I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Vern gives a Van Damme in SECOND IN COMMAND!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with another great review from Vern. Like Vern, I too have seen Dolph Lundgren’s directorial debut… who wouldn’t? Fucking He-Man/Ivan Drago’s directorial debut!!! And actually – while funky as fuck and some silly ass kidnapped drug whores in Russian brothels… I dug the sheer joy of bloodletting he let loose. Here’s Vern with Van Damme’s latest…

Boys –

Most people around here know by now that I’m partial to the Steven Seagal pictures. And with The Steven Seagal Blues Band (who I think oughta be called “Steven Seagal and the Hard to Kill”) coming to Seattle in a couple months I probaly oughta be putting my Seagalogy studies into overdrive to prepare. But my New Year’s resolution for 2006 is STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE, and I intend to strive all year long. So I’m not gonna stick with what I know, I’m gonna start trying out new things, becoming a more well rounded individual. With that in mind I recently watched Dolph Lundgren’s directorial debut (Read it here!) as well as Jean-Claude Van Damme’s upcoming May 2nd release SECOND IN COMMAND.

Second in CommandBecause of my intense deliberations on Seagal, I’m sorry to say that my Van Damme knowledge is out of date. In fact, the most recent Van Damme picture I’ve managed to watch all the way through was KNOCK OFF. That played in theaters, if that gives you an idea of how long ago we’re talking. So it was interesting to see what Jean-Claude is doing in the DTV medium.

In SECOND IN COMMAND, Van Damme plays the new military attache to the US ambassador in a country called Moldavia or Muldovia or something like that. Let’s just call it Syriana. It’s supposed to be a peaceful country, but he’s literally just off the plane, gets dropped off at the hotel for a quickie with his girlfriend when he hears gunshots in the lobby. I always thought because of DIE HARD’s ingenious detail that Bruce has to fight with no shoes on, it should be tradition for action heroes to get stuck in various stages of undress. This was a perfect setup for Jean-Claude to have to fight communist hardliners while wearing only a hotel bathrobe or towel, but I guess they’re saving that for if there’s ever a SUDDEN DEATH 2. (Which there oughta be.)

The new president of Moldavia/Syriana was elected a week ago, but there’s some angry communist protesters surrounding his pad and his traitorous chief of staff orders the military to shoot a protester, making the president look bad. This could be trouble for democracy so Van Damme, a fan of democracy, swoops in, gets the president, and delivers him to the US embassy. The ambassador gets killed by an RPG, so Van Damme, being SECOND IN COMMAND, suddenly becomes FIRST IN COMMAND. But later it turns out there was a bureaucratic screwup, so he becomes SECOND IN COMMAND again. So the title is safe. Anyway, the embassy has a few soldiers on hand but very few weapons, and the relevant armies are six or more hours away. The place is surrounded by heavily armed militias. So it’s kind of like THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED meets ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. But with Van Damme. I think I mentioned that already, Van Damme is in this one.

The style of the movie kind of surprised me, it’s more modern than most DTV action. It’s all handheld for a more realistic feel. And until some phoney helicopters come in at the very end, the production values are decent too. There are tanks and helicopters and what not but most impressive for this kind of thing, there are extras. They have enough people to pull off a semi-convincing protest and riot. The battles are real chaotic and it seems like a deliberate, realistic choice instead of just bad staging. I do have to complain though – if anything, alot of the action here is too realistic. When I see Van Damme, I want to see him standing up on moving motorcycles and shit like that. I don’t want to see some messy gunfights where you’re not sure who shot who.

Like Seagal, Van Damme manages to fight alot less than he did in his earlier movies. He spends most of the movie strategizing rather than fighting. But you get the feeling he can still move. When he does get involved in the action, alot of the time it’s just guns. He does do one good gun move where he tricks a bunch of guys into shooting each other. Saving himself bullets. But when you have a movie starring a kickboxer you want to see some damn kicking. The weird thing is, he only fights hand-to-hand with two guys in this movie, and both of them are bald. I don’t know what the deal is. Maybe Van Damme hates bald people, maybe bald people hate Van Damme. Whatever it is, this is what we want in a Van Damme movie. The first Van Damme vs. baldie fight is short but the undisputed highlight of the movie.

