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Review: Jean-Claude Van Damme Thriller ‘Pound Of Flesh’

Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme has never been known to have a charismatic, larger-than-life on-screen presence. He never had the memorable quotes or the classic movie roles. What set Van Damme apart from the rest of the pack was how he was able to use his martial arts background to create entertaining fight sequences. We remember him for his splits, his spinning heel kicks, but less so for his acting talents. However, as he proved in 2008’s “JCVD,” an old, broken-down, beaten-up Jean-Claude Van Damme is actually quite compelling to watch. In “Pound of Flesh,” we get to see Van Damme tap into the darker, more grounded side of his persona once again, but it’s unfortunately stuck in this third-rate, run-of-the-mill actioner, which, for some reason, was edited to look like an episode of “CSI.”

Now, let’s face it, there are a certain number of concessions you have to make when approaching a film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Each plot point is usually just an excuse to watch the “Muscles from Brussels” kick some ass. You don’t expect a movie like this to be original or to have its plot make any sense. Expectations are very low here. What makes “Pound of Flesh” feel like such a missed opportunity, though, is that it has a completely ridiculous plot, yet fails to have any fun with it. While, in the beginning, we do get to watch Van Damme beat the living daylights out of people with a copy of the Holy Bible, that’s pretty much where the entertainment ends. The movie has zero interest in maintaining that level of absurdity, to its detriment.

Damme plays Deacon, a former black ops agent who visits the Philippines with the intention of donating a kidney to his dying niece. On the day before the operation, however, Deacon wakes up to find that his kidney has been stolen. What are the chances? This leaves him on a trail of revenge as he attempts to get his kidney back by any means possible. As you’d expect, this involves killing lots of people.

It’s a silly premise that’s taken way too seriously, and it’s a shame because the movie contains a couple of goofy supporting characters. You have the deeply religious brother of Deacon, who, at one point, quotes scripture while slowly walking up a flight of stairs, carrying a shotgun. And there’s Kung (Aki Aleong), an old wise man, who can get access to surveillance footage and bottles of morphine whenever Deacon needs them. There were so many ways to add life into these characters, but the script never gives them the opportunity.

“Pound of Flesh” has all the ingredients you need to make a stupidly fun action thriller, but it’s weighed down by a script that relies too heavily on flashbacks and insists on adding cheesy drama in the most somber way possible. Combine that with an overbearing score and a couple of seizure-inducing establishing shots, and you have yourself a movie that doesn’t know how to get out of its own way. It’s like an amusement park that forces you to eat all of its terrible food, instead of just letting you enjoy the rides.

The movie opens in the most unbearable fashion too. Deacon is submerged in a bathtub full of ice as he keeps having flashbacks of what happened the previous night. The flashbacks are an absolute eyesore, and while the movie eventually settles itself down, the first 15 minutes really do leave a bad taste in you mouth.

yet, what keeps the ship afloat and almost makes “Pound of Flesh” watchable is Jean-Claude Van Damme’s performance. Yes, he’s not as smooth in the action scenes as he was 20 years ago, but he does showcase a few moves that remind you why he can be so fun to watch. Beyond that, he actually manages to hold his own during the film’s more dramatic moments. Unlike everyone else in the movie, his character does have a degree of self-awareness. He knows he’s not the badass he used to be and even admits to his brother that he has a hard time living with the choices he’s made. Deacon is world-weary and tired. Even when he’s fighting, he never forgets that he just had surgery the night before. Van Damme handles both the action and drama with equal amounts of grace. It’s a spirited performance and you can’t help but respect the man for not phoning it in.

On a more bittersweet note, “Pound of Flesh” also features veteran actor/stunt coordinator Darren Shahlavi, who plays the main villain. This would sadly prove to be one of his last ever movie roles as he suffered a fatal heart attack earlier in the year. Like Van Damme, Shahlavi started out in martial arts, and that shows in the climactic fight scene between the two actors, one of the very few highlights in the film. It’s a shame the two didn’t get more screen time together.

the end, the only reason why anyone would want to watch “Pound of Flesh” to begin with is to see Jean-Claude Van Damme in action. While the movie does occasionally succeed on that front, it’s hardly worth trudging through all the heavy-handed drama just to get to those moments. The movie has “direct-to-DVD production value” written all over it, exemplified by the bad green screen shots used in all of the driving scenes. Again, you have to hand it to Jean-Claude Van Damme who really did the best he could with the material he was given, but there’s really no reason to see this in a movie theater. It’s barely worth renting on a lonely Saturday night.

