Genres are ActionThrillerDr Produced in 2003, USA
Kyle LeBlanc is an American working overseas in Russia. When he hears his wife being attacked over the phone, Kyle rushes home to find that hes too late. The man who killed his wife is found not guilty on lack of evidence. So Kyle takes the law into his own hands, and kills the man to avenge his wifes death. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Russian prison he is sent to is tough, and the warden amuses himself by putting on fights where he fills his pockets with money by betting on the fights. Kyle begins to break and go crazy, so he is forced into these fights because the warden knows he is a sure thing. Kyles cellmate 451 begins to make him think what he fighting for. With that, Kyle knows now he must fight another battle the fight for inner peace. It is the only way he can become the man he once was.
15 May 2013
Well, I must say I've found Van Damme to be quite a disappointment overthepast ten years.He had a very good run with several quite decent films in the 80'ies,topping his career with "Universal Soldier" which, to my mind, is one ofthebest action films still...since then it's been all downhill and 1/10ratingsI'm afraid.When I stumbled across this film I thought "Van Damme back in jail", wow,another ripoff - this time of "Death Warrant", right?Wrong! Actually this movie was not all bad! It is the first film where IseeVan Damme actually acting, big surprise, but it IS actually possible itseems.The story is quite predictable, but still has a lot of good pointers - tomethis COULD be the sign of a new era for Van Damme, maybe he WILL actuallystart making better movies.It does, however, have a training sequence that reminds me alot ofStallone's Rocky films, however I find it to be OK - atleast Van Dammekeepsaway from his old kung-fu wannabe ballet dancing moves, which is by nowmoreridicolous and clicheed than they are good looking.Sadly - I'm a hard judge when it comes to this man, mainly due to earlierletdowns, but I'll give this a 4/10, and it probably deserves a bit more,but I choose to wait and see if the future holds more failed attempts forVan Damme or what else is in store.With that said - I recommend this film if you're into a decent actionfilmmixed with a bit of drama.***MILD SPOILERS***He gets a life sentence for shooting his wifes killer when he is foundnotguilty. NOW, in real life - during the circumstances, wouldn't be havegotten off with a plead of temporary insanity? Just a little mindbarkler...
15 May 2013
Or the bigger question, wtf is he doing in this movie? Maybe the originaltitle of this flick was (What)In Hell (is LT Doing in Russia?) LOLOK OK, this is not a horrible movie, its not great either and recommendedonly for Van Damme fans, and for Russian Mafia fanatics. I am the later.Our hero is imprisoned in the former Soviet Union after his wife is killed,released by the courts, then done in by Van Damme. The prison scenes are veryrealistic, and shows the brutal reality and the corruption that rules thatlife. Soon after being locked up, Van Damme is drafted into the local gladiatorritual and fights his way to the top of the heap while planning his escapewith the help of LT, his Warrior Poet Guru and Life Partner. hahaThe film has an excellent techno/clasical soundtrack, and the action is notobscured by CGI. Its actually pretty well done but I'm still trying to figureout how they spent $17M on this thing, but its worth a watch.
04 May 2013
I was surprised to see this movie and can't believe I hadn't seen it before now.Very good acting on Van Dammes part.Nice to see him take some beatings rather than always handing them out.All in all its seemed like this movie is something that could happen in real life and that aspect made the movie more interesting.
03 May 2013
Van Damme gives a great acting role as well as fighting. I am not talking about splits and spin kicks but niddy griddy street fights. The supporting cast was great as was the plot. I highly recommend this movie to everyone, not just Van Damme fans.