  1. Van Damme grabs the guy by the crotch and gives him a serious nutcruncher
  2. Using the nuts as a handle, Van Damme lifts the baldie and tosses him on his back
  3. Van Damme kicks the guy in the nuts

At this point there really is no further damage that can be done to the nuts, so he caps it off by grabbing the guy by his bald head and using both thumbs to crush his eyeballs. I believe Seagal did this same move in MARKED FOR DEATH, but I’m not gonna criticize Van Damme for doing the same move, because it’s like a great standard, you want to see everybody’s different version of it.

Speaking of the old classics, now would be a good time to bring up that Van Damme doesn’t ever do the splits in this one. Like I said, I’m out of touch, maybe he quit doing the splits a long time ago. But it was still kind of disappointing. It’s like going to see Prince and he doesn’t sing “Purple Rain.” But due to the excellent destruction of the balls and eyeballs I’m going to forgive it. This time.

The director is a guy named Simon Fellows, who did Wesley Snipes’s 7 SECONDS. Both movies have decent direction, not too bad and fairly watchable, unlike, say, Wesley’s UNSTOPPABLE. But they’re not truly great action movies and they’re not ridiculous enough to transcend the need for greatness. I think maybe they try too hard to not be stupid. Personally I would rather see Van Damme in absurd situations like impersonating a professional hockey goalie while fighting terrorists in SUDDEN DEATH than in a serious thriller about political turmoil in Europe. Watching Dolph and Van Damme reminds me of why I like Seagal so much. His movies have so much more personality. They’re crazier. You notice his weird obsessions and sometimes funny shortcuts that the directors take. They might be dumber movies, they might be less competently executed, but they’re usually more fun to watch.

Still, I got to give Van Damme credit for still going at it and, in fact, striving for excellence. He doesn’t toss them out as fast as Seagal, and he loops his own dialogue. I’ll have to watch his other DTV work, see what he’s about these days. If anybody knows what the best ones are, let me know. (DOUBLE TEAM is my personal favorite Van Damme movie that I’ve seen. Even Seagal can’t top that one for weirdness.)

thanks fellas,

Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/22722

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • March 13, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    first baby

    by ag 721

  • March 13, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Once again…

    by -guyinthebackrow

    I am in awe of Vern.

  • March 13, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Sounds meh

    by monorail77

    oh and first!

  • March 13, 2006, 5:18 p.m. CST

    I need a Director’s Cut with more nut-play.

    by HypeEndsHere

  • March 13, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    first!

    by spacechampion

    Finally, after ten years of reading AICN, I am FIRST!

  • March 13, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    doh!

    by spacechampion

    ah well.

  • March 13, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    First?

    by QuinnTheEskimo

    Vern is the man

  • March 13, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Oops

    by QuinnTheEskimo

    Oh, Guess not

  • March 13, 2006, 5:27 p.m. CST

    What no roundhouse kicks?

    by ZEROCELL

    Well, i suppose he is getting on a bit, but if Chuck Norris can do it EVERYONE SHOULD!

  • March 13, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Vern.

    by DocPazuzu

    “When I see Van Damme, I want to see him standing up on moving motorcycles and shit like that.” …. I’m still laughing at that bit. By the way, if you want crazy DTV Dolph goodness, check out the bizarro Bridge of Dragons. It’s a weird fantasy/action/war movie filmed in Eastern Europe. It’s like they didn’t have any money to build sets or fashion a wardrobe so they just decked the actors out in whatever they could find in storage and built the story around that, so you see people walking around in clothes easily identifiable from a number of historical periods. If that wasn’t funny enough, Dolph’s character’s name in the film is “War Child”. Bridge of Dragons also has the most hilarious spin any victim of a martial arts kick in any film has ever endured. In history. I mean it.

  • March 13, 2006, 5:33 p.m. CST

    vern is a great reviewer.

    by mocky_puppet

    “At this point there really is no further damage that can be done to the nuts….” they should come up with an award for best movie reviewer and award it evey year–but not to Vern, no, that’s too transient. you make the award and you call it the friggin Vernie so his name ends up on every one that gets handed out because Vern is the grand-champion classic reviewer of all time.

