The director and action-magician John Woo (Face Off) can always be counted on to create spectacular violent set pieces, with bodies and broken glass gracefully airborne in slow motion. But everything else in this feature-l... more »ength TV pilot is grindingly conventional. Woo managed to rise above Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target, but there's not much he can do with Dolph Lundgren's Jack Devlin, a kick-boxing former U.S. Marshall turned bodyguard, assigned to guard the body of a drug-addicted supermodel (Kam Heskin, from TV's Sunset Beach). Between shootouts, the elements of the future series are wheeled creakingly into place: a spacious Ikea deluxe apartment with a built-in armory, a caustic eye-patched sidekick (Saul Rubinek), and even a precocious freckle-faced girl (Padraigin Murphy) who becomes Devlin's stepdaughter, when his best buddy is rubbed out. The gorgeous showdown scene between Devlin and the psycho-stalker bad guy (Phillip MacKenzie) takes place in a milk-bottling plant, with the white stuff splashing all over---but this is TV fare, so there's no red stuff mixed in. Action addicts are advised to stick with the world-class gunplay films of Woo's Hong Kong period, A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled. --David Chute« less
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 07/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is closer to movies John Woo did before he came to Hollywood. I'm talking about Hard Boiled and The Killer. These both had high melodrama and an emotionally troubled hero. Dolph does quite a good job of this and gives a pretty good performance.Many people criticise Dolph for not being a good actor but when you forget that your watching him you'll realise that he's quite good despite never having any acting lessons. This is the first film in which I've seen him be a sort of father figure. I think he handles dialogue well and tries his best to do as much as he can in the mediocre roles he is offered. He should be in more high-profile movies and should climb out of the DTV hell his career is in. His best film so far is Joshua Tree but Blackjack is good to watch. John Woo's style is written all over this film. More so than Broken Arrow (in which his style was entirely muted). Color schemes, camera tricks and slow-mo shootouts are all present in this movie. It's a little lacking, and confusing, in the plot department but when your having so much fun it doesn't matter THAT much. I heard somewhere that there is soon to be a TV series of Blackjack. If there were I think I would enjoy it very much. The only thing stopping this from being a high-profile hit is the fact that it's a TV movie. But don't let that put you off. The DVD is in Dolby surround and is in fullscreen."
John Woo Keeps The Magic
Lauren M. Knopf | At my computer | 02/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two blondes, a wimpy bad guy pitted up against a colossal Dolph Lundgren, and unexplainable motorcyclists...I do detect a John Woo hit here!Black Jack gives a new name to B-movies with this incredibly ridiculous story of an unstoppable bodyguard who's only enemy is (dun dun DUN!!!) the color white. While battling his fear of milk, playing cards and his girlfriend's silk blouse, he is able to overcome New York city's toughest sniper...who cries at the sight of supermodels and hasn't really shot many people at all.Dolph also shows his versatility in this film, as he adopts lovable 10-year-old neice, Casey, who displays about as much emotion when her parents are killed as the sole of my shoe does when it squishes a bug. But Lundgren plays well off a sexy, drugged up supermodel who wins his heart as he helps salsa dance her out of a Percodan coma. And we can't forget Dolph's cigar smoking D-cup wearing psychologist who gives housecalls in evening dresses and quotes Confucious, saying "you must face your biggest fears." Yeah, Confucious said that. In Chinese. 2500 years ago.So really, suspend your disbelief that the police wouldn't be able to stop this incredibly wimpy killer - and that a supermodel with an obsessed fan and a drug habit is anything worthy of special attention - and that the skyline of Toronto REALLY resembles New York City - and that "where the hell do those renegade motorcyclists come from??" And we're talkin' best movie of ALL TIME!!!"
A bit sappy but enjoyable
Linda Gossard | Wisconsin | 01/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bodyguard for hire, Jack (Dolph Lundgren) is a man of his word and honor. First he comes to the rescue in protecting his friend's daughter, Casey, from mobsters out to kill her and then he lovingly adopts Casey when her parents are killed in an accident. When another one of his friends is shot trying to protect a beautiful model named Cinder, Jack takes on the job of protecting Cinder while finding her stalker. Jack is a strong, sensitive man who remains loyal to his friends and loved ones. He strives to improve himself and remain true to his values. For action fans, this movie is a bit weak in that regard. Although there is a lot of action in the beginning of the movie while Jack is defending Casey, he incurs a phobia during that fight and is unable to fight properly for the majority of the movie. This movie is laced with fantasy which is epitomized in his relationship with his sexy female counselor (which is so full of innuendo it hints at some guy's fantasy). Over all, it seems like the movie is an attempt to take an action genre plot and add depth to the main character. But since I tend to like sentimental stories, I easily overlooked the sappiness and enjoyed BlackJack."
The only good made for TV film.
Linda Gossard | 06/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Woo is the best action film director, but this disappointing direct to video nonsense does not show you fun that Woo can do. I like it more then Woo's dumb movie, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. An ex-CIA operative named Black Jack (Dolph Lundgren) who is asked by an old friend to act as a bodyguard for his young daughter. Then he is asked by other old friend to guard a model from a killer. The "sub-story" has Jack fearing the color white dun to a childhood trauma. All in all this is ok for a film that was going to be a TV movie, but why the hell does the video have an R rating, but who cares these days. A other John Woo made for TV film is ONCE A THIEF (note: Woo also did a real film in Hong Kong with the same name). 1998. MIRIMAX. 123 MINS.Rated R For Violence."
Sunny Lim | Somewhere out there | 04/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dolph Lungren stars as a security consultant who is injured while protecting his good friend's daughter. His 'injury'? He has trouble looking at white after a grenade explodes in front of him. He later accepts a job to protect a model from a pychotic stalker.Not a bad movie with some very good action scenes though the white 'handicap' was kind of lame. Dolph Lungren is quite good in this movie. His acting has never been better. Which isn't saying much of course."