Review: ‘The Eagle Path’

Van Damme is back yet again, this time on both sides of the camera as well as in the editing suite.

Following his butt-kicking self-confession in “JCVD,” Van Damme is back yet again, this time on both sides of the camera as well as in the editing suite (where he’s tripping out a la Godard) in psycho-actioner “The Eagle Path.” For a good hour, the pic plays like a forgettable ’80s thriller with the “Bloodsport” star saving a hooker from a horde of Thai thugs. But things take a wild turn in the closing reels, which combine gory shootouts with Freudian-themed montages that feature JCVD trying to outrival JLG, resulting in a DTV item that will interest only diehard fans.

There’s something earnestly off-the-wall in this first directorial effort from the 49-year-old Belgian. Both a throwaway revenge pic and an artsy unveiling of inner traumas, “The Eagle Path” feels as if Van Damme can’t shake his roots in B-grade combat films and is doing his ultimate fighting best to remake them as a European auteur. What results is borderline unwatchable, even if the star puts his all into the role of Frenchie, a Vietnam vet overcome by memories of an abusive father. Apart from the Soviet-style editing, tech is shoot-’em-up standard.

The Eagle Path


A Rodin Entertainment production. (International sales: Rodin Ent., Julian, Calif.) Produced by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Eugene Van Varenberg. Executive producer, Katherine Brayton. Directed, written, edited by Jean-Claude Van Damme.


Camera (color, widescreen), Douglas Milsome; music, Thraithep Wongpaiboon; production designer, Steve Spence. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 13, 2010. Running time: 108 MIN.


Jean-Claude Van Damme, Claudia Bassols, John Colton, Josef Cannon, Chuck DiMaria, Adam Karst, Cal Rein.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety