For a movie plagued with pre production problems such as this one,where Van Damme`s proposed co-star Steven Seagal dropped out and the story`s premise was re-written,it is a wonder the film came out as well as it did.Starring along with Van Damme is Scott Rudin(X men Origins:Wolverine) and Van Damme`s two siblings,son Kristopher as one of the two corrupt Interpol agents and his daughter Bianca who plays Rudin`s bed ridden wife Anna Flint.Again Van Damme and company have picked a good solid group of actors and behind-the-camera crew so that the results are quite good.
The plot involves the head of Interpol,under investigation for selling and profiting through illegal arms sales.There is an open end he wants closed,in the form of an assassin for hire named Roland Flint.Flint took the proceeds from a sale gone bad and went into hiding after his wife was brutally raped(and left in a coma)and Flint himself almost killed,by a local Romanian thug by the name of Polo.Simultaneously we have another assassin for hire in the picture and his name is Vincent Brazil(Van Damme).Brazil`s oft used contact for jobs gives him the assignment of coincidentally killing Polo.At the same time Flint is also given the job by an old Interpol contact,but does not know who his target is or that there is another involved.Flint`s job is in actuality a ruse by the head of Interpol and two agents in on his corruption scheme,to snuff out Flint so they can get rid of their loose end once and for all.
The moment of truth arrives as Polo is set up above and across of the assassination location.Out walks Polo,Flint lines his shot and fires but hits the roof of a small truck as it rounds the corner and into his line of fire.The driver is none other than Brazil who,distracted by Flint`s shot,misses and kills Polo`s only brother instead,speeding off.Frustrated Polo comes downstairs,gun in hand and walks towards the startled crowd.As he lifts his weapon to fire the two Interpol agents in a car near the scene,fire knocking the gun out of his hand.This creates enough of a diversion to enable Flint to escape.Polo is of course bent on revenge and finding out who killed his brother,Flint is more enraged than ever because his target is his old nemesis and he missed,Brazil is mad because of the interloper who cost him a kill and Interpol STILL wants Flint silenced.
Brazil catches up to Flint and they briefly have a Mexican stand off in a warehouse.They hash out their differences and decide to work together to bring Polo down.However Polo is not standing still and has his men searching for any clues to Brazil and his whereabouts and distributing pictures of him all over town.Eventually it is a disgruntled neighbour of Brazil`s that discloses his whereabouts.Also Brazil`s jobs contact has offered him a substantial remuneration if he turns his new `partner`(Flint) in.All he has to do is get him to a location and the rest will be done by the ``employer``.Brazil at this point has no idea of the Interpol connection(the ``employer``in this case),Polo`s involvement with them or with Flint`s history with either.Polo`s appearance is the ruse to again lure Flint out and Flint is captured with little struggle as Brazil looks coldly on,another job done.
Flint is taken to a remote warehouse and tortured for info on the whereabouts of the money he took from them long ago.Brazil has had time to think and approaches his jobs man once again and asks for the location of the warehouse.Brazil has now absorbed enough information to determine the connections and that he was set up and in turn set up his ``partner`` and does not like it.He rescues Flint and they kill the interrogating Interpol agents.Next on the list is Polo himself,but he is seemingly one step ahead and he has found Flint`s home and is with his comatose wife,threatening to kill her altogether this time.This brings Flint and Brazil back to Flint`s home and together unarmed,they are forced to walk into Polo`s clutches.Polo is delighted at the thought of being able to take care of two birds with one stone but he hasn`t counted on the resourcefulness of the pair.Flint had previously installed a high powered remote controlled rifle outside his home and with the touch of a remote laying on the table(which Polo thought was nothing but a phone),it gives them the distraction they both need to get the upper hand and bring control to their situation.Polo is the last alive,defiant to the end and Brazil leaves him with Flint as he steps outside for air.When Flint rejoins Brazil,Brazil says there is one more thing left to do;actually one thing each.Flint takes down the head of Interpol and Brazil takes out the disgruntled neighbour who squealed to Polo about where he lived.The film ends as we see Flint talking to a medical specialist about an important operation for his wife and as Brazil lights a candle in a church for a dead friend and leaves.
Both Brazil and Flint are characters that are fleshed out very nicely,and as a result two people we can easily identify with.Flint`s life as a hired gun,was totally shattered since the day he,and especially his wife was attacked and she was put into a permanent bed ridden state;and his face and mannerisms show it.He lives day to day in a protective mode;a loving husband dutifully looking after his partner.Brazil on the other hand is a hired gun like Flint,but the years of killing and torment show in his well worn face.He is a methodical man as we see when he first comes home and straightens little items up in his apartment as he goes through it.He has no personal life and is very much the loner.With these characters fleshed out as they are and expanded on wonderfully by Van Damme and Rudin,there is no where to go but up.The two,though similar are very different,but they blend together well when the rubber hits the road.Polo,played with great menace and panache by Ivan Kaye,is also a welcome nemesis for the two along with the Interpol chief.To give the movie an even better dynamic the entire movie was filmed in a filtered or sepia-like colour tone.Nice.
Technically speaking the movie looks clear and crisp and is in its original a/r of 1:85:1.Extras include the trailer,previews and some deleted scenes.
Another nice vehicle for Van Damme who has Scott Rudin along for the ride this time, and who comes up to the challenge with extra to spare.The entire cast is as solid as the writing/plot.Recommended.