6 BULLETS (2012)

Director: Ernie Barbarash

Writers: Chad Law, Evan Law

Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Joe Flanigan, Anna-Louise Plowman, Charlotte Beaumont, Steve Nicolson, Uriel Emil Pollack, Louis Dempsey, Mark Lewis...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): R for violence, disturbing images, language and sexual content.

Runtime: 115 minutes

Genres: Action/Crime/Thriller

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

I can't say that I've ever been a fan of actor Jean-Claude Van Damme's movies — or his acting ability, for that matter. I found his role in the movie Blood Sport...tolerable. Just barely. (I found other actors in that movie more appealing or I wouldn't have watched the movie, to be honest.) Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find Van Damme's acting ability contributed to my enjoyment of 6 Bullets. (The movie gets an extra star from me because Van Damme didn't do his trademark style leg splits technique during any of the fight scenes!)

In 6 Bullets Van Damme portrays an ex-mercenary known for his ability to find missing children who have been snatched and sold to sex trade organizations in Eastern Europe. Not always successful, in the unofficial eyes of the local police, Van Damme's character Samson Gaul is both despised and needed. Gaul retires after doing more harm than good in his last mission. He has resorted to drinking heavily and trying to live with the young faces that haunt him when a new crisis develops. A pretty young American teenager disappears from her hotel while her father is showering. The police can find few clues. The American Embassy recommends that the distaught parents get help from Gaul, who refuses.

Of course he later relents or we wouldn't have a movie.

Initially, I found the missing girl's parents unsympathetic, but the young girl's plight was enough to keep me watching and I'm glad I did. The movie developed into a nice cat and mouse adventure. Just when it appeared that Gaul had successfully tracked down the young American, the bad guys were one step ahead. As the movie progressed, the parents became more and more involved, which both helped and hindered Gaul.

If the idea of a father going after his missing daughter reminds you of the Liam Neeson film Taken, yes, there is a bit of a similarity in the pretty-girl-gone-missing storyline, but the two movies are not all that similar. I found the storyline, action, and acting in 6 Bullets to be much more satisfying than in the movie Taken. I think 6 Bullets works quite well as both a crime thriller and an action movie.

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