  • March 13, 2006, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Damme strong review

    by BrandLoyalist

    Vern is always a fun read

  • March 13, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Van Damme’s signature move..

    by pumaman

    sounds fun , but did he do his ” slow motion splits in the air kick ? ”

  • March 13, 2006, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Nope, no air splits either

    by Vern

    But there is at least one roundhouse. Sorry about the name of the country, I assumed it was a fictional name but now I am exposed as the uneducated slob I am. Thus fulfilling all stereotypes of the type of dude who would watch a Van Damme movie.

  • March 13, 2006, 5:59 p.m. CST

    V for Verndetta

    by tonagan

    It’s punny.

  • March 13, 2006, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I skimmed the article

    by Lone Fox

    Because I’m lazy. So I’m assuming every kick by Van Damme is repeated 3 times in quick succession. Ehhhh… BA-LAAAHHHHHH!

  • March 13, 2006, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Hows VD’s hair looking ?

    by pumaman

    Hope he doesn’t have the greasy Mullet combo the Make Up department gave him in Hard Target .

    That hair was a friggin weapon in itself, the amount of gunge they slopped on it , several ‘bad guys ‘had their eyes put out of commission every time he flicked his head at them .

  • March 13, 2006, 6:48 p.m. CST

    I bet it’s still better than UltraViolet

    by Monkeybrains

    Actually, maggots crawling over petrified pieces of shit is better than Ultraviolet

  • March 13, 2006, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I’m kinda surprised…..

    by Gorrister

    ….that Issac Hayes (aka Chef) quiting South Park hasn’t become a news item on this site.

  • March 13, 2006, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Chuck should take all these guys out…

    by Heywood Jablowme

    because of their lame-ass attempt at martial arts. Right about now Seagal should be operating a dojo down in the Valley at a strip mall, Cobra Kai-style. Instead he’s still pumping out bad movies. And Van Damme, well, he’s due back at that valet parking job he left back in ’88. Chuck Norris could dream about giving these guys a roundhouse kick and they’d be knocked into a 3 month coma.

  • March 13, 2006, 7:32 p.m. CST

    favorite talkback line:

    by SirBiatchReturns

    “And Van Damme, well, he’s due back at that valet parking job he left back in ’88.” –> courtesy of Heywood, whose whole post is pretty much gold.

  • March 13, 2006, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Excellent point, gentlemen

    by HypeEndsHere

    if VD tried to kick Norris-Nads, Chuck would have only to flex his boys a microsecond before impact and Van Dumbass would be limping back to Luxembourg….or wherethefuckever.

  • March 13, 2006, 8 p.m. CST

    Whats the point of this? Is anyone going to see this?

    by chickychow

    I mean, its easy to make fun of a piece of junk. Is this review, or any of Vern’s, supposed to make us want to rent the movie, or are we just supposed to skim through it and looks for the funny? I guess its always kind of amusing when someone describes balls getting crunched.

  • March 13, 2006, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Vern, you lost the best Van Damme movies

    by replicante

    Watch Replicant, and Wake of Death, and then, tell me what you think about Jean Claude Van Damme, I

  • March 13, 2006, 8:22 p.m. CST

    “The excellant destruction of balls”

    by TELF

    Vern justifies ALL the time I waste on the internet. He is, blatantly, the best. That is a proven fact. By science.

  • March 13, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    I don’t think Hayes leaving is a big deal, it’s been…

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    rumored for a while, especially after the Scientology thing. I feel like I heard it here some other time. Anyhoo, it’s a tragedy for sure… Where’s the talk back??? Will we get one for the new episode on Wednesday?

  • March 13, 2006, 9:04 p.m. CST

    No Retreat, No Surrender.

    by Josh Town

    Best Van Damme movie ever. This really needs a Region 1 DVD release.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Funny, funny, Vern, funny, funny, Vern.

    by kabong

    If the movie is half as entertaining, it’ll be worth seeing. Maybe we all like to make fun of Yawn Clod, but I’d rather see him than ARRRGGHHHH Tom Cruise.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Yeah, man, Double Team.

    by Lenny Nero

    I don’t recall enjoying it all that much (I paid full price in the theatres when I was in middle school) but whenever I describe the climax to friends, the one at the Colosseum (i know i murdered that spelling) with the cross mines, a tiger/leopard/whatever, a baby, a motorcycle, Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke, I realize it was the height of brilliant absurdity.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:35 p.m. CST

    God help us if he makes TRIPLE IMPACT with three JCVDs

    by masheen81

    Isn’t it weird they made TWO universal soldier sequels DTV and then VAN DAMME makes a sequel to UniversalSoldier theatrically (that was his LAST theatrical release, BTW)?

