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Second in Command (2006)

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In this action-packed, edge-of-your-seat film, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays an official who's just been appointed as "Second in Command" to the U.S. Ambassador at an American Embassy in a small, turbulent Eastern European nation. When local insurgents attempt a coup d'etat, the nation's President takes refuge inside the embassy. The embassy is then besieged by the well-armed insurgents. The U.S. Ambassador is killed in the ensuing action, and now it's up to Van Damme and the embassy's small detachment of U.S. Marines to fend off the attackers.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Cox, Alan McKenna, William Tapley, Raz Adoti, Velibor Topic
  • Directors: Simon Fellows
  • Producers: Donald Kushner, Brad Krevoy, Pierre Spengler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ENUYH2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,590 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Second in Command (2006)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ollie on May 17, 2006
Format: DVD
From a Van Damme fan, this was a big disappointment. The camera work and directing is terrible. The camera could not stay still for more than 3 seconds and I started to get a headache after the first 12 minutes. What was with everything being filmed in close up. I thought I had a full screen copy but I checked and it said widescreen. I find it hard to believe by the way this movie looks that they spent 22 million on it. What did they spend the money on, the fake CGI helicopters and a truck load of home movie digital camcorders!! Dolph Lundgrens The Defender is similar to this, made for 5 million and is a much better attempt at this type of movie and looks more than its budget. Second In Command does come of as a very cheap looking TV movie of the week with bad actors and cheaply dressed sets. Every actor in this was completely wooden including Van Damme who is taking himself way to seriously these days and the, I want to act and be taken seriously is starting to get tired. Show some personality or at least smile once in a while!! The fight scenes with Van Damme are short lasting about 15 seconds, are badly staged and filmed and consist of nothing more than a few kicks and a punch. The showdown with the main villian at the end is filmed in slow motion to drag it out a bit but is so dull you would rather speed it up just to get the movie over with. The action set pieces are terribly executed, filmed and lack any imagination. The movie is incredibly boring and I don't know why Van Damme thought this would be a fun, enjoyable action movie that the fans want to see because it's not. For me I'd have to put Second In Command between Derailed and Universal Soldier 2 in Van Dammes worst movies list with Derailed being the worst movie he has made since his career took of with the excellent Bloodsport.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Liberty on August 31, 2006
Format: DVD
I agree with the problems related to all the technical issues cited by other reviewers, but found the movie problematic at its core. First, military personnel are not EVER in the chain of diplomatic authority in a United States Embassy. So the entire premise of this movie is an impossibility because the character JCVD portrays would never be "Second in Command." Sure, there is a willing suspension of disbelief when watching a movie, but there is just SO MUCH WRONG in this movie, that verisimilitude is impossible. A Navy Commander (O-5) outranks a Marine captain (O-3) and would ALWAYS have command precedent in a military situation, whether a message was sent to higher authority or not. Marines simply do not dress nor act like those depicted in this film. The uniforms were wrong. The "Gunny" had a soul patch and chin whiskers! NEVER! And the Marine captain tells a Marine to "seal this room, soldier." ARRGGGH! No Marine, under any circumstances, would refer to another as a "soldier." How about the Marine Expeditionary Unit helicopters, hovering over the Embassy, announcing, "This is the U. S. Army..."? Oh, and what Marine Embassy Security Unit, defending their post from attack during the hours of darkness, would have the building bathed in light?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Urban on May 5, 2006
Format: DVD
I went to several stores here in Charlotte, NC to search for the DVD and found very few copies were available (they were hidden on the shelf--not even in the "new release" section) and were retailing at $22. I thought that was a bit rediculous for a direct-to-dvd Van Damme flick, but being a fan I spent the money anyways.

Overall, I found the movie very boring and completely forgettable. I think it finally hit me that Van Damme will never make another movie that I will thoroughly enjoy (the last being Maximum Risk - 10 years ago).

The Plot - D

Don't worry about spoilers as this plot has been used so many times before there is nothing to spoil. Hero gets dispatched to a war zone, hero must gain respect of peers, hero must have a love interest to break up the action segments, hero must be betrayed or have something bad happen, and then the hero saves the day. If you are familar with the original Assault on Precinct 13, then picture that movie but in a military, foreign country setting. Also, it doesn't help that the movie is very short--standard 90 minutes or less.

Character Development/Acting - C

Van Damme was playing, well Van Damme (actually Commander Keenan). His acting has not changed in over a decade. (His acting improved back in 1995's Timecop from his earlier movies, but has never gotten any better since Timecop.) He is stiff, hard to understand and never really all that believable as a Navy SEAL. For those of us who loved his old movies and the martial arts--forget it. He has maybe 3-4 one-on-one fights where he does a few kicks, but mostly uses punches, a knife, a gun and a assault rifle to dispatch the enemies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 7, 2006
Format: DVD
Among the numerous numbers of the direct-to-video films, Jean-Claude Van Damme's `Second in Commander' is far better than other average or below-average action films including those starring Steven Seagal and Wesley Snipes. The film's plot is just a retread of the familiar situation like `Assault on Precinct 13' or `Alamo,' but it keeps us entertained from the beginning to the end.

Jean-Claude Van Damme is a newly arrived US commander Sam Keenan in some politically unstable Eastern Europe country where the insurgents try to capture the president of the country. The people are led by renegade leader Anton Tavarov (Velibor Topic), and they surround the U.S. Embassy where Keenan, the president and other Americans barricade themselves in the building. The rest of the film is about the chess game to survive, and the whole process is surprisingly well-done.

Except the opening chapter where the film attempts to establish the `documentary' tone with shaky camera and grainy image, the setting of `Second in Command' is limited to the embassy where outnumbered marines try to fight back the swarming militia with firearms. There is a suggested romance between Jean-Claude Van Damme's character and a US journalist played by Julie Cox, but the sub-plot does not detract us from the tension of the film.

Though Jean-Claude Van Damme does not show his martial arts skills as he used to (except the last sequence), the film's actions are effectively done, and though the range of his acting is still very limited, Van Damme's acting as washed-out commander is not bad. Unfortunately, the special effects used to express the explosions fail to convince us, lacking the money they should have.
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