A.W.O.L. (1990)

Posted in Reviews by - July 15, 2012
A.W.O.L. (1990)

This fight movie is more measured than Van Damme‘s previous fanatical stuff (Kickboxer, Bloodsport) and scrapes through the dramatics better than you would think. With Van Damme’s drug dealing brother being torched to death and our French legionnaire abandoning his camp to go to LA, immediate intentions focus on a revenge plot. However the filmmakers focus more on our AWOL hero supporting his struggling sister-in-law and her baby daughter, raising the cash the only way he knows how – by becoming an illegal bare knuckle fighter. This is B grade stuff – cheap sets, exaggerated caricatures, overblown sentimentality, and a sappy Hollywood ending. But Van Damme’s starting to come good on his promise; in particular, interactions with single mum Page and his hustling crippled manager accentuate a more compassionate side, while the consistent string of punch ups ensure we never forget what he’s really here for.

AKA: Lionheart; Wrong Bet

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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 keyboard in London, UK.

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