Enemies Closer Screen 7 articles

Enemies Closer


Enemies Closer Poster
  • The title is symptomatic of a screenplay that keeps moral ambiguity at bay while tritely regurgitating familiar genre tropes and having its characters speak tirelessly and inexplicably in quips. JCVD may not say it best, but he does say it aptly, when his manically cartoonish baddie caps one murder with the assertion that "shit happens."

  • Though Enemies Closer is refreshing in its minimal aspirations and lack of self-seriousness, one might still leave the film wishing for some better-composed action... Still, at least there’s Van Damme, appearing more youthfully agile than ever despite having at least 20-odd years on most of the actors surrounding him. Dyed-in-the-wool JCVD acolytes may be gratified to know that there is still genuine excitement left in seeing this distinctive action star perform.

  • [Van Damme's] work as the villain in "Enemies Closer" is the only reason to see this film—unless you're also a devotee of Hyams' son John, who edited the picture and has carved out his own notable career as an action stylist... At times his work here suggests the action star version of a late-period Marlon Brando performance, wherein the performer's evident inability to give a damn got folded into the character, making him seem more special than he might have otherwise.

  • This don’t add too much but it’s a very solid no frills genre exercise. There is a curious tension between the goofy elements... especially Van Damme hamming it up gloriously as the bad guy (he seems to be molding his performance on Travolta’s mid 90’s John Woo bad guys only he is a couple of notes higher if such a thing is possible) and Peter Hyams’ very workman like direction that treats the absurdities fairly straight and keep it a pretty tight fast moving 80 minutes.

  • Its 53-year-old star [Van Damme] still proves surprisingly agile and quick on — and with — his feet. Despite having helmed lots of subpar material over the years, Hyams (“Outland,” “The Star Chamber”) was always adept at crafting a solid action sequence, and proves he can still do so here, with a relieved minimum of swooshing pans and rapid-fire cutting.

  • The younger Hyams’ Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning betrayed a noticeable David Lynch influence; at times, it played like a Lost Highway for the action-buff set. Similarly, Enemies Closer finds Hyams senior and his screenwriters, Eric and James Bromberg, channeling Lynch and Mark Frost’s TV series Twin Peaks, mixing bizarro characterizations and woodland intrigue with wholesome national imagery.

  • Its fight sequences are muscular and intuitive, with heavy emphasis on everyday items (CDs, tree branches, what have you) as implements of violence; gunfights are rare, and the setting -- a small island near the U.S.-Canadian border that's all but uninhabited at night -- lends itself well to such inventive means of offing one's opponents. It also enlivens the proceedings with a barebones, even survivalist vibe.

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