The last mercenary is an action comedy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and a host of up-and-coming supporting cast of French actors. The film good fun especially if you have grown up watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. David Charhon directs the 2021 French action comedy film. The Last Mercenary was released on Netflix in the second half of 2021.
I have no doubt that at some point some of us started dreaming the actor would be part our family. I would not be surprised to hear that Charhon and Ismael Sy Savane who pen the screenplay, had that in mind. A lot of children who grew up watching ean-Claude Van Damme movies would have sought or seen in him a saviour, a protector, a role model or a father figure. In this movie, someone gets the chance to have him as a father, probably a combination of all those previous aspirations. And with a father-protector like the last mercenary and even the best mercenary comes a plethora of enemies and action.
Jean-Claude Van Damme does not necessarily do all his stunts but he still does the split. Mostly, he got over himself enough to be watched for an hour and 52 minutes with more than a smile. The film manage to suspend our disbelief in a playful manner. The ratio of tribes is great. The ratio of nostalgia is also balanced with the introduction of new faces in the French acting catalogue. The entertainment is there and there are enough opportunities for a heartfelt smile.
The audience and the movie seem to be winking at each other as the inconsistencies unveil. The coincidences are accepted. The spoilt brat is tolerated. After all he did lose his dad even as he gained a father. In addition, grieving can be mind-altering, even dumb one down… But it is almost as if this was an opportunity of revenge over Jean-Claude Van Damme or fathers. It is a shame that it had so few legs on which to stand.
Nassim Si Ahmed is brilliant as the high-on-something, high-energy, even more spoilt brat. Alban Ibanov is my second favourite actor in the movie. He has the fantastic role of busting the prejudice of the fat non-sportive, the naive unintelligent, and the pole dancing non-striping. And he carries them out to perfection. We believe so even though, considering the angles of the camera, he probably was not on the pole. Assa Sylla is radiant and insightful as Dalila although her character’s idea of being a drug dealer to ensure her own future while destroying others’ is a little hmm. The team radiates you a feel-good energy. No one feels too many, too artificially inserted for a minority count or to check an inclusive box.
If you’re a fan of light comedy with diverse ensemble and/or Jean-Claude Van Damme in action and kicking butts or just doing the split, this will do quite nicely. There is no need to expect more but enough is served for such entertainment. I would also recommend it to learn the French language as it is light enough to understand contextually.