Action movie legend and master of the high-risk splits, Jean-Claude Van Damme, is high-kicking his way onto Netflix with the upcoming action-comedy The Last Mercenary. The actor and martial artist is currently shooting the movie in France for the streaming giant, and going by the plot, The Last Mercenary sounds like the perfect vehicle for "The Muscles from Brussels".
In the French-language movie, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a mysterious former secret service agent who must urgently return to France when his estranged son is falsely accused of arms and drug trafficking by the government, following a blunder by an overzealous bureaucrat and a mafia operation. It sounds like exactly the kind of movie that Van Damme would star in, and there ain't nothing wrong with that. The Last Mercenary has a plot that sounds like it was tailor made for the action icon, and should lead to a lot of kicking, punching, delicious one-liners and probably a ridiculous dive away from an explosion or two, as Van Damme tries to save his son from injustice.
Surprisingly, Van Damme has not strayed into the action-comedy genre very often, usually preferring his movies to come with a heavy dose of humorless scowl. So, expect the big kicks and heavy punches to come with a wry smile this time around. "'The Last Mercenary' is an incredibly exciting project and allows me to take on a new genre," said Van Damme. "I've always been a fan of Jean-Paul Belmondo and I hope to take up the torch of action comedy in my own way. David Charhon's script brings all these elements together in a very successful way - a beautiful story with emotion, a lot of action and a lot of humor."
"I'm also very happy to work alongside a new generation of talent such as Alban Ivanov, Assa Sylla and Samir Decazza," Van Damme added. This will also be the first time that the actor has worked with Netflix.
The movie is being directed by David Charhon (On the Other Side of the Tracks, Les naufragés) with a script by Charhon and Ismael Sy Savane (Lascars). Alongside Van Damme, The Last Mercenary stars Alban Ivanov (Lucky, A Very Bad Friend), Assa Sylla (Girlhood, Mortel) and Samir Decazza (Valide). The movie is being produced by Jean-Charles Levy and Nicolas Manuel (Forecast Pictures); Olivier Albou and Laurence Schonberg (Other Angle Pictures); David Charhon, Jakéma Charhon and Eponine Maillet (Mony Films); and Olias Barco, Vlad Riashyn (Apple Tree).
Director David Charhon also spoke about The Last Mercenary, with the filmmaker looking to the action classics of Van Damme's heyday for inspiration. "I want to return to the great tradition of action films of the '80s and '90s," he said, "those cult films we all love where the heroes were out of the ordinary, the stunts were all more impressive and truer than life, and all punctuated with humour. Only Jean-Claude could embody this unparalleled golden age of cinema."
Following a stream of hit action movies like Extraction and The Old Guard, The Last Mercenary could well prove to be another success for Netflix. This comes to us courtesy of Variety.