We Die Young review by Bobby Blakey
Jean Claude Van Damme has been on a role lately with some great new roles including Jean Claude Van Johnson, Pound of Flesh, the new Kickboxer films and most recently The Bouncer aka Lukas. His latest film We Die Young looks to keep that gritty tone going co-starring Elijah Rodriguez, Joana Metrass, and David Castañeda, but does it bring the expected action fans want or will it not be worth getting jumped in for?
We Die Young follows Lucas who is desperate to keep his 10-year old brother Miguel safe when ruthless drug lord Rincon wants to recruit him as a runner. Fleeing for their lives, the boys are rescued by a veteran with PTSD named Daniel, who helps them find their revenge. This is yet another case of Van Damme taking on a role for his age and doing a really good job with it. His character here never speaks a word due to an injury, but he manages to still bring a good sense of emotion to the role. The story is focused more on the brothers trying to escape the gang with Van Damme being more of a secondary character. He is not here in just a small cameo, but also not front and center as the lead.
The story isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but the brave choice to use the MS-13 as the gang in question makes the possibility of danger all the higher. The film is a bit slow at times and not packed with action like I had hoped, but still works well enough. The brutality of the gang here lets you know they are not to be messed with making you have more concerned for everyone getting out alive. Of course with Van Damme in the mix you expect him to kick some major ass like only he can, but instead he is a flawed character that struggles with addiction and his sense of devotion to help them.
There are no great classic Van Damme moments in the action which left me a bit underwhelmed, but as an overall film it worked decently. Van Damme does a good job here and much like his previous film The Bouncer looks to be trying to mix it up a bit and focus more on character acting instead of just letting his high flying kicks do the talking.
If you are a Van Damme fan then check out We Die Young when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 9th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.