Wake Of Death (2004)- Kaleidoscope – Special Edition Release Review (2021) @JCVD

Directed By: Philippe Martinez

Starring: Jean-Claude van Damme,Simon Yam, Lisa King, Valerie Tian, Tony Schiena

Synopsis: Ex-mob enforcer Ben Archer (Van Damme) is ready to give up his life of crime and settle down to family life. But when his wife, Cynthia, attempts to help a Chinese refugee girl and brings her into their home, a new war is inadvertently triggered. Discovering his wife brutally murdered and their son missing without a trace, Ben joins forces with his old underworld friends once again, embarking on a bloody vendetta to punish the Chinese Triad gang responsible…

Review: Personally, I am over the moon about this re-release as it’s one of my favourite Van Damme movies. It comes with a badass A3 poster and had an exclusive making of featurette.

Wake Of Death has Van Damme delve into a solid gritty, dark thriller which requires him to dig deep and rely more on acting more than action. Don’t threat action fans as Van Damme still kicks enough ass to satisfy your craving.

It’s safe to say that by this point Van Damme had wanted more than the average run of the mill action movie that he was known for, his previous movie before Wake Of Death, In Hell, was a prime example of Van Damme wanting to show off more of his acting than his action & it’s something he does very well and continues to do to this day, i.e. We Die Young & The Bouncer to name two.

Wake Of Death steers away from the typical Van Damme action fights and opts for a more fast and brutal bone crunching approach, there is nothing flashy about the shootouts and fight scenes – not in bad context – if someone is gonna go toe to toe with Van Damme it’s going to be a hard hit followed by a quick finisher, shootouts are fast and not drawn out. Director Phillipe Martinez really did bring a new revamped Van Damme to our screens.

Wake Of Death has some great highlights there is a car chase which is quite intense, there a a few hand to hand fights which are great but the highlight would be a torture scene which is quite graphic and will make you wince!

On hand as Van Damme’s partner in crime is Tony Schiena who lends his ass kicking ability to Wake Of Death. Personally I think it would have been cool to see more fight scenes featuring Tony.

Overall Wake Of Death is a gritty, dark thriller that showcases Van Damme’s abilities as an actor than action star and I think it helped more people realise he is still worth his weight in the big leagues. His previous effort In Hell and his next movie after Wake Of Death titled Until Death really showcased Van Damme’s ability to lead an ‘acting action movie’.

Final Note: With only 3000 copies available, make sure you have this added to your collection! It’s a must have

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