The Last Mercenary on Netflix: a JCVD ​​Festival! [critique]

The self-deprecating game of Jean-Claude Van Damme constitutes the only real interest of this efficient but lazy entertainment.

Let’s start with the intrigue, just to evacuate it as it is only a pure pretext here. It features Richard Brumère, legend of the French secret services under the nickname La Brume. More than 25 years ago, La Brume had chosen to hang up by taking himself to negotiate for his hidden son, Archibald (who will, all these years, think he abandoned him) an immunity and a monthly annuity for life. But now this immunity is lifted and that, following an identity theft, Archibald finds himself in danger of death, caught in the heart of a mafia operation involving high French dignitaries and which exceeds him. So La Brume will come back into the game, handing out lots of lattes and trying to bond with this son who doesn’t want to hear from him.

A feeling of déjà vu? Yes, but whatever. In front of or behind the camera, no one seems there to tell a story. The heart of the film and its interest lie elsewhere. In his real subject: Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, that is to say the right line of JCVD and Lukas. Like Mabrouk El Mechri and Julien Leclercq, we imagine that its director David Charhon grew up with Van Damme and fulfills an incredible dream by directing one of the idols of his adolescence. Van Damme lends himself to the game with a pleasing self-mockery. Always on the go physically, he enjoys playing with his story and his image in an atmosphere reminiscent of Bébel’s films of the 80s and where we have fun quoting as well My son, my fight by Daniel Balavoine that the Scarface by Brian De Palma. Recurring trend at Netflix, everything here is far too long and deserves a good tightening. The twists and turns go by because we have to move the plot forward. The characters are reduced to caricatures. But just like their performers – a heterogeneous cast mixing Alban Ivanov, Eric Judor, Patrick Timsit, Miou-Miou, Valérie Kaprisky and newcomers Samir Decazza and Assa Sylla – we are at the show. A JCVD ​​one man show with no other ambition than to entertain. Goal achieved. For everything else, we’ll come back.

By David Charhon. With Jean-Claude Van Damme, Samir Decazza, Alban Ivanov… Duration: 1h52. Available on Netflix.

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