Assassination Games (2011)
Main cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme (Vincent "Vince" Brazil), Scott Adkins (Roland Flint), Kevin Chapman (Culley), Ivan Kaye (Polo Yakur), Michael Higgs (Godfrey), Kristopher Van Varenberg (Schell), Marija Karan (October), and Bianca Van Varenberg (Anna Flint)
Director: Ernie Barbarash


I have to hand it to Jean-Claude Van Damme. Unlike some of his compatriots, such as Steven Seagal who is aiming to break the world record as the heaviest working warthog in Hollywood, he's keeping in shape and sticking to the things he does best. The obligatory bared rear end scene is gone, but perhaps that's for the best, given how gravity can be unkind on even the toughest of glutes.

In Assassination Games, he plays Vincent Brazil, or Vince, a supposedly cold and emotionless assassin who always gets the job done. At the other end of the spectrum is retired sniper-for-hire Roland Flint, played by Mr Van Damme's faithful sidekick Scott Adkins, who is back for one more mission when his wife was left in a coma after being attacked by a drug dealer Polo Yakur. Now, a contract is out for this drug dealer, who will get him first - Vince or Roland?

This movie isn't breaking any new grounds anytime soon as it faithfully includes an abundance of action-oriented B-movie clichés all over the place. The cold-blooded killer thaws a bit in his developing relationship with the whore with a heart of gold, the assassin who retired only to have his past catch up with him, the crooked Interpol agents, and other assortment of stereotypes all dot the landscape in this movie, and they are pretty much everything one would expect.

While there aren't many surprises here, the whole movie is surprisingly watchable if I keep my expectations low. The acting is pretty decent. Sure, Mr Van Damme's so-called cold-hearted assassin often seems more bored than anything else, but on the whole, there aren't even horrible over- or underacting to make things unbearable to watch.

That's not an enthusiastic recommendation, I know, but this movie isn't the kind to generate excitement on my part due to its formulaic nature. In this instance, it is actually decent to the point of being bland and forgettable. I almost wish it's more awful, because then it would probably be unintentionally hilarious and I would have something to laugh at.

Rating: 65


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