Black Water (2018)

Posted in Reviews by - February 09, 2019
Black Water (2018)

Gone are the days when Hollywood would roll out the red carpet for a Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren double-header. Universal Soldier took $36m at the box office when it was released in 1992. What a difference 26 years can make. JCVD and Dolph can still be found cracking skulls, but to increasingly diminishing returns. This DTV reunion of the high-kicking B-movie power couple – their sixth collaboration but their first as the good guys – sneaked onto streaming services with little fanfare, and with a budget so hamstrung that most of the movie is restricted to a single set. For all its post-Bourne governmental conspiracy pretence, Black Water ultimately settles into being Die Hard on a submarine, proving that even if our action heroes have aged, much of their material hasn’t. However, there is no denying the odd charm this duo can bring to even the most routine of action flicks, and the film is made all the more enjoyable towards the end when both Van Damme and Lundgren buddy up to take out the baddies. Lundgren’s role is slight – more of a knowing, comic-laced extended cameo – and this is firmly a Van Damme vehicle, one which is particularly better than his previous duds Pound of Flesh and Kill’em All. He plays a highly dangerous special agent who is set up by his own bosses at the CIA and thrown into an off-grid prison cell on board a submarine, where he is interrogated by paranoid, double-crossing federal agents as to the whereabouts of a dongle containing incriminating files. In good, old-fashioned style, he escapes torture, charms his security protocol and stages a fight back to clear his name.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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