Matthew Lickona noon, April 29
Jean-Claude van Damme tries out his third Hong Kong director, Tsui Hark, after John Woo (Hard Target) and Ringo Lam (Maximum Risk). He gets tirelessly hard work out of the man (and one outstanding shot, a closeup of van Damme's jiggling eyes as he is running at full tilt), but no sense of proportion and pacing, no sense of the moment. Dennis Rodman, professional basketball player and rebounder nonpareil, is given a chance to show off his dramatic and comedic capabilities as the hero's mercenary ally ("I don't play with the bad boys anymore": one in a steady drip of inside jokes), and is catapulted into contention for any future role that calls for a six-foot-nine-inch African-American with pierced ears and nose, radioactive-fungus hair, and snuffly enunciation. Mickey Rourke, Paul Freeman. 1997.