Van Damme wakes up in a tub of ice, realizes upon seeing the bloodstained covers on his bed that he has a kidney missing, and embarks on a wild quest to get it back. A whole lot of ruckus for one kidney, you might think, but it's soon revealed: that one kidney was just about to be transplanted to his brother's dying 9 year old daughter. His daughter.
It's a mass of violence and driving around town, one long and wild night, and eventually a reconciliation between the two very different brothers. What I don't like about this movie however is that they mix in religion, and give it free reign over the plot. Moral values inherited by the holy book somehow steers the outcome of the whole story, and I feel this makes it not only predictable, but unfair. If they never hold their fates in their own hands, why give us the illusion? Why even try?
The one with faith survives, and the other one dies, even though it was his sacrifice entirely. Poetic justice, you might argue? Religious brainwashing is my first impression.... and he's not the only sinner who dies. As he dies, so does all his friends and enemies, in one big bath of blood, no matter what rights they may be doing to repent those old wrongs. For the most part, the man with faith just watches.
Well, setting aside the unfair element of Christian faith I feel steers the way, it wasn't a bad movie. It's gritty, it's dark, it's contemplative, and JCVD can still manage that trademark split! It leaves you with a lot to think about. But if it had ended with a miracle, without so much unnecessary death, with JCVD the hero he deserved to be, I'd have liked it so much more.
rated 3/5: not bad
As the poster above may hint, Jean Claude Van Damme has a pretty big role in this movie. He plays both good guy and bad guy, has a priest as a brother, meets a girl, and keeps revealing things along the way that ultimately led this to be... a little more than just the gory actionfest I was expecting when it started out. IMDB sums up the plot quite nicely...
A man's heroic attempt to help a woman in distress ends up with him waking up the next day without a kidney and plotting his revenge.
...but as it turns out, it's about a lot more than revenge!
Though the script's pretty clever, I don't really appreciate the Christian overtones, the sins and sacrifices, and the few but very disappointing turns the movie takes for the sake of religious justice. The action's legit, but when it's all over the story's just depressing. So unnecessary. So unmerited. So opposed to the justice I'd have liked to see. Why can't there be a happy ending in the name of faith?
It's ironic they'd chose the action genre to bring forth a message that goes against the genre itself: it's like they're making a movie like this to keep people away from movies like this. It's not a bad movie, but it had potential to be so much better! Real shame.
rated 3/5: not bad