Black Jack [VHS] [1996]

December 15, 2019 - Comment

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-length TV pilot is grindingly conventional. Woo managed to rise above Jean-Claude Van Damme in Hard Target, but there’s not much he

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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-length 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 armoury, 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

Comments

Anonymous says:

Black Jack In my opinion, I really liked Black Jack-It’s a bit slow at points but once it gets going the plot rattles along at a great pace. Its a film with little action, but thought provoking and very interesting-I would really recommend it-Its the kind of film you can watch over and over again and get something new out of it

Anonymous says:

Styled violence Even in minor productions, such as this made-for-TV movie, chinese director John Woo shows his talent as the contemporary master of slow-motion camera. “Blackjack” tells the story of an FBI agent (Dolph Lundgren) who must protect a model, after his colleague has been wounded in a gunshot. This film has all the essential elements of Woo’s works: styled violence (less than we are used to see in the theaters, since it is a TV feature), breathtaking action and a kind of poetic view of…

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