The Hard Corps
The Hard Corps is a straight-to-video action piece with Jean-Claude Van Damme sparking off his trademark moves as industry-veteran Sheldon Lettich directs. Released in 2006, this title has Van Damme playing Philippe Sauvage, a long-suffering war veteran who becomes bodyguard to an ex-boxer played by Raz Adoti. Their enemy is a merciless gangster whom Van Damme's client helped send to prison. This movie has an ambition that others of its ilk lack and Van Damme proves here that he's lost little of his martial-arts dexterity to time. There are fewer fight scenes than one might expect from the Muscles from Brussels, but the script makes up for this with comedic dialogue and wacky characters. The movie also has less gore and violence for a style that is more natural and easy-to-watch compared to action releases that are needlessly over-the-top. Vivica A. Fox plays the sister to Van Damme's boxer friend for a welcome feminine presence throughout. Her chemistry with the other actors adds spice and highlights the fact that this film was written to be something more than an action one-off.