A plane crashes close to the U.S/Canada border and it’s up to a park ranger and an unlikely ally to work together to stop a group of mercenaries in the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Enemies Closer. Review right here.
Although there has been a plane crash nearby, park ranger Henry (Tom Everett Scott) continues his job of escorting visitors and checking up only the island’s only other resident – an old man who lives in a cabin. After arranging a date with a woman he has helped, Henry returns to his home when there is a knock at the door. He opens it to find a man who is supposedly lost – Clay (Orlando Jones).
Clay isn’t really lost though, he is looking to get revenge on Henry for abandoning his brother which resulted in his death when they were both in the armed forces. Clay wants to kill Henry and, when he takes him outside to dispose of him, both men run into a gang of mercenaries led by Xander (Van Damme).
Enemies Closer suffers from a disgraceful script
The mercenaries, who are French Canadian, are looking to retrieve the cargo from the plane crash – drugs. They need Henry to dive down to the plane to get the drugs for them and are willing to kill anyone standing in their way – which in turn forces Henry and Clay to work together in order to survive.
The acting for the most part is terrible, save for the three main actors. Jones and Everett Scott are decent while Van Damme plays Xander like a campy pantomime villain that kind of works. Xander is a strict vegan who likes to monologue about the environment whilst killing everyone in a brutal manner.
Jean Claude Van Damme has seen a sort of resurgence in recent years; his performance in JCVD was excellent and he stole the show in The Expendables 2, but agreeing to star in films such as this puts his career back. Even though he is (obviously) looking a lot older, he still has the screen presence and ability to make some great action films. It seems to be a collection of wrong choices that is setting him back.
Enemies Closer is directed by Peter Hyams – which is a surprise. Hyams directed one of Van Damme’s best films in 1994’s Timecop, as well as the Schwarzenegger vehicle End of Days. If you hadn’t looked at the directing credit, you’d have thought that Enemies Closer was made by a debutant.
Let’s hope Jean Claude can return to good action movies after this travesty.
Enemies Closer is a painful watch. A horrible script is acted out rather badly by many of the cast. Even die hard Van Damme fans will find it hard to like it.