26 April 2013
after bloodsport,which is still the best van damme movie on my list,vandamme made a lot of bad movies since bloodsport.made a good one "suddendeath"..but "in hell",we finally see him in non-martial arts role and adown to earth prison,beat me up role..the only few things that i didn'tlike ,was his hair.everybody got a clean haircut except vandamme,why??i don't know.it was like watching a ultimate fighting payper view.i was waiting the the big matchup between van damme and thebig man (remind me of mel Gibson in mad max 3:beyond thunderdome).noway van damme could have beat him up..but in movies any thing canhappen..lawrence taylor's role was shocking and silent but itwork.midnight express go into extreme in Russia and this movie deliverand makes van damm into a real actor..no Oscar but at least he earn hispaycheck better than seagel
26 April 2013
Post the release of Timecop in 1994, or arguably Sudden Death the yearafter, Jean Claude Van Damme has churned out sub-standard actionersthat even his undemanding fans have struggled to praise. His careerreaching a nadir with the quite dreadful Derailed in 2002. He wasliterally stuck in the kind of straight to DVD hell that Steven Seagalhas been in for the last 15 years. So it was something of a surprise tofind that this 2003 film bucked the trend considerably. Now this is norocket science head scratcher for the action genre fan, it's riddledwith prison movie clichÃ©s and is as unoriginal as it gets. But it findsVan Damme filling out a role with more depth than the standard beefcakehero roles he was doing in his sleep. If this was a shift that hepersonally chose to do after having enough of the "for the money onlyfilms?" I'm not quite sure, but the result is a brutalistic actionpiece that contains possibly his second best performance after thecritically praised JCVD in 2008.The plot is simplicity extreme, Van Damme stars as Kyle LeBlanc, whoalong with his wife is residing in Russia due to work commitments. Hiswife is raped and murdered and Kyle is aghast as the Russian courtsfree the culprit on technicalities and bribery sweeteners. He's nothaving that so promptly guns down the man and gets sent to a hell holeprison for life. Here violence and sexual assault are the order of theday, with the governor happy to put on brutal fights to the deathpurely for his, and his friends, entertainment. Kyle is not a violentman but he's forced to become violent just to survive.Yes it's a pretty formulaic as it sounds, you could run thru about tenprison based movies and find the best bits of them used in here. But itdoes work because of Van Damme's character. He's a good man thrust intoa violent world, he gets bullied, he gets desperate, he is out of hisdepth. It's here that the film differs in the Belgian's career, for hedoesn't flex his martial arts muscles, there's no high kick, slow-moset pieces here. This sees him fighting normal man style, and this onlyafter going thru a Rocky Balboa type training regime. As expected, thefight scenes are violent and Van Damme is immensely competent executingthem. Hell! There's even religious and spiritual metaphors in here! Ikid you not. In Hell is a must for action film fans, and certainly amust for Van Damme fans who gave up on him by the late 1990s. You willnot be surprised by how the plot unfolds, and a couple of corny scenesdrop in to say hello (ghost visitations, dear me), but you hopefullywill be surprised at Van Damme's performance. And of course there'salways some serious buttock kicking action to chew on as well. 7/10
16 April 2013
Kyle LeBlanc is working a construction job in Russia and his wife isstruggling with the new surroundings and the lack of time they havetogether. On the phone to her one night, Kyle hears the house beingbroken into but arrives too late to save her from being killed. Hepursues the man and, although he gets away, his description is key inbringing the man in on charges. Justice only really takes one form forKyle though and he murders the man in front of the courtroom. Hissentence? Life without the possibility of parole. However with corruptguards, poor conditions and a violent cultural within the Russian jail,life may not actually be that long.I'm not sure who the people are who still turn up at cinemas and videorental stores for Jean-Claude Van Damme movies but, although I'm notone of them, I'll still give him the benefit of the doubt when he turnsup for free on the television. Some reviewers on this site sold it as areally good movie that is dark and tough and all the better forstripping away the style of some of his films. However they suggestthat the film does something interesting with this "losing yourself inviolence" thing but they are mistaken because it doesn't Â in fact itis obvious affair that does just what you expect it to and lacksanything of depth or interesting in the telling. The dead wife aspectand the heavy moral message might have worked with skill in the tellingbut this is not the place to come for subtlety in the telling.The action may be different from the exaggerated style of some of hisfilms but this is not necessarily a good thing. Sure it is gritty andmore realistic in some ways, which would be good if the film hadsomething else going for it in the plot and characters. I'm not tryingto be overly critical because I can see how it could have beeninteresting but the will or ability to make it happen seems to beabsent from cast and crew. Van Damme plays it simple enough but this isno bad thing since this is what the film calls for. Taylor wasinteresting but far too one-note to carry his back-story or make thenarration have the weight it needed. Support from the rest of the castis typically uninspired even if there are a few familiar faces inthere.Overall a so-so film at best. It has a nice atmosphere but the story isnot as clever or interesting as it would like to think it is. Insteadit is all a bit obvious, contradictory and a bit too full of its ownimportance. The cast can't add the depth although in fairness theyprobably wouldn't have been good enough if they had been given thematerial. Might appeal to Van Damme fans anyway, but the plot andaction is too lacking to appeal to a wider audience.
