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6 Bullets (2012) Review – JCVD

Hi, I’m Aislinn, welcome to Collection Cut
Down. If you want more information about what that is I will hopefully link my
introductory and explanatory video here somewhere and definitely down below in
the description. The TL;DR version is that I have too many DVDs and I am rewatching them all in an effort to cut them back and reviewing them for this channel.
Appropriately enough we start with a Jean Claude Van Damme movie, Six Bullets.
I talked a little bit about how I have most of his movies in my introductory
video. So I know that I said I was starting with A to Z but actually my
collection starts with numbers so that’s what we’re going with and Six Bullets is
the first one. Just worked out that way So what do I remember about Six Bullets.
Well from my memory the film is about Van Damme. He plays…I think he’s either a
law enforcement guy turned mercenary or a mercenary who’s kind of given it up.
Either way the film begins with a dark moment that kind of changes his course.
Some time later when Joe Flanagan of Stargate Atlantis fame–he’s an MMA
fighter. He comes to the Eastern European country where Van Damme lives–
presumably it’s Romania because a lot of these movies seem to have been shot there. They
team up because Joe Flanagan’s daughter– his wife and daughter came along with
him on the trip. He’s a fighter he’s there for a big fight he’s doing and his
daughter gets kidnapped and then for some reason they team up and Van Damme
helps him find his daughter. So the funny thing is that I remember the setup of
the movie and I remember nothing about the
resolution of it. I don’t remember the second half at all so I don’t know if I
tuned out or if it just got really boring or if something else happened. So
I’m very curious to see this again to remember how all resolves itself and
whether or not the second half is of any interest. So I kind of hinted at this
dark moment that the film starts with that changes Van Damme’s character’s life
and what I think is very interesting about Van Damme is he has two very
distinct phases in his career. So everything from Bloodsport, which was his
first starring role, right through to The Order and Replicant which is about
2001 I want to say, he’s almost entirely shot big-budget, fun you know adventure
action type movies– well I guess for Hollywood they’re mid-budget movies–don’t
take themselves too seriously and they all kind of have a similar vibe to them.
Then a few years later, In Hell starts this new phase of Van Damme’s career where
the movies are much lower budget, but not in a bad way. He does tend to work
with people who know how to use a smaller budget to best advantage. But
the other thing is that the movies are a lot darker. People die–there’s a
lot of…innocent people die, there’s a lot more violence. His characters sometimes
die. And even aesthetically they’re darker. It’s interesting just to see how
sharp that divide is. There’s just one film in between those two phases,
Derailed, which we will talk about eventually. I tend to prefer the earlier
stuff. I like action movies that don’t take themselves too seriously. But I do
think that a lot of his later stuff does tend to be a good example of what
you can do with a smaller budget. There are some actors
who have made similar sort of moves into lower budget who have not had such
quality films. I do think that that’s an interesting element
to his career and I’d be very curious to know why that happened. But yeah anyway…
so the dark moment that I referred to in this–this is very much a later Van Damme movie–
it’s a bunch of innocent kids I think it is die and it’s his fault. So
that is something that he has to deal with throughout the course of the film,
from memory. Presumably he gets some kind of
redemption at the end of the movie. But yeah that kind of stuck with me
because you know it’s not every day that you see your heroes cause the death of
children. At least I think it’s children. It could be like young women but I’m
pretty sure as kids. Spoiler alert if you wanted to see that…it happens in
the first five minutes anyway. This is going to be a good one for us to
start with and I’m really interested to see how I like this film on a
re-watch. I guess I’ll see you guys again in two hours So I’m back. I have seen Six Bullets again
and guess what? I was mostly right about what it’s about. First and only time I
saw it was a couple years ago so it wasn’t that long ago that I saw it but
um you know my memory is not failing me, always great. I was right about it being
Van Damme plays a mercenary who’s kind of given up the life and his
specialty used to be finding children that had been sold into sex trafficking.
Due to the incident that I mentioned he’d given that up. The second half of
the film that I said I didn’t remember… Fairly standard action movie fare.
