Let´s go back to a magical time in cinemas, when action films still made an impact. Let´s travel back to the year of 1992, when director Roland Emmerich released his action film Universal Soldier. This was a unique film in many ways, and the casting was perfect. Who would not want to see legendary action movie stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren fight against each other as deadly soldiers ? Universal Soldier stood out, from the ordinary action film for many reasons. This film is a mixture of science fiction influences, combined with war combat messages. What happens when you realise that the military have taken advantage of you, and you are actually brought back to life as a super soldier ? I have to say that both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren made their characters fit with the story, and their action scenes also worked very well. Director Roland Emmerich managed to balance pure action scenes with sci fi elements really well. If you have not seen this film, you are in serious trouble. You see, this is one of those films you need to see, to learn about quality films. Let´s not even talk about the sequel from 1999 ( it is beyond awful ). Thankfully director John Hyams managed to do things right again with the next sequel Universal Soldier: Regeneration, released in 2009. A different approach on the franchise of Universal Soldier, but you could tell that they tried to bring the essence of the first film. Then in 2012, we got another sequel called Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, the best sequel so far in the Universal Soldier franchise. Epic battle scenes, lots of gore and blood, and Scott Adkins was also added to the cast ( really good idea ). Van Damme and Dolph have continued releasing films on their own, and they seem to keep themselves busy these days. I always try and check out their latest DVD releases, whenever i can. For some time now, i heard about them both returning together in a new film called Black Water. When the trailer hit online, i was happy. It was so good to see these legends work together again. I got a chance to see Black Water this week, hoping it would make my week perfect. Do we have a Van Damme and Dolph classic in our hands, or is it time for them to step down and let a younger generation take over the B movie industry ?
Wheeler ( Jean-Claude Van Damme ) wakes up locked up down in a submarine. He can hear the voice of another man locked up named Marco ( Dolph Lundgren ) Wheeler begins to remember what happened, before he woke up inside this submarine. Wheeler was a deep cover operative, until he was imprisoned in a CIA black site on a submarine. Wheeler needs to find a way out, but so deep down in the ocean inside a submarine, all he can do at this point is try and survive.
It is not hard to guess what Black Water is, once you have seen the poster. This is an action film, on board a submarine. Imagine another version of the Stallone film Escape Plan, and you have Black Water. Now, i will say that Escape Plan is a better action movie than Black Water. But if you are a fan of Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, i have a feeling you will enjoy this film ( for the most part ). It becomes very clear that Van Damme and Dolph is the biggest reason to why you want to see this film. We have seen them do movies together before, and it works this time around as well. Their characters may not be the strongest, but it is the action scenes where they work best. Not a lot of fighting really, it is more about shooting as much as possible. The plot is very thin, so you can´t expect any big surprises along the way. The most positive detail about this film is the charming acting from Dolph Lundgren. When he starts to joke, you have a good time. He knows how to switch from being serious, to be funny. Van Damme use the same facial expression he always does, and that´s fine. In a film like this, you just want to see Van Damme and Dolph clean up, and shoot down 60 people. Are there any details that could have been improved ? I would have liked to see Van Damme do some special kicks in here, since it feels nostalgic to see him deliver those wonderful moves. We do get a little bit of that, except here it is very small scaled. I realise that he might have tried to do something else with his character, but nostalgia is always welcome. The female character Cassie Taylor played by actor Jasmine Walz is not very effective in a film like this. I would have liked to see her more rough, and more furious. Her screen time does not leave that much impact. Director Pasha Patriki have directed a lot of short films, as well as full feature films. I have not seen any of his previous work, so i am judging this film on its own through his director technique. He clearly set out to do an action film, that is made for B movie lovers. That includes bad dialogue, bad acting and lots of bullets. If you like these things, then Black Water will probably go in your taste. Even if i have a couple of issues with this film, i always enjoy seeing Van Damme and Dolph doing movies together. An action film that works with some beers and snacks, how about that ?