“The Last Mercenary” review: Jean-Claude Van Damme shines in Netflix action movies, but you won’t

Netflix bought this French action comedy because, why not? But this movie proves that having a sense of humor and being funny about yourself can be two completely different things.

Seeing the charm of Van Damme in action is the obvious highlight of this slim vehicle, whose tone is close to a live-action cartoon. Stupidity is good, but stupidity is usually not.

Van Damme plays Richard Brumère, a legendary agent nicknamed “The Mist” who disappeared 25 years ago. Before that, he gave birth to a son, Archibald (Samir De Caza). He didn’t know his ancestry when he grew up, except for the exemption arrangements his father negotiated with the government before disappearing. .

When the immunity suddenly lifted, Archibald was immediately in danger, pulling Brummel out of the shadows and entering his life. But this child proved that apples can fall long distances from trees, responding to threats with fear and flight instead of fighting.

Directed and co-written by David Charhon, “The Last Mercenary” provides an absolutely low-key gimmick and weird character mashup. For example, criminals who stole Archibald’s identity and immunity were obsessed with the movie “Scarface”, constantly quoting and acting like Al Pacino’s Tony Montana character.

At the same time, everyone except Archibald—including his good friend Dalila (Assa Sylla) and her brother (Djimo), who are all involved in a spy conspiracy—learned that the spy was actually he who had been separated for many years His father, even though the father-son relationship is tired and tense.

Van Damme tried something similar in the Amazon series a few years ago “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” The results here may be worse. Except for the uninspired sequence of actions, everything is absurdly beyond the top, and Van Dam’s character strives to avoid killing anyone, even the assassin he beats many times, which makes this fact even more palatable.

Supporting roles include French veterans Miou-Miou and Valérie Kaprisky, but nothing really works here, and some jokes—such as mentioning Brummel’s past sexual abilities—are reduced to a daunting level.

Netflix increasingly relies on international productions to store its original program shelves, and Van Damme’s box office operations in the 1990s made him a marketable supplement to these efforts.

However, after about 15 minutes of “The Last Mercenary”, even if you can’t split like Van Damme, the temptation is split-explain it with “Scarface” and say goodbye to him and his children.

“The Last Mercenary” will premiere on Netflix on July 30.

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