Van Damme and Joe Flanagan’s characters kind of kill a lot of people, fight a lot
of people, do that sort of thing. Ihat I hadn’t remembered, which I really liked,
was that the wife also had quite a big part. She was actually kind of the brains
of the operation and so she was the one who like noticed stuff and came up with
plans while Joe Flanagan was kind of the muscle, which made a lot of sense given
that he was an MMA fighter. But it was nice that they they gave the female
character something to do, which…not always the case in movies like this. And
I also liked that the girl who had been kidnapped also played a part in her own
rescue. She was smart enough to find her cell phone and get her parents
to track it and things like that. So there was some really good things about
this movie that I didn’t remember. I can see why I forgot about the second half,
though. There was some good stuff in there. There was one particular scene
where JeanCclaude Van Damme’s character thinks that he has failed again, like a
repeat of the past, and throughout the movie he’s been haunted by the “ghosts” of
these kids that he had accidentally been
responsible for the deaths of. I think that Van Damme is a very underrated actor, I know that maybe controversial. I don’t think he’ll ever win an Oscar or
anything but I think he’s actually really quite good and there’s scenes in
all of his movies that I think prove that, and this is one of them. So there’s
this scene he thinks he’s failed again. And his reaction and his devastation in
that moment is really quite real and affecting, more so than you may expect
from a movie like this to give it that much depth of character. That
I really enjoyed. Other things I didn’t love so much–I’d forgotten that he was a
butcher so lots of shots of meat everywhere–not my favorite thing. The low
budget did occasionally hurt it you know there was a few sort of
shots that didn’t make much sense or that could have been better. But there
was some that we’re actually really good. There’s a few that were really nice
shots the way the camera was moving and stuff like that you know. Better than you
really have any right to expect in a movie like this. I was wrong about where
it was set. I said Romania. It was filmed in Romania as I suspected, but it was
actually set in Moldova. So another thing that I actually really quite liked about
this film seeing it again was that they gave the parent characters an arc. And
considering that they’re not really the main characters–like I expected one for
Van Damme particularly because I remembered that moment at the beginning and knew that he would need to find some redemption for
that throughout the film. I hadn’t remembered that the parents kind of got
their own arc as well. Nice to see that the two of them kind of evolved together.
Obviously because their child was taken they’re willing to do anything to get her
back and so the two of them kind of go on this journey to see how deep that goes
and exactly what they’re willing to do and the answer is pretty much anything.
They get increasingly violent and are kind of okay with it and that’s like a plot
point in a sense. Like, in a lot of action movies just a lot of violence happens
and the characters don’t really react to it and that’s standard operating
procedure. But in this it was kind of seem to be more intentional, that there
was a beat when they each killed somebody and there was kind of like this
moment where they think about it. They’re like how do I feel about that, how do I
feel about the fact that my spouse just murdered somebody. And they kind of
have these little moments after each of that and before you know just kind of
going yeah you know what it’s our kid we’re willing to do whatever and we’re
fine with that. So that was a nice element to this that
you don’t always get character development, you know? So that was
really good. So another thing I had forgotten about this movie is that Kris
Van Damme is in it. That is Jean-Claude’s son. He’s in quite a few of Jean-Claude’s
movies. He’s actually alright. Like, I don’t have a problem with it. He
doesn’t detract from the movie by being a terrible actor at all–which was
entirely possible. He doesn’t seem to have much of an acting career on his
own but he’s perfectly serviceable in any of his father’s films. It was
interesting though that they actually played father and son which isn’t always
the case. It’s always fun to see a little bit of nepotism like that I suppose. So
having said all that I guess the real question is: how do I feel about Six
Bullets after seeing it again and do I want to keep it in my
collection? And as I discussed previously I like collections of actors and
Jean-Claude Van Damme it’s one of them and I was pretty much always gonna keep
it because of that. But it turns out that the movie itself–while a fairly standard
action movie and doesn’t elevate the genre in any way it doesn’t really do
much new or interesting…it’s actually pretty watchable. So
I’m really happy to keep this one in my collection for next time when I’m sure
I’ll do a big JCVD binge. I guess the first movie is a keeper! Thank you very
much for watching this review. Next time we are going to be discussing 7
Seconds starring Wesley Snipes and Tamzin Outhwaite. Bye for now
and happy watching

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