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The Ultimate List of the Best Action Movie Hero Names

Arnold Schwarzenegger (aka “Arnie”, “The Austrian Oak”, or “The Govenator”) is an ultimate action movie legend of the first class. Both a former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia champion bodybuilder and former Governor of California, Arnold has risen to the highest levels of worldly success.

Born in Thal, Styria, Austria, Arnold made his breakthrough into Hollywood action movies originally in sword-and-sorcery with Conan the Barbarian and in sci-fi with The Terminator, early roles which let him hide his thick accent and lack of American acting experience.

However, Arnold quickly found his niche and would go on to helm some of the most critically and commercially successful action movie blockbusters of all time. Including Terminator 2: Judgement Day and the Terminator Series, Commando, Predator, Total Recall and True Lies to name a few. While he has eased up in later years to pursue public office, his legacy remains Arnold strong!

Watch more Arnold Schwarzenegger clips here!

Arnold Schwarzenegger Articles

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American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991) Biography, Plot, Trailer

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)
American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation is a 1991 American martial arts action film starring Michael Dudikoff, David Bradley, and James Booth. A sequel to American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989), it is the fourth installment in the American Ninja franchise, followed by American Ninja V and was directed by Cedric Sundstrom. The film marked Michael Dudikoff’s final appearance in the American Ninja franchise.

American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991)


A Delta Force unit attempts to escape from a pursuing group of ninja in a foreign country but most are killed and the rest are captured. The secret Ninja Army is headed by Colonel Scarf Mulgrew) an ex-British policeman and anti-American who has joined with Shiekh Ali Maksood, a Muslim militant, who plans to bring a suitcase nuke to New York. Mulgrew threatens to burn the commandos alive and use the nuke unless he is paid a ransom of 50 million dollars. Agents Sean Davidson and Carl Brackston are sent on a covert mission to rescue the prisoners and defeat the terrorists.


New York Ninja (2021) Biography, Production, Release, Trailer

Sean and Carl parachute in and meet their contact Pango. While gathering information from a local operative named Freddie, they are confronted by Mulgrew and the corrupt local police headed by O’Reilly. Freddie is killed by Mulgrew but Sean, Carl, and Pango escape. Pango takes them to Dr. Sarah a Peace Corps nurse who hides them from the police. Soon after ninjas attack, capturing Sean, Carl and Sarah alive while Pango escapes, and imprisoning them in an old British fort to be tortured by Mulgrew. Mulgrew assaults Sarah and later it is revealed Mulgrew killed her father.


  • Michael Dudikoff as Agent Joe Armstrong
  • David Bradley as Agent Sean Davidson
  • Dwayne Alexandre as Agent Carl Brackston
  • Robin Stille as Dr. Sarah[3]
  • Ken Gampu as Dr. Tamba
  • James Booth as Colonel Scarf Mulgrew
  • Ron Smerczak as Shiekh Ali Maksood
  • Frantz Dobrowsky as Captain O’Reilly
  • Kely McClung as Super Ninja
  • Jody Abrahams as Pango
  • Anthony Fridjhon as Freddie / Treddle
  • David Sherwood as Gavin
  • Sean Kelly as Norris
  • Jamie Bartlett as Segal
  • John Pasternak as Carlos
  • Robin B. Smith as Schultz
  • Shane Safi as Little Special School Child

The post American Ninja 4: The Annihilation (1991) Biography, Plot, Trailer appeared first on martial-arts-viral-news.

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Will Smith CONFRONTS Jim Carrey For HUMILIATING Him On Live TV

Get ready for the ultimate showdown! In this explosive video, Will Smith confronts Jim Carrey after being publicly humiliated on live TV.

The two Hollywood legends have a long-standing rivalry, but things came to a head after Jim’s controversial comments about Will during an interview.
With tensions running high, Will finally has the opportunity to confront Jim face-to-face and demand an apology.

But will Jim be able to make amends for his insulting remarks, or will this confrontation only escalate the feud further?
Watch now to find out!

Here on Just In we are all about the latest spill in Hollywood! You can rest assured that we will bring you all the latest celebrity drama and gossip especially concerning your favorite actors! We´ll also make sure to keep you updated on the newest movie updates and releases – so if you are interested in anything that happens in Hollywood, you should make sure to stay tuned!

And there you have it guys! We hope you enjoyed the video! If you did please consider leaving a like and telling us what you thought in the comments!
But will Jim be able to make amends for his insulting remarks, or will this confrontation only escalate the feud further?
Watch now to find out!

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