There is no doubt that Van Damme was an action superstar throughout the 90s, but when he shifted to the straight to video market his films were a lot more hit and miss. Thankfully over the last few years he has been taking some new chances and creating some fun new memorable characters and in turn films that deliver a lot more. His latest, Pound of Flesh looks to continue that trend, but does it provide the expected Van Damage or will it be more like a botched surgery?
Pound of flesh follows a man’s heroic attempt to help a woman in distress who ends up with him waking up the next day without a kidney. Now he will stop at nothing to find out who took his kidney and will bring down anyone in his way to get it back. This is yet another good step in Van Damme’s new resurgence. Sure this film sports some of the usual action, but it also showcases a wide variety of drama and emotion allowing Van Damme to flex more than just his muscles. The opening of the film is great with him waking up in the tub full of ice and water panicked and afraid. Here Van Damme says so much as he struggles to remember without ever saying a word. During this flashback we get Van Damme’s first fight scene against the late Darren Shahlavi that is short, but vintage Van Damme. From here the film slows down a bit to more of a drama thriller trying to uncover the mystery of what is going on, but it’s not too long before he is cracking heads again. Throughout the film it bounces between the drama and action delivering one of his better films in some time. This film manages to bring back the Van Damme that we love including a fresh new take on his split gag, but with a more seasoned actor with passion that has seemed to be missing.
This is far from a perfect film as there are some cheesy performances from supporting players, but as a whole it still delivers what you want in a good Van Damme film. This is yet another great step for him back to the glory he deserves and his more aggressive style fighting this time around shows he still has some fight and surprises left in him, so lets hope we will get more films like this for years to come.