15 April 2013
When did you last see a prison movie where the cons put their headsdown and did their bird,getting full remission and returning to thebosom of their families refreshed and ready to got out thieving again?Iwould venture to say it's been a while.How much more interesting towatch a bunch of degenerates hammering the sh*t out of one another anddoing unspeakable things to the weaker of their brethren in the privacyof their cells. Having watched "In Hell" I would certainly think twiceabout upsetting the Old Bill in the C.I.S.Have we counted them all backfrom the Champions' League Final this year?Are there any Man Utd orChelsea supporters languishing forgotten in some hellhole?I wouldcertainly like to think so. Monsieur Van Damme,the Beast of Belgium,isrefreshingly un beast - like as just a regular American guy servinglife without - as they say - "In Hell" or somewhere approximatingit.Disowned by his country,forgotten and unwanted he is also not verybig and so proves a natural target for the prison bullies(about 99.9%of the population,apparently).As he bears a marked resemblance to GaryGlitter he is less likely than most to be turned into a "bitch" but hecertainly isn't going to do easy bird. He pals up with a winsome youngthing with a pert botty who is soon on the receiving end of some roughmanly love. These cons spend an awful lot of time hanging out in TheYard where the devil makes work for idle hands. A bit heavy on codphilosophy and psychobabble it may be but you can't deny the movie haslots of shots of M.Van Damme not actually fighting. I'm not sure youcould call what he was doing "acting",but it certainly wasn't fighting.Lots of well 'ard geezers with No. 1 s shout and scream and the tattoocount is very high. In a series of events of increasing unlikelihoodthe way is made clear for our Claude to escape and we heave a sigh ofrelief as he drives his stolen BMW to.....where,actually?Dressed in aRussian officer's uniform he might be just a leetle conspicuous at thefirst border he comes to. But,hey,no one ever said "in Hell"wasserious,did they?
13 April 2013
At last he delivers, after such Bottom of the barrel movies,likeDerailed, which must be one of the worst movies to date.In this one Van Damme makes one of is best roles, almost thebestprison movie role since Brad Davis in Midnight express(1978)ItÂ´s so much fun, to see some new environments, a russianprisonwhich looks so authentic, everyone plays well, standard ingredientsisused very well, Strong brutal violence, sodomizing, noglory.For the first time ever, Van Damme is beaten up during thewholemovie, he tries to committ suicide he sleeps in shit.ItÂ´s so unusual to see these kind of scenes with Van Damme.Ringo LamÂ´s direction is superb,this one and Maximum risk isthebest oneÂ´s, both directed by Ringo Lam.See it and really enjoy.I gave it an 8 out of 10
13 April 2013
i finally saw it the day after christmas.i just read some of the comments.most people liked it,i notice.one persondid'nt.i guess i'm sort of in between.i mean,i admire and respect theactingperformance,the plot,storyline,script,what have you,but i guess it's kindofdepressing that he did'nt start using his kickbox skills at all.it's likethat part of him died,and maybe it died for the sake of getting moreordinary people to be fond as well as interested by his change ofpace.i agree,it's better acting than the past van damme,but at the sametimehe really does neglect all those hard years of martial arts training infavor of pleasing the masses of early 21st century action film critics andobservers.people now seem to be sick of some people doing martial arts andwould rather see them being more ordinary which to me is allright to apoint(1 movie here and there)but it will indeed really,really startgettinglame and depressing if he keeps up this particular format(martialartlessvann damme).like i said,i respect someone,especially action actors who showversatility but please do another bloodsport type movie soon mr.vandamme.my rating.6.5/10as compared to others.bloodsport8.0/10kickboxer8.5/10nowhere to run6.5/10
06 April 2013
Im a big fan of his movies but this shows thats his time is up. he needs to retire. the whole movie, there was no karate moves and it was basically all street fighting.plus this movie made him look like a wimp as well.
