THE LAST MERCENARY (2021) Reviews of Van Damme Netflix movie

 

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‘The daddy of all secret agents’

The Last Mercenary is a 2021 French action-comedy film about a former secret service agent who returns to France to help his estranged son. The latter has been falsely accused of arms and drug trafficking by the government, following a blunder by an overzealous bureaucrat and a Mafia operation.

Directed by David Charhon from a screenplay co-written with Ismaël Sy Savané.

The movie stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Valérie Kaprisky, Miou-Miou, Eric Judor, Alban Ivanov, Assa Sylla, Patrick Timsit, Zakhar Shadrin, Samir Decazza, Michel Crémadès, Djimo, Mike Gassaway, Aleksey Gorbunov and Nassim Lyes.

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Reviews:

“The tone and tenor of the movie is reminiscent of Van Damme’s short-lived Jean-Claude Van Johnson series. If you enjoyed that series or just like your JCVD entertainment lighter than some of the darker and more serious movies he has been putting out the past few years, I am confident you will enjoy watching JCVD ham it up and mix it up with a great ensemble cast in The Last Mercenary.” Bulletproof Action

” …whatever passes for comedy here is outright abysmal. The same could be said about The Last Mercenary in its entirety, which will bait Netflix users with hopes of witnessing something that could qualify as a relic of its time. Once it’s over, there’s nothing left but feeling embarrassed for Jean-Claude Van Damme.” Flickering Myth

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The Last Mercenary has bounding energy and a fun take on star Jean-Claude Van Damme’s past exploits as an action star, but the humor is way more miss than hit and the actual nuts-and-bolts spy plot is a trudge. It earns some marks for the cozy and well-meaning father/son reconciliation angle, but whenever the film sidetracks from that, it results in tedium.” IGN

“Rather than laugh, I was rolling my eyes throughout. That said, I’ll admit this type of ultra-broad French humor has never really worked for me […] With this, Van Damme proves he’s more than up to the challenge of a bigger production. Hopefully, his next one is just as ambitious, if perhaps a little less silly.” JoBlo

“Basically, there are a lot of allegedly comedic mix-ups […] There’s some more routine action, too. Some of it is staged well, although the early gag of hiding Van Damme’s face becomes an apparent necessity. Beneath the surface, The Last Mercenary has some clever ideas. The surface, though, is littered with little else besides dumb ones.” Mark Reviews Movies

“A farcical fusion of terrorism, stolen identity and father-son healing, the plot […] is bloated and sentimental. The middle section droops and not all the performances pop. (Though Nassim Lyes lays it on with a shovel to play a Scarface-obsessed villain.) But the fight scenes have wit and Van Damme delivers his lines with just the right amount of weary good humor.” The New York Times

“The abject laziness of the script extends to the virtual lack of action, comedy-inspired or otherwise. It seems like The Last Mercenary’s modest budget allowed for exactly one big action scene (the first scene) […] By the time The Last Mercenary reaches its supposedly uplifting all-for-one, one-for-all denouement, it has outstayed its welcome by more than a half-hour…” Screen Anarchy

“Early on, there’s a particularly exciting car chase sequence that sets a very high bar for the action and comedy, but the movie never quite matches that energy again […] Still, the awkward beats in The Last Mercenary are easily forgotten as the plot quickly moves ahead with more adrenaline-fueled mayhem. The movie is fun and the relationship dynamics are sweet.” Screen Rant

“Unfortunately, much of the film’s humour falls to the level of an out of shape man in his underwear riding a scooter through downtown Paris […] works better as an action film […] Despite running a bit too long at an hour and fifty minutes, The Last Mercenary is an enjoyable film.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Jean-Claude Van Damme … Former secret agent
Alban Ivanov … Alexandre
Samir Decazza … Archibald
Assa Sylla … Dalila
Eric Judor … Paul
Miou-Miou … Marguerite
Patrick Timsit … Commandant Jouard
Valérie Kaprisky … Ministre Sivardière
Michel Crémadès … Fernand
Djimo … Momo

Filming locations:

Kyiv, Ukraine
Paris, France

Technical details:

110 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital

Original title:

Le dernier mercenaire

Trailer: