Mar 022014

Enemies Closer often times can be one of those so bad it’s good flicks but only when Van Damme and his striking hairdo is on camera and appearing to have been in a new restaurant. Other than that, the film is mostly forgettable that no doubt will find a home on USA Network.




Enemies Closer

Genre(s): Thriller, Action
Lionsgate | R – 84 min. – $24.99 | March 11, 2014


Directed by:
Peter Hyams
Writer(s): Eric Bromberg & James Bromberg (written by)
Cast: Jean Claude Van Damme, Tom Everett Scott, Orlando Jones, Linzey Cocker

Commentary, Featurette, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Disc Size: 19.2 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE – 2.5/5

Along with RoboCop and Endless Love, the 1980s is not only making a comeback with remakes but also in the script arena and demonstrated in the action-thriller Enemies Closer, a direct-to-video flick that makes you cringe seeing Van Damme aging not so gracefully and also reminding you Orlando Jones is still around after a period in the early 2000s where he was co-starring in a numerous amount of movies as Hollywood thought they found their new Chris Tucker (who himself has been MIA outside of Silver Linings Playbook). Anyway, add in Tom Everett Scott and you’ve got one heck of a film going and honestly, acknowledging its numerous faults, this isn’t that bad of a flick.

The story opens on a plane crashing into a lake which is kind of symbolic for this movie followed by the title card. Henry (TOM EVERETT SCOTT) is a forest ranger spending his days leading tours and being a buzzkill to others who want to hike and drink alcohol. There’s more to Henry as we discover later, though he’s a jovial soul helping others including checking in on the only other inhabitant in the forest of a cranky hermit.

Meanwhile, we are then taken to an ICE offices covering the Canadian border where apparently the U.S. sends their dullest and dumbest to work. When they track the downed plane seen in the opening, they know drugs must be involved as it was traveling at a low altitude. When they get a knock at the door these numb nuts are surprised to find the Canadian Mounties outside offering to help in the search, though sharp audience members will be keen that these Mounties very well may be phonies, only confirmed when their leader, Xander (JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME), enters and is allowed to close the door behind him. After being rudely denied again the offer for help, Xander quickly dismantles the idiots one by one.

Side note about Van Damme, don’t be drinking when he appears because you’ll likely spit it out your nose at how ridiculous he looks with hair screaming at him to just go bald already; you’re not fooling anyone!

But I digress, Henry rescues a young woman (LINZEY COCKER) after her leg is trapped under a rock and there appears to be a spark between the two of them and they agree to have dinner later that night. However, not everything will go as planned as Henry is being stalked by a man named Clay (ORLANDO JONES) who, when he confronts Henry, we find out is the brother of a fellow special forces soldier serving under Henry’s old unit and who was killed in the line of duty; now Clay blames Henry for his brother’s death and wants to exact revenge.

These two stories collide of course when, as Clay takes Henry out to kill him, come in contact with Xander’s crew on a boat and when Henry and Clay are fired upon, Clay returns the favor killing Xander’s much needed diver who was to go in and retrieve the drugs from the submerged plane. Well, not leaving anything to chance, Xander seems to know a lot about Henry and knows his military skills which included deep diving and now the race is on to track him down. In order to survive, Henry and Clay decide it best to join forces in order to elude the pursuiters and survive the night.

I can put Enemies Closer in one simple sentence: it’s not a very good movie, plain and simple. That being said, whenever Van Damme is onscreen, it’s a whole hell lot of fun seeing the man basically go all out with his outlandish performance, not to mention ridiculous hair style, and by god, I loved every bit of it. When we go outside of his scenes, it does get bogged down a bit although I will give credit to both Tom Everett Scott and even Orlando Jones for turning in respectable performances especially considering the script, by Eric and James Bromberg (both making their debuts as feature scriptwriters), is at best half baked but good enough I suppose to keep one’s attention through the short 75-minute running time.

Sufficiently directed by Peter Hyams (Timecop, Sudden Death), Enemies Closer might be worth a look some time down the road but for now, pass it on by as there are plenty of other choices in both the rental and retail market.


This release comes with a matted slip cover. Inside the case is a code for the UltraViolet digital copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Peter Hyams provides a low key but relatively informative track talking about the project, working with Van Damme and other elements about the story and the actual filming.

A Closer Look: Making Enemies Closer (7:31; HD) is a standard behind-the-scenes featurette with on-set/on-location sound bites with the crew and main cast.

PreviewsThe Expendables 2, Escape Plan, Dredd

VIDEO – 4.25/5

Lionsgate unleashes Enemies Closer onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a respectable, albeit not breathtaking, 1080p high-definition transfer. The detail levels are mostly good and the colors appear to be nicely balanced for the daylight scenes. The darker scenes also appear to be pretty good never showing up any artifacting or pixilation.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t as high-powered as I expected but its serviceable enough between the quieter dialogue scenes and when the action picks up, so does the track giving a decent oomph to an otherwise standard lossless track.

OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Enemies Closer often times can be one of those so bad it’s good flicks but only when Van Damme and his striking hairdo is on camera and appearing to have been in a new restaurant. Other than that, the film is mostly forgettable that no doubt will find a home on USA Network. The Blu-ray offers limited bonus material but the audio and video transfers are apparently both good enough.


 The Movieman
Published: 03/02/2014

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