"6 Bullets" Has More Rounds in its Chamber than You'd Expect from a Direct-to-DVD Action Flick Review

Save for a return to the silver screen in a nostalgia flick like Expendables 2 or semi-parody autobiography JCVD, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s status as a cinematic action star has long since downgraded to direct-to-DVD features alongside the likes of Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris. What’s interesting about Van Damme’s films of his twilight years however is that they’re rarely as self-indulgent as some of the stuff his peers have resorted to in their older age. His recent film 6 Bullets might be little more than a retooled version of the Liam Neeson actioner Taken, but it’s actually quite palatable and shows enough restraint as to make the acting and dialogue rise above the expected mediocrity.

After a rash decision during a mission left Samson Gaul (Van Damme) feeling the guilt over the death of two young girls, he retired from the child hostage rescue business and became a butcher. The call to return to his old profession rings when the daughter (Anna-Louise Plowman) of an MMA fighter (Joe Flanigan) setting up his next bout in Europe gets kidnapped by a couple looking to fulfill an order for a young, blonde American prostitute requested by a local mob boss. The girl’s parents turn to Samson to see if he’ll return to the job and find their daughter.

It’s worth noting right off the bat that 6 Bullets isn’t the fan-pleasing, action-happy return to ass-kicking form that many would like from Van Damme. It’s understandable;  the man is 52, he’s getting up there, but he’s still capable and we do get a few very quick and brutal scenes of him ravaging thugs. To help fill in the gaps, Joe Flanigan also gets to throw down a bit and it definitely goes a ways towards taking all of the expected action pressure off of Van Damme’s shoulders.

In the end, 6 Bullets is a competently directed and mostly satisfying Jean-Claude Van Damme flick that’s somewhere between better than you’d expect for a direct-for-DVD release but not quite good enough for a theatrical debut. It’s certainly worth the watch for fans of classic action, and maybe the average Joe on a slow weekend afternoon.

DVD Bonus Features

There are none.

"6 Bullets" is on sale September 11, 2012 and is rated R. Action. Directed by Ernie Barbarash. Written by Chad Law, Evan Law. Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Joe Flanigan.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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