    Now he’s going two for two with BLOODSPORT. They made, like, four BLOODSPORTS on VHS and he’s returning with a sequel (probably not theatre).

    God help us if he makes TRIPLE IMPACT with three Van Dammes.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    hott

    by baff

    jcvd is hot. does he show his ass in this one too?? is it still penny-would-bounce-off-it-able?

  • March 13, 2006, 9:39 p.m. CST

    the more van dammmmage the better

    by blackthought

  • March 13, 2006, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Anyone here read Vern’s political rants at his website?

    by The Wrong Guy

    The man is angry as fuck. Seriously. His commentary on Crash winning the Oscar is even more pissed-off.

    Makes for entertaining reading, though.

  • March 13, 2006, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Hard Target

    by Zeke25:17

    …was actually a damn good flick, as goofy as JC sounds speaking English in it (“Now dayke your-a pig steek, andjor boyFREN, and geddouda town.”) Poor guy was trying to do a cajun accent, and it just didn’t go well with his Belgian. BUT…there were several cool fighting scenes, both hand-to-hand and with guns; Lance Henriksen and Arnold Vosloo were marvelously hateful villains (remember Vosloo cutting off a dude’s earlobe with scissors?), and the luscious Yancy Butler graced the movie screen for the first time…I recall that her line readings came out so flat critics thought her voice was dubbed; but no, that was her all right. Sounds like I’m ragging on it, but I just watched it again recently, and it still holds up well. John Woo had a great time with it, even if he DID overdo the whole slomo and flying pigeon thing. “He’s an annoying little fucking INSECT and I want him STAMPED on…HARD.”

  • March 13, 2006, 10:03 p.m. CST

    sudden death is his best film

    by slappy jones

    by a mile

  • March 13, 2006, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Issac Hayes

    by Gorrister

    I agree that Issac leaving isn’t really THAT big of a deal. Chef was a good character, but the show can easily go on without him. Just wish we had a TalkBack for this topic. Anyways, I actually think its funny that after South Park slams nearly every single religion on Earth (without mercy) Isaac only gets pissed off after they slam Scientology. LOL

  • March 13, 2006, 11:34 p.m. CST

    a possible steven seagal tour should be called:

    by Windowlicker74

    out for a kill

  • March 13, 2006, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Um, there is a talkback for Isaac Hayes leaving

    by Meremoth

    It’s in the TV side, although John Claude killing Chef at random would make for an awesome episode you jhave to admit.

  • March 14, 2006, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Um, yeah…Now there is.

    by HypeEndsHere

  • March 14, 2006, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Olivier Gruner Vs. Van Damm action flick is needed.

    by Uncapie

    Olivier would win, hands down.

  • March 14, 2006, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Hard Target, etc.

    by Vern

    Just about all my favorite Van Damme movies have been mentioned here. Hard Target is great. You didn’t even mention Wilford Brimley riding slomo on a horse, holding a bow and arrow. There’s a director’s cut that doesn’t make it that much more of a John Woo movie but it’s even more enjoyable, a little more with Lance Henriksen playing piano and crap like that. Also I love Sudden Death (one of the best and most blatant Die Hard ripoffs, he’s even called McCord which sounds like McClane), and of course No Retreat No Surrender. He’s basically just playing Ivan Drago in that one but you gotta love a movie about a kid who learns karate from Bruce Lee’s ghost. Also he has a breakdancing friend. It’s like the Best of the ’80s movie. Nobody has mentioned Knock Off though. That is arguably even weirder than Double Team although to me it wasn’t quite as fun.

  • March 14, 2006, 1:14 a.m. CST

    The LeBrock Seagal and the Post-LeBrock Seagal

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    Vern, I’m no expert on Seagal, but I think that there might be some CLUE to his varied career in a careful consideration of just what movies he made while he was, you know, banging Kelly LeBrock. Just a theory.

