Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is an ex-mercenary who can find pretty much anyone anywhere. He’s known for finding missing children, and has been doing it successfully for many years, until one operation, when it all goes wrong, and although Gaul manages to save a young boy from a slave ring, he also accidentally kills two other young girls.
The police who is aware of Gaul’s activities, is not used to such collateral damages, and frustration forces Gaul to get away from his job, and become a simple salesman in a meat shop. Haunted by the visions of the dead children, Gaul is rarely sober, at this point not caring too much for his future, that seems rather bleak.
Enter Andrew Fayden (Joe Flanigan) – a former MMA fighter, that comes to Moldova (yes, that is where the action takes place) with his family, looking for a comeback into the ring. His 14-year old daughter Becky (Charlotte Beaumont) is soon kidnapped by Amalia (Bianca Bree), and is about to get sold for big money to some local crime figures.
At first, Fayden and his wife try police for help, yet when their case starts to drag, they are advised by an inside man from the U.S. embassy to ask Samson Gaul for help, as he is their only hope. So, Gaul will have to get back to doing what he does best, at the same time fighting his demons, and preparing himself for the much bigger picture of child trafficking.
Prior to the release of “6 Bullets”, there was not much to expect – the usual cheap Van Damme straight to DVD action movie. This might have turned out so, yet “6 Bullets” actually has a lot more that can be discussed.
Despite having a budget of around $10 million, and running for almost two hours, “6 Bullets” is not a straight-up action film, as there’s just as much talking as there’s action. Van Damme does not do a lot of martial arts action in the film, yet when he does – it looks quite good, director Ernie Barbarash worked with Van Damme before, so he knows how to set up a fight scene correctly.
Although many would rather see Van Damme beat up people on screen than act, I actually enjoy seeing him expressing some sort of emotions, even if the scene is cheesy. “6 Bullets” has a few of those scenes, and Van Damme’s acting doesn’t irritate.
The cast is good, although many express negativity towards Van Damme’s children – son Christopher Van Varenberg (plays the insider of the U.S embassy here, and Gaul’s son), and Bianca Bree (plays villain, Amalia), who seem to be appearing in every film their father makes.
While I would say that this is a good strategy to get enrolled into the moviebiz, and get some roles under Van Damme’s shoulder, soon both Christoper and Bianca will have to go further, if they consider acting seriously, not relying on good looks only.
Joe Flanigan adds a good on-screen support for Van Damme, and despite it is a bit hard to imagine him as an ex MMA fighter, “6 Bullets” is definitely a step-up for him, since the cheesy “Ferocious Planet”.
The film has a couple of major flaws, and those are mainly about the story. Despite the fact that film has been shot in Romania, on-screen it is presented as Moldova’s capital of Chisinau (former Kishinev), where the action takes place.
The plot makes us believe that Van Damme’s Gaul is only rescuing children within the limits of the city, which is also full of criminals, as the story suggests. It seems like it wouldn’t have taken long for the enemies to track down Gaul, since they all live in one city.
Same can be said of the police that is aware of Gaul, and aware of the amount of criminal activity in the city, yet everybody behave like they’re living in Los Angeles. The point is – the action and the story presented in the film are just too big to be put within Moldova’s capital.
If you can watch through that – the film is quite good, despite having this cheap feel to it. For Van Damme fans this is above the usual STV action film, for others it will do just fine for one late night entertainment. Check out the trailer below.
BZFILM SCALE: 5/10
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