06 April 2013
this movie wud get 5 stars if it was not for me bein a professional critic, i took an oath vowing i wud never give a movie 5 stars unless it totally deserved it, an example of a movie deserving 5 stars wud be any movie combining van damme with the "actors" of "Big Ballers", but in hell comes reallll close...the only drawbak of this movie is the darn prison scenes where sick, tuff prisoners buy "sukas" aka dudes to sleep with, n do it prison style...that jus grosses me out....van damme aint havin it tho, whenever sumone buys him as a "suka" n says "ill see u 2nite", he breaks the rules of the prison n gets himself solitary confinement....who says van dam doesnt have brains? well except where he tries to hang himself with a rope thats way too long....the best part of the dvd is the "makin of in hell" ...i wish mr damme wud make a strait to theatres movie but i think the mussels from brussels van damme will be makin strait to video movies till blockbuster shuts down...lawrence taylor is oh so wise in this movie in which he recites his knowledge n ends his thoughts with the word "bullsh;;"....actaully, this movie is dark, n actaully tries to use symbolism n teach morals n stuff, but its still funny for sum strange reason [ van damme , lawrence taylor, come on]
05 April 2013
I'm really sick of reading these negative 2 to 1 star reviews of this film by people who are pissed there are no high flying kicks. HELLO this is NOT a popcorn action film, it's more of a drama with REALISTIC depictions of prison fighting. It's like watching Keanu Reeves in "Something's Gotta Give," a romantic comedy, then being pissed he wasnt busting out guns or kicking people like in the Matrix. Give the movie a bad rating because it fails in some way, NOT because you think it should have more chop-socky fighting. All that aside, I was very surprised by this film. After the unwatchable "Order" and tear-jerkingly horrendous "Derailed," I had lost hope for Van Damme, but "In Hell" is possibly one of his best films and one of the most effective prison dramas in the last few years. The cinematography and directing is great, thanks to Ringo Lam, a very underrated Hong Kong director, and the acting is very good as well. Van Damme has grown as an actor, and it shows in this film. Also look for a cameo by actor Paulo Tocha(Paco, the arrogant kickboxer from Bloodsport) as Victor.Van Damme is Kyle, a man jailed in a Russian prison for killing the murderer of his wife. The wardens set up illegal fights inside the prison, and Van Damme struggles to survive inside while maintaining his humanity. The fights are brutal and VERY realistic. They mirror real fights you would see in the streets or in UFC and other full contact events, which means elements of grappling and ground fighting are heavily utilized. This adds that much more to the realism of the film and shows Van Damme's versatility as a martial artist. In Derailed we saw some Ju-Jitsu and grappling from Van Damme, but he showcases these skills more heavily in this film.Do not rent or buy this film if you are looking for mindless action and high flying split kicks like in other Van Damme movies, but DO rent or buy it if you want to see a gritty and well directed prison drama with some realistic and brutal fights.
04 April 2013
Forget the wise cracking, smooth muscle man we've seen in previousfilms flying slo-mo through to air to knock some poor guys lights out.In this, Van Damme is very human and far from invulnerable. It is thebest film in terms of his acting, as he goes through a range of darkemotions, including despair, blind rage and loathing. He actually actsin this movie.He plays an American man married to a Russian woman and living apeaceful life in Russia. Until his wife is murdered by a Russian thug,for no particular reason I might add. The thug is connected to themafia, so is released due to the corrupt judge being paid off. VanDamme exacts his own bloody justice in a burst of anger, and isincarcerated in a particularly nasty Russian prison.This is no holiday for Van Damme, as the prison is full ofanti-American convicts, sexual predators and an assortment of dangerousgangsters. This film, like many other prison films, addresses thesubject of rape, by showing the targeting of a young, weak Americanman. Something which haunts Van Damme's character.The main element of the film centres on a brutal, no holds barredfighting tournament that the sadistic warden and staff organise for theprisoners. It is here than Van Damme becomes a champion of the ring,thrashing his opponents in a street brawling style. Things start tochange however, when Van Damme realises he is becoming what theauthorities want him to become, he is forgetting who he is.This film has a mainly downbeat style, and is a lot more gritty and rawthan Van Damme's usual work. It has several disturbing scenes and darkideas, but also has a message worth bearing in mind. Recommended to nonVan Damme fans as well as fans, as this is where he tries somethingdifferent.