  • March 14, 2006, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Dozen Impact

    by Samson_K

    Actually – after reading the news about a Dirty Dozen remake I do think that the only way to go is 12 Jean Claude’s. A US Army Major called ‘Froggie’ is charged with rounding up his hitherto unknown 11 brothers – all of who have turned out to be criminals but mysteriously kept exactly the same accent no matter who adopted them as infants and has to train them up to face a Nazi Castle full of Dolph Lungrens! How could it NOT work?????

  • March 14, 2006, 3:30 a.m. CST

    vive le Van Damme!

    by CuervoJones

  • March 14, 2006, 6:22 a.m. CST

    Bloodsport and Kickboxer

    by Conan_the_Humble

    Are his greatest MOVIES bar none. Followed by “Lionheart”… Cheers.

  • March 14, 2006, 6:46 a.m. CST

    “Double Team” is brilliant

    by Drunken Rage

    I also enjoyed the women in “Lionheart” and “The Order.” Both of which suck. Oh, and Natasha Henstridge in “Maximum Risk.” She’s sweet.

  • March 14, 2006, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Van Damme’s good but………

    by AARONIUS

    His fighting style is severely lacking when you put it up against Rex Qwan Do. “Do you think anybody wants to take a roundhouse to the face when I’m wearin’ these bad boys?! Fugedaboutit!”

  • March 14, 2006, 7:12 a.m. CST

    The ambassador gets killed by an RPG?

    by IAmMrMonkey

    Was it Elder Scrolls: Oblivion or Final Fantasy?

  • March 14, 2006, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Bleh!

    by CigsandCoffee56

    Why is this site reporting about VanDamme?

  • March 14, 2006, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Conan_the_humble finally got it

    by Nachokoolaid

    Kickboxer, Bloodsport (my fave) and then Lionheart are JCVD’s best. Hard Target would follow them, and then Universal Soldier. After that, they all blur together a bit.

  • March 14, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Van Damme in Prison..

    by pumaman

    ..actually his first ‘ Prison Flick ‘ Death Warrant was a pretty damn good little movie too .

  • March 14, 2006, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Vern – How about Chuck Norris’s latest “The Cutter” ?

    by Gus Nukem

    latest meaning 2005

  • March 14, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Vern: Jean-Claude’s best DTV work.

    by FatPaul

    The best of the Jean-Claude DTV movies is In Hell, an impressively weird (not Knock Off spanked on the ass with an eel weird, but still weird) prison flick from Ringo Lam. Wake of Death is pretty cool, too, but the editing in that one is kind of annoying.

  • March 14, 2006, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Harry: You’re thinking of The Russian Specialist.

    by FatPaul

    It was Dolph Lundgren’s sophomore directorial effort, The Russian Specialist (AKA: The Mechanik) that had the Russian hookers in it, and that one was kind of a piece of crap. Lundgren’s directorial debut was The Defender, and that’s the one that kicks ass, even if Vern wasn’t all that into it.

  • March 14, 2006, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Van Damme’s best movies

    by Acappellaman

    Hard Target, Universal Soldier, Death Warrant, Timecop, and last but not least, Bloodsport

  • March 14, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Cute article

    by OurManInMontr

    Funny in parts. Considering some kind of a career in writing? Try spelling ‘web sight’ as ‘web site’. Y’know, for kicks.

  • March 14, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Van Damme lost all his street cred when…

    by ComicBookGeek77

    Liza Minelli’s bodyguard, Chuck Zito, knocked his ass out at a NY strip club.

  • March 14, 2006, 10:11 a.m. CST

    “excellent destruction of the balls”

    by lopan

    brilliance thy name is Vern.

  • March 14, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Bloodsport…

    by tripp5

    is the GREATEST MOVIE of ALL TIME! It has Karate Champ, Bolo Yeung, Forest Whitaker and more spinning split kicks than you can shake a waffle at! KUM-ITE! KUM-ITE! KUM-ITE! (FIGHT TO SUUURR-VIIIIIIIIVE!)

  • March 14, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST

    VanDammes Best Moves Are In Kickboxer

    by flamingrunt

    when he dances to the jukebox before kicking some ass.

