Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Apparently you haven't truly received your Action Hero Stripes until you've saved a defenseless little girl, and while Jean Claude Van Damme has kicked much ass and saved many a damsel in distress in his lengthy, albeit erratic film career, he finally gets to do what Denzel, Seagal, Liam, Staham, Bin Won, Reno and a few others I can't think of have done… and this is save a defenseless little girl from an unfortunate end by bad people.  Even though his character has no real connection to this little girl other than she's the next job, but whaddayagonnado.  The name of the movie is '6 Bullets' which has little or nothing to do with this movie because JCVD uses way more than six bullets to send his enemies straight to hell.  Way more.

Samson Gaul (Van Damme) is the toughest, most unforgiving retriever of stolen children ever and on this day he has rescued a little boy stolen into prostitution.  Samson Gaul also likes to watch stuff blow up real good and when he blew up these evil child peddlers place of operation, he forgot about the other little kids in the joint, and now Samson Gaul is sad.

A few months later we are introduced to ultimate fighter Andrew Fayden (Joe Flannigan) who is in Moldavia with his shrew of a wife Monica (Anna-Louise Plowman) and his cute as a button fourteen year old daughter Becky (Charlotte Beaumont).  Stuff happens in between, but to cut to the chase, Becky gets herself Taken.

Andrew and Monica need to get their daughter back and they get word that the toughest, most unforgiving Child Retriever on the planet just happens to run a butcher shop down the street so they ask him to step in.  Unfortunately Samson
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is all damaged and stuff, which we know because burnt up dead girls are always standing around his butcher shop staring at his miserable ass, and as such if it's not at the bottom of a vodka bottle, he's not interested in retrieving it.  Eventually, however, his son Selwyn (Kristopher Van Varenburg) shames his old man into taking the gig.  Selwyn, we know, works at the embassy.  What we don't know is what he does at this embassy, but he's one of those valuable characters in movies who knows how to use a computer real good and thus can make things happen.

Now Samson is on the job and that's bad news for a lot Eastern European bad guys.  Horrible news for these cats.  Trouble is that Samson being on the job might not be the best news for little Becky either because Samson is a little reckless in the way he goes about his business.  I'm just saying is all.  But either way it goes, you can best bet that hordes of mindless, faceless Eastern European henchman are going to pay dearly.

Allrightythen… so '6 Bullets' was directed by Ernie Barbarash, who also took care of JCVD along with Scott Adkins in his previous action epic 'Assassination Games' and the both movies come off about the same, that being entertaining if not flawed cinematic action fests.  JCVD, fresh off his outright theft of 'The Expendable 2' where he was privileged to play the heavy, was solid in this as well.  As we've pointed out before, Jean Claude might not be the best actor of our legion of Straight to DVD Action Heroes, but he does take the most chances with the roles he's given and we appreciate him for this.  In fact, with the exception of our villains, all of the acting performances in this film were above board.  Joe Flannigan as an aging MMA fighter I'm not too sure about, no matter how many tattoos they put on my man, but Van Damme's kids Kristopher Van Verenbererg and Bianca Van Varenberg put in good work, and Anna-Louise Plowman was convincing as the concerned, bitchy mom.  I did enjoy the one scene when Samson passed her a gun, which she automatically knew how to handle because 'her dad was army'.  My dad was army too, so does this mean I can genetically disassemble, reassemble, cock, load and shoot a gun even though I've never touched one before?  I'm gonna buy one and find out if this is true.  How exciting!

However, while '6 Bullets' was an okay-fine action movie, I think it would've been even better if it had some better villains.  Say like Van Damme in 'The Expendables 2'.  Making your villains kidnappers of children who sell them into prostitution and then kill them when they are done with them is about as bad as it gets by description, but the actual actors still need to sell us on the fact that they are reprehensible, which would've gotten the audience really motivated into seeing them die some horrible deaths, and that just didn't happen here.  These villains were about as convincing as Boris and Natasha from those Bullwinkle cartoons with their cartoonish levels of badness, thus we didn't get nearly as much joy we should've gotten out of Van Damme mowing down hordes of faceless Eastern European henchman lackeys.  I mean it was enjoyable and all, just not as enjoyable if we really hated these villains.

But '6 Bullets' is a functional, solid Van Damme vehicle that gets the action job done leanly and efficiently.  There's always room for improvement in these movies it seems, but this one is still better than most.
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