Darkness of Man (2024) Van Damme Miscast

Jean Claude Van Damme teams with James Bressack for a dark tale of redemption. 

Darkness of Man is a dark, brooding noir that see’s Van Damme playing Russel Hatch, an alcoholic Interpol agent who is left to look after the son of an informant who gets killed. 

The story and the narration throughout is great, James Bressack has created a story that brings Max Payne vibes. Bressack, known for his horror roots has always managed to draw upon his skills honed in the horror genre and incorporate them into the action genre. The cinematography of the movie is amazing, Bressack manages to capture the light, dark, sleazy and violent moments all in their own visual and distinctive style which helps draw the audience into the story. 

Unfortunately, the downside for me was Van Damme. I felt Van Damme was miscast in the role. His chemistry with love interest Kristanna Loken was awkward to watch and the fight scenes weren’t great, Van Damme throws a hit and then waits for the guy to hit back and so forth. While action movies and fight scenes have moved on from the 90’s, it feels like Van Damme just can’t adapt to the latest style of action. This role would have been perfect for the likes of Adkins or even Mel Gibson would have nailed the role. Don’t get me wrong, I own every Van Damme movie and I am a fan but I would rather see him take a back seat from the action centric-roles. 

Verdict

On a whole, the story, cinematography and mood of the movie are worth watching. Bressack is a talented director who has managed to work with some Hollywood action greats such as Bruce Willis, Seagal, Van Damme and Mel Gibson. My only gripe was as mentioned. Bressack has a gift for delivering an artistic film and this should be the selling point here as he does deliver a dark, noir film that tells a great story. 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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