movie that embraced what it is. Filmed on a grand scale, the lack of coin, locations and the bah approach to the action scenes dragged the film down. I need more than a medium shot of a bad guy shooting followed up by medium shot of a good guy shooting back to be stimulated by gunfights. Sadly that was the bulk of this film’s MO action wise, hence making it all “just there” instead of gripping.

The film’s other big sin was the underused of Van Damme! He wasn’t present enough within the storyline, didn’t partake in a sufficient amount of action and his final “hand to hand” fight was a ho hum to say the least. What should’ve been a return to “helicopter kick madness” a la “Cyborg” became a badly shot and way too short rendition of what JCVD used to do best. Yup Second in Command was disappointing for this HUGE Van Damme fan…bummer...
THE EXTRAS
Bare bones. We get Trailers for other SONY distributed films, that's it. It should be said that the trailer for new edition of the Mel Gibson flick “The Patriot” owned me! WOW!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Second in Command could’ve been tops with more coin, a better director and more JCVD sweetness. As-is its your average Straight to DVD B action flick that didn’t capitalize on having Van Damme as its lead and tried to be more than what its dough allowed, hence often falling flat on its face. I hope that this is just a “hick-up” in Van Damme’s good streak and that he’ll get back on the "great shite" train with his next film The Hard Corps. Time will tell. Either way...I LOVE THAT GUY!

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