The Last Mercenary
review by Bobby Blakey
I am an unapologetic fan of Jean Claude Van Damme. I love every movie he has done, but recognize the flaws in a lot of them. When it was announced he was doing the new film The Last Mercenary for Netflix to say I was excited was an understatement. The film co-stars Samir Decazza, Alban Ivonav, Assa Sylla, and Djimo with director David Charhon at the helm. Could this latest from the muscles from Brussels be a new hit for the action star or will it fail to complete its mission?
The Last Mercenary follows a mysterious former secret service agent must urgently return to France when his estranged son is falsely accused of arms and drug trafficking by the government, following a blunder by an overzealous bureaucrat and a mafia operation.
From the trailer this was clearly going to be an action comedy and while Van Damme has delivered on the laughs in the past I was initially a bit disappointed hoping for something more straight up action. Thankfully I was wrong and this film is not only funny but still offers up plenty of Van Dammage to satisfy the fan in me.
The story is pretty simple, but has just enough layers to make it more than just s straight up spoof film. Instead it brings the laughs, the action and even some heart allowing Van Damme to play on usual type, but also some depth. For those not in the know, this is a French film and the humor plays very much in that way. It might not work for some in its sheer silliness at times, but if you can get the vibe of it all then it’s a great time. It reminded me a bit of something like The Pink Panther with less goofiness, but still the fun vibe.
Van Damme is great here fully embracing the laughs and the action. I think as he has gotten older he has greatly improved as an actor and getting to perform in French helps all the more. The rest of the cast are over the top and fun to watch as well making this a full on ensemble piece. Make no mistake while they are all given their time to shine you are still getting full on Van Damme fun throughout.
This is a far stretch from his iconic action flicks like Bloodsport, Kickboxer or one my personal favorites Hard Target and instead a reimagined Van Damme bringing the kicks and laughs in the best way possible. I loved this movie is an acquired taste that will not likely work for everyone, but for me it’s a new return to form to the iconic action star.
Decide for yourself and check out The Last Mercenary streaming now on Netflix.