- Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Cox, Alan McKenna, William Tapley, Razaaq Adoti
- Format: NTSC, Dolby, Subtitled, Closed-captioned, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: French, English
- Dubbed: French
- Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Release Date: May 2 2006
- Run Time: 92 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000EOTTSG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,286 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Second in Command (Commandant en second) (Bilingual)
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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.
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In this film Van Damme is a Navy SEAL Commander Sam Keenan,who arrives in Moldova(a real country by the way)to attend the US Embassy there.Unbeknownst to him he has arrived at a bad time,when the country is in upheaval.Foreign reporters are killed and the situation goes quickly from bad to worse.The US ambassador makes Keenan unofficially second in command,and immediately taking control of the situation he leads a team to retrieve that country's President.Back in the compound the embassy itself comes under attack from rebels.
A call to the Pentagon for help elicits two response teams,each about six hours away;the US Marines in choppers and members of that country's armed forces out on patrol in the countryside.The attacking forces pummel the embassy and at any time it could be over run,if not for the smarts of Keenan.However a rocket attack kills the ambassador and the Pentagon,without having received any "official" word Keenan was made second in command,turns that job over to an attending CIA agent.The agent,against Keenan's wishes who elects to remain behind,forms an escape plan for the embassy's staff.He enlists the help of a local citizen supposedly loyal to the US,to provide a bus to take them to safety.They utilize a secret tunnel to escape but the supposedly "loyal" citizen double crosses them and tips off the rebels.Just before the bus is full and the Moldovan president is on board the bus blows up,killing all aboard.The rebels attack and the remaining group are forced to retreat back into the embassy,with the rebels hot on their trail.
The tunnel entrance is sealed and now the rebels bring all their pressure to bear on the embassy and its remaining occupants.Just as things are getting unbearable the rebels pull back,just as the Moldovan army finally enters the town.Everyone inside cheers as the commanding CIA agent goes out to greet the General of the army.Cheers turn quickly to alarm as the rebels appear from behind the army column and they realize its a trap.The CIA agent is killed and everyone is forced back into the embassy as the rebels enter it and the army big guns pound away at the outside.When it looks as though all is doomed the Marines finally arrive at the scene in choppers and proceed to cut down the rebel and army forces.Keenan confronts the rebel leader inside the embassy compound and it's a fight to the death.After the terrible battle and the bloodshed the country's president returns to the palace to restore order to the country and Keenan sits,contemplating his next move.
The film starts off a little slow as it sets up its storyline but as the action heats up so does the pace.The film is at its best when the embassy is under siege and a pall of claustrophobia falls over everything.The film also takes advantage of the vantage point of two reporters on the scene,a lady who knows Keenan intimately and especially her male counterpart,a cameraman.To give a you-are-there feel to the film,a few scenes of the on going battles are taken from his camera and the main camera(our fixed vantage point of view),periodically zooms quickly in or out as if being taken by an on the spot news reporter.To add to the mood,the film colour is slightly off colour;almost sepia in nature.Van Damme is in good form here as well as his fellow cast members.
Technically the film has been transferred quite well and is in its' original a/r of 1:85:1.Except for the trailer there are just previews of vintage 2006 movies and nothing else.
While not original in plot the story still intrigues,even though getting off to a slow start.The action soon heats up and is at its best when the embassy is under siege.JCVD is good as our protagonist and he is supported well by his fellow cast members.3 1/2-4 stars and recommended.
The story takes place in the fictional Eastern European country of Moldavia. In this supposedly peaceful country, supporters of the former leader are unhappy with the newly-elected President, and a Communist insurgency is egging them on wholeheartedly as they surround the Presidential palace. With the military (yes, the entire military) having been dispatched elsewhere for some stupid reason, only a few palace guards stand between the President and what is quickly becoming a lynch mob. Over at the American embassy, the ambassador agrees with Keenan that they must act to preserve the fragile democracy by extracting the President from the palace. That's not the hard part, though. The hard part involves keeping the President secure inside an American embassy housing a force of only fifteen Marines. The insurgents surround the place, ready, willing, and able to storm the building, drag the President out, and start building their new Communist government. From this point on, the action is hard and heavy.
Things aren't all that peaceful inside the embassy, as there is some question as to who is really in charge. Keenan insists that they stay and try to hold off the militants until backup arrives in the form of the President's Army and a force of American Marines, while a truly insufferable CIA agent recommends evacuation. It proves to be something of a moot point, as the heroes have one heck of a fight on their hands.
You have to take some of the events at face-value. I'm still scratching my head over the idea of sending the country's entire army several hours away from a volatile capital city, and I don't believe for one minute that there is any city in Eastern Europe that American forces couldn't reach in less than four hours. I also don't think Keenan lived up to his billing as the best at what he did, as he made several mistakes that proved costly later on. I also have to wonder why no one tried to kill the leader of the insurgents; the guy was constantly in the line of fire, but no one even took a pot shot at him.
Despite some obvious weaknesses in its easily predictable plot, though, Second in Command did succeed in capturing and sustaining my attention. It's not a great film by any means, but it's hard not to get some kind of kick out of a movie with this much hard-hitting action.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Did not like the girl - she was stupid and always causing problems - does nothing for women in war zones.
People complain that it was predictable, well, I think real life situations like this can be predictable - always some
idiot who is looking for an easy out, has desk experience and wants to run the defense. Grab some popcorn or pizza
and soda pop, then sit back and relax watching this film.
Move along people a test pattern is more interesting.
very minimal martial arts.. really not up to Van Damme's abilities. Acting, was as expected. Story was about what you should expect from a 1 to 2 star Van Damme movie, that is, nearly not there. I think they grabbed a few of the Segal story writers and used them here, you know the ones, the 2 dollar an hour writers. My 13 yr old niece could do better than this. Oh and the twist at the ending could be seen coming from nearly the start of the movie.
But, other than the overly cheesy ending and the particularly bad holes in logic through out, it was still ok to watch. I would say that this is a slightly worse than par movie for this type of movie.