Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Second in Command |
Actors: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Julie Cox, Alan Mckenna, Razaaq Adoti, Velibor Topic
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
In this action-packed, edge-of-your-seat film, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays an official who's just been appointed as "Second in Command" to the U.S. Ambassador at an American Embassy in a small, turbulent Eastern European n... more »
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Barbara B. (stitch0852)
Reviewed on 2/23/2009...
This was filmed in Romania and the UK. It was painfully obvious there was no US Military influence in it.
The factual errors begin as soon as Van Damme appears. His uniform is grossly incorrect.
When he arrives at the embassy a Gunny Sgt approaches wearing a uniform with a shirt that fits like a potato sack. This film does an injustice to the US Military with their poor portrayal of the appearance of the Marines.
Marines are as fanatical in their appearance as they are in their job and if they appeared in public as these did, they wouldn't be Marines long.
If you can overlook that, there are still other areas. For a former SEAL, he is not very assertive and does not carry himself with the quiet grace usually found in SEALs. He would not have easily turned over his command to the sniveling civilian that ultimately resulted in the death of so many. He would have stood up to the civilian and most probably would have invited him to leave the embassy. Another point is that Van Damme's character arrives only hours before, yet during the heat of battle, he seems to be so familiar with the embassy (secure the windows and metal shutters roll down), put the president in the bubble, that he would seem to have been there for years instead of hours. Not a believable scenario.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dolph Lundgren already made this movie & it's called, The De
Ollie | Ireland | 05/18/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"From a Van Damme fan, this was a big disappointment. The camera work and directing is terrible. The camera could not stay still for more than 3 seconds and I started to get a headache after the first 12 minutes. What was with everything being filmed in close up. I thought I had a full screen copy but I checked and it said widescreen. I find it hard to believe by the way this movie looks that they spent 22 million on it. What did they spend the money on, the fake CGI helicopters and a truck load of home movie digital camcorders!! Dolph Lundgrens The Defender is similar to this, made for 5 million and is a much better attempt at this type of movie and looks more than its budget. Second In Command does come of as a very cheap looking TV movie of the week with bad actors and cheaply dressed sets. Every actor in this was completely wooden including Van Damme who is taking himself way to seriously these days and the, I want to act and be taken seriously is starting to get tired. Show some personality or at least smile once in a while!! The fight scenes with Van Damme are short lasting about 15 seconds, are badly staged and filmed and consist of nothing more than a few kicks and a punch. The showdown with the main villian at the end is filmed in slow motion to drag it out a bit but is so dull you would rather speed it up just to get the movie over with. The action set pieces are terribly executed, filmed and lack any imagination. The movie is incredibly boring and I don't know why Van Damme thought this would be a fun, enjoyable action movie that the fans want to see because it's not. For me I'd have to put Second In Command between Derailed and Universal Soldier 2 in Van Dammes worst movies list with Derailed being the worst movie he has made since his career took of with the excellent Bloodsport. I'm very thankful I rented this instead of buying it outright DVD unseen expecting it to be as good as In Hell or Wake Of Death. A big step back for Van Damme. Based on this, I am no longer looking forward to Til Death as it is another Simon Fellows directed, "I want to be an actor" Van Damme vechicle. Definitely rent before considering a purchase."
Rent before you buy!
J. Urban | Charlotte, NC | 05/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I went to several stores here in Charlotte, NC to search for the DVD and found very few copies were available (they were hidden on the shelf--not even in the "new release" section) and were retailing at $22. I thought that was a bit rediculous for a direct-to-dvd Van Damme flick, but being a fan I spent the money anyways.
Overall, I found the movie very boring and completely forgettable. I think it finally hit me that Van Damme will never make another movie that I will thoroughly enjoy (the last being Maximum Risk - 10 years ago).
The Plot - D
Don't worry about spoilers as this plot has been used so many times before there is nothing to spoil. Hero gets dispatched to a war zone, hero must gain respect of peers, hero must have a love interest to break up the action segments, hero must be betrayed or have something bad happen, and then the hero saves the day. If you are familar with the original Assault on Precinct 13, then picture that movie but in a military, foreign country setting. Also, it doesn't help that the movie is very short--standard 90 minutes or less.
Character Development/Acting - C
Van Damme was playing, well Van Damme (actually Commander Keenan). His acting has not changed in over a decade. (His acting improved back in 1995's Timecop from his earlier movies, but has never gotten any better since Timecop.) He is stiff, hard to understand and never really all that believable as a Navy SEAL. For those of us who loved his old movies and the martial arts--forget it. He has maybe 3-4 one-on-one fights where he does a few kicks, but mostly uses punches, a knife, a gun and a assault rifle to dispatch the enemies. They try to give his character a back story about why he won't evacuate the embassy, but it is so vague and short, that it really doesn't matter.
As for the supporting actors, there were no standouts. They all played their roles and I have never seen any of them in anything before. At least in Wake of Death, you had a young Asian actress who, in my opinion, did a great job in her role alongside Van Damme. In this movie, every supporting actor was utterly forgettable. The forced romance between the female newsreporter and Van Damme's Keenan was out of place in this kind of movie and there was no chemistry between the two.
Music Score/Sound - D
Was there one? Seriously, I cannot remember even one melody or action score. As for sound, well, it was the typical machine guns, loud explosions, etc.
Cinematography/Visual Effects - C
This category would have actually gotten a B, except that certain scenes have some very noticeably bad CGI and model effects. The actual cinematography was good with some hand camera work that made you feel that you were watching the events unravel on CNN. Likewise, the scale of the movie seemed a lot larger due to the camera angles and the existing architecture. (One scene has a bunch of people trying to assault the embassy and it was very convincing.)
Movie Overall - C
DVD Features - F
This release is perhaps the best example of a poorly made DVD. It only contains the movie and a bunch of trailers of other direct-to-dvd movies. But get this--there is no trailer of the actual movie, teaser or otherwise!!
Likewise, there are no special features or commentaries.
And this is from Sony Home Entertainment!! They spent no money on this package and then have it retail over $20.
I only hope, as a Van Damme fan, that The Hard Corps will remove the sour taste in my mouth that I have after watching Second in Command, a truly bargain basement thriller that should retail at $5. Rent this movie, before buying!!
A. Liberty | Cleveland, OH United States | 08/31/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the problems related to all the technical issues cited by other reviewers, but found the movie problematic at its core. First, military personnel are not EVER in the chain of diplomatic authority in a United States Embassy. So the entire premise of this movie is an impossibility because the character JCVD portrays would never be "Second in Command." Sure, there is a willing suspension of disbelief when watching a movie, but there is just SO MUCH WRONG in this movie, that verisimilitude is impossible. A Navy Commander (O-5) outranks a Marine captain (O-3) and would ALWAYS have command precedent in a military situation, whether a message was sent to higher authority or not. Marines simply do not dress nor act like those depicted in this film. The uniforms were wrong. The "Gunny" had a soul patch and chin whiskers! NEVER! And the Marine captain tells a Marine to "seal this room, soldier." ARRGGGH! No Marine, under any circumstances, would refer to another as a "soldier." How about the Marine Expeditionary Unit helicopters, hovering over the Embassy, announcing, "This is the U. S. Army..."? Oh, and what Marine Embassy Security Unit, defending their post from attack during the hours of darkness, would have the building bathed in light?"