A really good action movie, but the real star is MALTA!!!
Marcus H. Smilfer | Chicagoland, USA | 08/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From the end of the Cold War comes a movie that was probably written at the height of the Cold War, went through several years of production and finally came out right at the end of the Cold War and this probably killed any chance it had at success. I mean, who wants to watch a movie about Russians spies fighting US spies when you can get down with that sexy East German girl in your chem class while listening to the Scorpions' song "Winds of Change" or that cool Jesus Jones ditty, "Right Here, Right Now"? As a result, this enjoyable action movie is a hidden gem that few people remember. On to the plot...
SHO KOSUGI, Star of tons of Japanese Ninja films, plays a CIA spy who is called into action when a secret US plane, an F-111, goes down in the waters off Malta. This sequence is probably the cheapest of the entire movie as we only get to LISTEN to the plane going down instead of WATCHING the plane crash. Guess they had to spend that extra money on Jean-Claude's body wax. Speaking of JC, Mr. Van Damme plays the Russian martial arts expert/ body guard who is brought in by the KGB to try to steal the top-secret warhead off the F-111 before the CIA can get it. The only catch is, first they both have to find where in the ocean the plane crashed...
Along the way, Sho kills multiple Maltese citizens and various KGB agents all while Jean-Claude romances a young lady on the KGB's tugboat. In fact, all of the killing makes JC's character a lot more sympathetic than Sho's, which I'm sure the producers did not intend. Anyway, lots of action and things blowing up later there is the final showdown with Sho and JC which...well, you'll have to watch the movie to see what happens. Take my word, though, it's a great fight scene.
As the movie progresses, the viewers are treated to scene after scene of the gorgeous Maltese countryside: churches, forts and of course lots of the beautiful blue Mediterranean. Malta is the real star of this movie. However, almost all of the actors are attempting to speak English as a second language and as a result of the conflagration of Japanese, Belgian, Maltese and fake Russian accents, entire sections of the movie are almost unintelligible. I challenge even someone with a digital comb-filter, mondo-sound TV to understand what the heck Sho and JC are saying to each other in the final fight scene. But, since I'm here trying to defend this film, let's just call that a "minor production glitch."
All-in-all this is a good action movie that can be bought for a cheap price. Sounds like a great combo to me. Since this is an international production, watch out for bootlegs that are floating around. Also, don't buy the SLP tapes churned out by "GoodTimes" movies back in the 90's. Awful quality.
Those of you who read my other review of a Malta-filmed movie, "Final Justice," be on watch for a couple of actors and locations featured in that movie. The evil bar-owner has a big role in this movie as does the heroic cab-driver. Where the heck is Hellena Abella? Ah, well, only Malta knows and Malta ain't telling..."
Seems every time Van Damme plays a bad guy he does his mute
Derrick Dunn | Woodbridge,VA | 03/25/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Black Eagle was released a few months after Van Damme became a star with Bloodsport. The film could have made Van Damme a wash up but luckily it didn't. The martial arts chorography in the film is very sloppy and the fight scene between Sho Khogusi and Van Damme is weak. Skip this one"
A forgotten Jean-Claude Van Damme film that should stay that
The Whatever Dude | houston, tx United States | 10/26/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Now don't take this into the wrong direction. I like Van Damme as well as Sho Kosugi, but even they couldn't save this film from being so boring and so abysmal. I was so bored by this film, that not only did I fall asleep during the film, I couldn't even finish the thing.
An F-11 holding a device that the United States government cannot afford to lose crash lands in the Mediterranean. The KGB lead by Andrei (Played by Van Damme), unfortunately, are much closer to finding the device than the CIA. The United States government decides to send in their best man, Ken Tani, The Black Eagle (Played by Kosugi). Tani decides to head to Malta with his two kids (Played by Kosugi's own children) to find the device before the KGB does.
I have nothing else to say about this crap except that even if you're a Van Damme superfan, don't bother, and just leave it in the $3 bin at BigLots! I'm actually quite surprised Van Damme's career wasn't ruined by this travesty. Then again, he was just getting started.
DVD Extras: An okay full frame presentation (Take pride in the fact that I said that, by the way) along with the movie's trailer and production notes that no one really cares about, much like the movie itself. Also, the back of the DVD says that there's a Making-of featurette included, but there's no such thing on the DVD, but for a "film" like this, it's no big loss."