  • March 14, 2006, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Van Damme busts a move..

    by pumaman

    Actually, VD’s best moves are in his Cameo appreance in Breakdance The Movie or ‘ Breakin’ as it’s called in the US . Yes guys, he’s really in it – shaking his stuff in a crowd scene – obviously when he first got to Hollywood and needed anything ! – dressed in his signature cycling shorts too :-)

    Oh yeah I almost forgot about Timecop – that actually was a great movie !

  • March 14, 2006, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Communists? What!! Why not Islamic terrorists?

    by Fandude

  • March 14, 2006, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Communists Part II

    by Fandude

    It’s not like the entire planet is nervous about what the Communists will do next. I can’t wait for the brave soul to crank a flick out about Islamic terrorist, Oh sorry, I repeat myself. IT’s would be refreshing for a change.

    Out – Peace.

  • March 14, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Communists Part II

    by Fandude

    The world isn’t exactly nervous about crazy communists. More relevant would be Islamic terrorists (sorry, I repeat myself) I mean, come on. I would definitely like to see IT’s get their commeuppance.

  • March 14, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST

    THE DEFENDER

    by NuteG

    I love the way Vern introduces Lundgren’s film on his “sight”: THE DEFENDER – A film by Dolph Lundgren

  • March 14, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    vandamage

    by tecumseh

    “wake of death” is by far his best efort since the old days, infact to me it takes him in a new direction as far as his acting ability. a good rental.

  • March 14, 2006, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Ace review Vern

    by Cat_Corporation

    I’m still wiping away the tears of laughter. Can’t…see…keyboard…!

  • March 14, 2006, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Vern, can you help me out with a theoretical situation

    by ol’ painless

    As we both love Van Damme, do you feel I can apply the lessons of this movie to a real-life office situation: I have people at work I dont like. Do you feel I should a)Grab them by the nuts. b) Grab them by the nuts, use their nuts as a handle to throw them on their backs, c)simply knock them to the ground and kick them in the nuts or d) all of the above? I am on a mission to Improve My Life and Seek Fulfillment, and I feel this is an ideal first step in that process. I await your response with a vaguely unsettling level of anticipation.

  • March 15, 2006, 3:06 a.m. CST

    He was a hero of mine when I was a kid.

    by RowanM

    I bought all his videos and stuff. I didn’t care much for his acting ability. It was his ass kicking that had my attention. Bloodsport, Kickboxer, AWOL and Universal Soldier all kicked ass. His trademark spinning split kicks were cool. Then he made Street Fighter. That film sucked big time.

  • March 15, 2006, 4:52 a.m. CST

    AICN is turning to real shit — its a shadow of its

    by Spacesheik

    former self — this is very sad the kind of articles posted here

  • March 15, 2006, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Van Damme’s greatest role!

    by BigFatBaby

    Was when he first played Johnny Cage in the coin operated version of Mortal Kombat in ~1991.

    But unfortunately, his reprisal of the role in 1992’s MK II clearly was a jumping of the shark.

  • March 15, 2006, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Anyone here see Wake of Death?

    by Jarek

    I thought he was pretty damned good in that flick… and not a terrible flick either.

  • March 15, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    to Spacesheik

    by Vern

    Please explain how a serious and powerfully written analysis of J.C. Van Damme’s latest work somehow ruined your life. If you think that Ain’t It Cool ain’t as cool anymore that’s one thing, but you’re gonna have to give me a point by point if you’re gonna convince me that this article is an example of that. I suppose people should not be allowed to discuss movies that you yourself don’t know how to appreciate? If this is the case please give me a list of other films and genres you don’t like and I’ll try to get Harry to make sure they are never covered again. Or if that doesn’t work out I’ll give you a heads up whenever they are going to be covered so you can come on here and make vague, whiny complaints about it. Whatever happens I’m sure we can straighten this out for you. thanks bud. your friend Vern.

  • March 15, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Oh and by the way Vern

    by ol’ painless

    I give much props to hard Target: one of my favourite movies og the 90’s. I was crazy for Woo (sounds like a Madonna song) at the time, and this film was exactly what I was wanting. Shooting a guy 6 times, THEN spinning-split-kick-to-the-head?? Madness! Ol’ Van Damme then had to fuck it all up by implying that John Woo needed some tips on directing. To prove his point, Jean-Claude went out and made . . . er . . . THE QUEST. One of the worst movies I have ever seen. Its like they shaved a bunch of chimpanzees, fed them cocaine-laced bananas and yelled ‘FIGHT!”, then filmed all the screeching and poo-flinging that ensued.

