Sunday, August 16, 2015

Action Movie Review: "POUND OF FLESH"

Sometimes you just want to blow up things and kill people. You don’t want to be all intellectual about the situation.  Instead, you see a problem and want to kill it. I like violent action movies and the newly released POUND OF FLESH delivers on that. It also delivers some movie stupidity that even a non-expert like me noticed.

NETFLIX describes it this way….
In China to donate a kidney to his ailing niece, ex-covert agent Deacon wakes up in his hotel the morning of the operation to find that thieves have already relieved him of the organ. Thus begins a relentless hunt for the robbers and their bounty.

Well, right there we have our first little issue as it is the Philippines, not China. Deacon, a man of many violent talents is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme so I had to see it. I have liked most of the movies he has done. Some are way better than others, but one generally knows going in that he is going to kick people all over the place and blow up some stuff. That was certainly true here.

Van Damme wakes up in the classic nightmare scenario of being in a bathtub full of water and ice. He staggers out of the tub and over the next few minutes through flashbacks and stumbling around the room begins to pull it together. There was a woman, a fight in an ally as he tried to help her, drinks in a bar, and spirited time in the sheets. He got laid AND lost a kidney.  The morning after is hell and the day promises to be worse.

Visually, the film looks a little strange in places. At times it looked like the characters were badly superimposed on the backgrounds. Normally, you can’t necessarily tell that the shots of, for example, sights outside of car windows as the vehicle moves down the street, are really backdrops behind the static car in front of a green screen on a soundstage somewhere.  In this one, you could tell such things. Not just rolling down the street, but in a club where some action took place as well as in a couple of other places. One wonders if there was some issue during filming and they had to go back and tinker with things before releasing the movie.

Then there are the things that should be inherently obvious to all involved. Not only is there a time sequence issue in the film, but there are issues with things such as night vision gear.  As I understand how that stuff works, night vision gear takes in the ambient light in the dark environment and magnifies it in some way so that one can see. If lights were to suddenly come on—for whatever reason—while wearing such gear one would be blinded. 

After attacking and knocking out the power at a mansion, super stud Van Damme enters the place and begins killing bad guys loyal to some rich dude. At one point in the battle, while wearing the night vision gear, the lights are turned back on outside and inside the building. Every single light comes on lighting up the place. Instead of being blinded, Van Damme continues to move and shoot as he can see clearly despite wearing the aforementioned night vision gear.  I don’t think so.

I am sure those who have experience in firearms and more will see other flaws in the movie. POUND OF FLESH has its issues including a predictable ending, but all in all it was worth the escapism it provided for awhile.  Sometimes one does not want to think and only wants to kill and blow up stuff. POUND OF FLESH works in that regard. It just could have been a bit better.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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