Every Scott Adkins & Jean-Claude Van Damme Movie, Ranked

Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme have appeared in 4 movies collectively, taking part in each enemies and allies – we rank them from worst to finest.

How do Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s collaborations rank, worst to finest? Within the late ’80s and far of the ’90s, Van Damme was a family title who was affectionately nicknamed “The Muscle groups from Brussels.” Together with his jaw-dropping flexibility and balletic expertise in martial arts, Van Damme headlined such action hits as Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Exhausting Goal, and Timecop. Although his profession waned towards the tip of the ’90s, Van Damme re-emerged within the 2000s as a weathered action movie veteran, profitable popularity of the semi auto-biographical JCVD in 2008 and transitioning right into a mentor function within the rebooted Kickboxer franchise.
Round that point, there was a brand new child on the block making a reputation for himself: Scott Adkins. Rising up a fan of Van Damme, the British-born martial artist would primarily turn out to be his idol’s successor with hits just like the Undisputed sequence and the Ninja movies, together with villainous turns in movies like Wolf Warrior, Physician Unusual, and Ip Man 4: The Finale. Adkins additionally presently hosts the YouTube sequence The Artwork of Motion, that includes interviews with a lot of his contemporaries in action movies like Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Alain Moussi, and Iko Uwais.
Since Adkins’ star has risen, he and Van Damme have collaborated on 4 movies thus far, which alternately solid them as enemies, allies, or enemies-turned-allies. Their later work collectively, specifically, would show to be among the finest in each of their filmographies, particularly the newest two. Listed here are Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s movies ranked, from worst to finest.

The second Adkins-Van Damme movie marked their first actual group up in 2011’s Assassination Video games. Van Damme performs murderer Vincent Brazil, who takes up a contract for the lifetime of crime boss Polo Yakur, performed by Ivan Kaye. Brazil finds an unlikely frenemy in Scott Adkins’ Roland Flint, a former murderer who comes out of retirement to take up the contract on Yakur, who left Flint’s spouse Anna (performed by Van Damme’s daughter, Bianca Bree) in a coma. Made underneath the working title of Weapon, the retitling to Assassination Video games is becoming, because the movie is extra of an underworld crime thriller than an action thriller. By this level in his profession, Van Damme had reinvented himself as grizzled Clint Eastwood sort, whereas Adkins was nonetheless in his very early days of mainstream recognition, so pairing them in an murderer movie as two generations of contract killers in a considerably meta-commentary on their respective careers made sense.
It have to be said upfront that one’s expectations have to be correctly calibrated for Assassination Video games as extra of a cat-and-mouse recreation than a team-up of two kicking machines. With a handful of action scenes, together with a confrontation between Brazil and Flint that’s over in a flash, and a usually sluggish tempo, Assassination Video games isn’t to the Adkins-Van Damme library what 2007’s Battle was for Jet Li and Jason Statham’s collaborations. Nonetheless, Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme stretch their legs as rivals turned allies and clearly start to settle right into a groove of being an action movie duo. Assassination Video games seemingly gained’t high anybody’s record of Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme team-ups, however they nonetheless confirmed of their dedicated portrayals of Flint and Brazil that they had a passing-of-the-torch chemistry

Scott Adkins’ third movie with straight-to-DVD action maven Isaac Florentine was Van Damme’s first, and thus far solely, collaboration with Florentine. Whereas not something Earth-shattering, it nonetheless kicked off the idea of Adkins-Van Damme double-headers. Van Damme portrays former New Orleans cop Jack Robideaux, who joins america Southern Border Patrol and finds himself dealing with off with drug smugglers, led by Stephen Lord’s Benjamin Meyers, with Adkins taking part in his enforcer Karp. Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins had each simply made a major blip on the radar with Undisputed 2: Final Man Standing the 12 months earlier than, and whereas Border Patrol doesn’t rise to the identical heights, it nonetheless confirmed how a lot they might do with a fraction of the budgets of theatrical releases. Van Damme was first beginning to get some mileage out of his new long-in-the-tooth old-timer persona, and he embodies that effectively in Border Patrol as a person who goes out of his approach to keep away from bar fights however ends them swiftly when that’s not an possibility.
The action scenes are first rate throughout, and the primary Scott Adkins versus Jean-Claude Van Damme matchup is the explanation to pop on Border Patrol, even when it’s ostensibly significantly shorter than it was initially meant to be and ends considerably bluntly. It additionally exhibits a pleasant distinction of types, with Van Damme extra grounded and direct towards Adkins’ airborne flashiness. Adkins and Florentine went onto larger and higher issues with the Ninja and Undisputed sequence, whereas Adkins himself attained an increasing number of mainstream recognition within the ensuing years. The Shepherd: Border Patrol confirmed he and Van Damme had potential as on-screen enemies or as allies, one thing each knew to construct upon a couple of years down the street.

