Veteran mercenary Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme) knows that in the heat of battle, every bullet counts. He retired from combat when his actions resulted in the deaths of helpless victims, but now he's the last hope for a desperate father. Mixed Martial Artist, Andrew Fayden (Joe Flanigan, Stargate: Atlantis) knows how to fight, but alone he's unprepared to navigate the corrupt streets of a foreign city to find his kidnapped daughter. Together, these warriors will stop at nothing to tear apart a vile network of criminals that prey upon the innocent.
The resurrection of Jean-Claude Van Damme's career as an action star continues with 6 Bullets
, a kidnapping drama that hinges largely on its lead's still potent martial arts skills. Van Damme plays a former mercenary who specialized in finding missing children until a mission ended in tragedy, and now spends his days as a butcher while fending off the trauma of the past. Joe Flanigan (the Stargate
TV franchise) costars as a mixed martial arts fighter who calls on Van Damme after his daughter (Charlotte Beaumont) is abducted by a child trafficking ring. What ensues is standard-issue action fare, enlivened by a flurry of TKOs delivered by Van Damme. While the subject matter is a bit dark for a direct-to-DVD, lensed-in-Romania actioner, Van Damme's weathered presence lends an appropriate degree of gravitas to his agonies over his past actions and future tasks. Director Ernie Barbarash keeps up the pace and handles the fight set pieces well, while the supporting cast, which includes Van Damme's son, actor Kristopher Van Varenberg (whose sister, Bianca Bree, plays one of the kidnappers), does their best to stay out of the lead's way. JCVD devotees should be pleased, especially after his stellar showcase in Expendables 2
, though the lack of any supplemental features is a bit of a letdown. --Paul Gaita