  • March 15, 2006, 3:32 p.m. CST

    ol’ painless

    by Vern

    Yeah, that movie bothered me at first but since it’s been clear for many years now that John Woo doesn’t make good movies anymore, I can really appreciate his dumbass movies like that and BLACKJACK with Dolph Lundgren. If you haven’t seen Blackjack check it out. It’s not as gorey because it’s made for TV I think but Dolph is afraid of the color white, is possibly gay (presented matter of factly, not like it’s a gimmick), and at one point fires a gun while bouncing on a trampoline. It’s good shit.

  • March 15, 2006, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Van Damme deserves another chance, Seagal is done…

    by Monkey_King

    Seagal is a washed up liar, womanizer and mafioso wannabe. Van Damme is actually trying to make good films with good directors and wash clean his image of “coked out/philandering” Jean Claude. Put Steve out to pasture already and let Van Damme out of Movie Jail already. he’s done his time. Steven? Throw the key away on this suck-ass.

  • March 15, 2006, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Van Damme vs Seagal

    by kuryakin

    I’ve always been more of a Van Damme fan. You know, I just find Seagal’s movies put too much of a distance between me and him. Van Damme knows his limitations, works on refining a certain role and keeps it fresh by working with first time directors, or people like Ringo Lam & John Woo. Seagal – you never know what you’re going to get. I mean, he writes, he acts, he sings, he pushes his eco agenda.I always feel like Van Damme knows exactly what he is doing , while Seagal is labouring (literally) under the impression that he is making great art. I get what Vern is saying, how Seagal always has his crazy quirks but to me, Seagal is the Jean Luc Godard of the direct to video game. I appreciate what he is doing but he always leaves me cold and at a distance. Whereas Van Damme is Scorsese – makes great films but never forgets his populist roots………Um, maybe I should get some sleep.

  • March 15, 2006, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Inferno

    by kuryakin

    I’m surprised no-one has mentioned Inferno, probably the weirdest film Van Damme has ever made. I’ve seen it several times (yeah, I’ll admit it) and I still have no idea what the fuck that film was all about. And no-one has mentioned The Quest either, which despite being far from his best work is still my favourite. When Van Damme starts kicking the shit out of his opponent and James Remar starts shouting “Noo York City!!” – that shit kills me every time. I mean come on it has Roger Fucking Moore as a pirate. What the fuck more do you want from visual entertainment??

  • March 16, 2006, 5:15 a.m. CST

    It Would Be Cool If…

    by buster00

    Van Damme could team up with Jeff Speakman to do battle with the Forces of Evil. Howzcum we don’t see Speakman so much anymore? Howzcum we never DID? That guy knows how to plant a karate kick!

  • Jan. 19, 2008, 8:20 a.m. CST

    Seagalogy

    by nh

    I recently seen “Seagalogy” on the OCLC.org website and thus far two public libraries own a copy of this book. Way to go public libraries!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, March 13th, 2006 at 6:02 pm and is filed under Action, AICN, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Vern gives a Van Damme in SECOND IN COMMAND!!!”

  1. To me this is a good comparison and contrast with UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION.

    Both take place in Eastern Europe, because its a very budget-friendly location for Hollywood. In spite of the fact that Americans honestly don’t give a rats ass about that region. Have you all ever noticed that?

    I think its strange that in a blind taste test, without seeing either, I would have figured SECOND IN COMMAND might have a better chance of being more watchable than REGENERATION because of the redressed AOP13/Rio Bravo plot.

    Yet its incredibly generic and imagination dearth filmatics. Its one thing to cut a break or two because of lack of budget, its another when the filmmakers never seem to be inspired by either the material or their situation. for such a tension-demanding narrative, SIC is surprisingly light on the suspense.

    Compare that with THE NEST (aka WASP’S NEST) from France, with a less ambitious locale and setting, yet its incredibly tight. Truely you wonder after the climax, who survived?

    I mean fuck John Hyams actually made an interesting picture in REGENERATION out of a fucking UniSol movie (never saw that coming), and action cinema that obviously had alot of thought and preparation put behind them.

    In short this is more John Hyams bromancing.

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