Saturday, May 2, 2015

Film Review: 6 Bullets (2012)

6 Bullets (Review)
United States/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

" the very least, 6 Bullets passes as a good action film, especially if you're a fan of Van Damme."

When their daughter is abducted in abroad, Andrew (Joe Flanigan) and Monica Fayden (Anna-Louise Plowman) hire mercenary Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to find her...

6 Bullets is a fairly straightforward action film. The story focuses on Andrew, Monica, and Gaul as they search for the abducted child. Gaul is initially reluctant to aid in the search due to being haunted by the previous lives he failed to save. However, in order to redeem himself, Gaul returns in full force and wrecks havoc among the human trafficking underworld. There are some unintentionally comical scenes and some predictable plot points, but it's generally a decent story. The climax was action-packed and the ending was good.

I enjoyed 6 Bullets. It's far from perfect, but it's an enjoyable action film. The story deals with human trafficking, specifically the kidnapping of children, so it does get bleak at times. It balances some of its darker moments with some strong action scenes, though. Although he's not in his top-form, Van Damme is still nimble enough for some fluid and violent action scenes. There are also plenty of explosions and gunfights.

Despite the interesting story, it does suffer from clich├ęs and plot contrivances. There are a few moments where I actually chuckled from the unintentional humor. There is, not one, but two scenes where Andrew mistakes his daughter for someone else. Also, Andrew has never used a gun before, but he somehow manages to use a gun like a pro a few scenes later. Really? These sort of scenes break up the flow and immersion of the film. It's also a little on the lengthy side for what we get.

Some of the acting also hinders the experience. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Jean-Claude Van Damme, hate it or love it. Personally, although he can be wooden at times, I like Van Damme. Joe Flanigan is okay. Anna-Louise Plowman nails it at times, but she also fumbles a bit. Most of the bad acting comes from the supporting cast, and, unfortunately, they stick out like a sore thumb. Otherwise, I'd say the film is technically standard. It's shot well enough and the music is good for the tone of the film. Director Ernie Barbarash crafts some great action scenes and the story is decent. The direction isn't perfect, but it's not terrible, either. I'd watch more from Barbarash.

Overall, 6 Bullets is a good action film. Although predictable and contrived, the story kept my interest. It is a bit longwinded, but it offers some great action scenes and some surprisingly dark moments. Some of the mediocre acting and sloppy writing stop the film from reaching its dramatic potential, though. It could obviously be more emotionally effective, but, at the very least, 6 Bullets passes as a good action film, especially if you're a fan of Van Damme.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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