With chatter of a fourth installment of The Expendables franchise periodically rising, The Expendables 2 stays the sequence’ excessive level. Each Adkins and Van Damme declined presents for the primary movies (in Adkins’ case owing to his involvement with Undisputed 3: Redemption), however for the second go-around round, they’re readily available because the villainous arms sellers the Expendables face off with. Recruited for a mission by Bruce Willis’ mysterious CIA operative Mr. Church, the Expendables discover themselves battling the sinister Jean Vilain, performed by Van Damme, to forestall him from promoting a cache of plutonium on the black market. The crew additionally needs revenge for Vilain’s homicide of their latest recruit, Billy the Child, performed by Liam Hemsworth. As Van Damme’s character title shows, The Expendables 2 is a way more self-aware outing than its predecessor. References and Easter eggs concerning the solid’s action movie backgrounds and biographies abound, from Dolph Lundgren’s chemical engineering diploma to a Chuck Norris Truth showing within the intro of his solo mercenary Booker. At one level, Arnold Schwarzengger’s Trench even feedback “Who’s subsequent? Rambo?” when Norris pops up subsequent to him.
Adkins is a little more within the background as Vilain’s right-hand man Hector, however he nonetheless makes an affect as a bloodthirsty second-in-command, primarily utilizing his Undisputed Boyka voice in a refined reference to his personal physique of labor. The Expendables 2 was additionally Van Damme’s first extensive theatrical launch in over a decade, following the restricted theatrical run of JCVD in 2008, and he sinks his enamel within the smirking taunts of Vilain in considered one of his few true villain roles. Jet Li’s function as Yin Yang was much more minor (although his kitchen smackdown admittedly steals the movie’s opening sequence) leaving Adkins and Van Damme to deal with the larger martial arts fights of the movie. These embrace Hector’s battle with Jason Statham’s Lee Christmas beside whirring helicopter blades and Vilain’s remaining showdown with Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross. As an action star ensemble rodeo and the third pairing of Adkins and Van Damme, The Expendables 2 is plenty of enjoyable with nice action scenes and extra willingness to poke enjoyable at itself than the primary.

The trajectory the Common Soldier sequence has undergone has been without delay puzzling, fascinating, and fairly a journey to expertise, and the truth that 2012’s Common Soldier: Day of Reckoning is its crowning achievement is an all-time fluke of nature. The movie sees Adkins taking part in a person named John, who awakens to witness his household being murdered by former UniSol Luc Devereaux, performed by Van Damme. John units about in search of revenge, along with his shattered reminiscences step by step revealing that he hasn’t gotten the entire story. Going from Common Soldier in 1992, two made-for-TV sequels within the ’90s, to Common Soldier: The Return in 1999, 2010’s straight-to-DVD sequel Common Soldier: Regeneration, which retconned every thing however the authentic, introduced the franchise to heights it had by no means seen earlier than, and someway, director John Hyams managed to high it with Day of Reckoning. Buying and selling the franchise’s “G.I. Joe meets Terminator” trappings for an virtually arthouse horror movie vibe, Day of Reckoning is a surreal, nightmarish journey down the rabbit gap of John’s thoughts. The UniSols are offered as villains forming a separatist group to overthrow the U.S. authorities just for their actual motivations to turn out to be clearer as John learns extra about his laboratory origins, whereas Dolph Lundgren additionally returns as Sgt. Andrew Scott.
Whereas paced as a sluggish, simmering psychological thriller, the action scenes are simply one of the best of the Common Soldier franchise together with being among the most visceral and palpable n the respective careers of Adkins, Van Damme, and Lundgren. It’s over midway into the movie earlier than the primary correct smackdown arrives with John and the pursuing UniSol Magnus, performed by MMA fighter Andrei Arlovksi (reprising his function from Regeneration), and it’s a textbook instance of holding again a payoff till simply the appropriate second with a sporting items retailer battle worthy of The Raid 2. As John’s vendetta uncovers extra about the place he and the UniSols match into the story, the ultimate act turns right into a bunker battle of laboratory-enhanced troopers, with John slashing knives with Andrew Scott and going head-to-head with Devereaux, the 2 always disarming a machete from the opposite to see-saw the stakes backwards and forwards. The truth that Adkins filmed it whereas working round a knee harm is one thing one would by no means guess with out wanting on the Blu-ray making-of featurette. Among the many movies Scott Adkins and Jean-Claude Van Damme have made collectively, Common Soldier: Day of Reckoning sits comfortably on the high as true passing of the torch from one action star to a different.

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