29 March 2013
The movie with the story is less than good However, The reason why I give it ( 1 / 10 ) is because of the director who didn't know how to choose his soundtrack .. !!It was stupid & ignorant selection !!!Shame on you ... !!! He should know what I mean ,, !!He is trying to be smart and creative , but in fact , dirty minded .......You could've made it better . !!
28 March 2013
IN HELL has an extremely familiar plot. Man has girlfriend/wifemurdered/raped, the law fails him, he kills the murderer/rapist and isthrown into a jail full of sodomites, sadists and thugs, all presidedover by evil prison guards.The acting is extremely unconvincing, especially that of the otherAmerican who turns up in prison. The script is predictable beyondbelief. JCVD actually begins the film by promising his wife, who wantsto go back home to the USA, that not only will they do that but that hehas also booked them a holiday. Her prompt rape and murder by a greasylooking foreigner was practically inevitable after that.The film is clearly trying to be a little bit more than anotherexploitation flick made in Eastern Europe, throwing in a fewpsychological elements and one or two interesting shots. Clearlysomeone felt they could do more than make another JCVD film. Sadly theyfailed and the film is the usual mix of brutal violence, clichÃ© andpoor acting. No matter how much fast editing they do, it can't disguisethe paucity of quality on display.
16 March 2013
IT's been a long time coming but Van Damm is finally starting to return to being a Badass (which last time we saw that was Universal Soldier). This movie mixes elements of Bloodsport, Shawshank Redemption, Time to Kill, and Oz and creates a very dark but very interesting story.This movie is truely great and I fear will be ignored solly because many will mistake it as a rip off of Undisputed. However this is truely an awsome movie and well worth owning.
16 March 2013
"The Savage" is Van Damme's attempt at making a genuine good movie and mostof the time the film succeeds. Van Damme stars as Kyle LeBlanc, an industrial engineer working in Europe,whose wife is murdered and the killer set free. When Kyle guns down themurderer at the courthouse he is sentenced to life in Russia's worst prison.The warden at this prison is organizing fights between inmates and bettingbig with his fellow wardens. It doesn't take long before gentle and kindKyle is forced to fight. Cut to months later and Kyle has become a savage, aman who fights without emotion and kills without thought.Van Damme pulls this off quite nicely. There's a big difference betweenfamily man Kyle and savage fighter Kyle. Most of the performances in thisfilm are dead on.Special mention must be given to the story. Although it's not the bestscreenplay ever written it's certainly interesting, and far more compellingthan a lot of direct to video flicks. However there areproblems.For starters the film looks like it was edited with a chainsaw and the Bgrade budget undermines some of director Ringo Lam's A grade intentions,which is a shame because this is one of Lam's, and Van Damme's for thematter, better efforts. "The Savage" is a good movie, not just a good action or Van Damme movie, buta good movie in general. Hopefully now Van Damme will make a film that willbe released in theatres. This film shows he's more than ready forit.3 out of 5.
15 March 2013
Let's face it, Van Damme has dished out some rather campy movies in the past 7 or so years. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel thanks to this movie, along with the recent "Wake of Death." "In Hell" is a raw and darker film than his normal material. Don't expect his stamped karate moves, because it doesn't take place during this flick. Instead, we are treated with gritty, no-holds barred rumbles. To top it off, Van Damme begins to show signs of some acting depth. I'm not talking Oscar winner, but for Damme, this is probably the best work he has done that provides a sense of substance to his character. A moment or two of akward cheesy-ness appears, but doesn't hamper the overall experience of the movie at all. Even if you are not a Van Damme fan, like I "once" was, you should give this flick a shot. Don't expect a masterpiece and I believe you will be surprisingly surprised.
14 March 2013
I had the misfortune of seeing this garbage as captive audience on acoach trip recently and having read, goggle-eyed, the glowing reviewshere thought I had better set the record straight. Don't worry aboutspoilers incidentally as this film is devoid of plot, but you'll enjoyit if you like watching people getting their faces smashed down theirthroats.The film kicks off with a fairly nasty female beating, rape and murderfor all you rednecks out there, but our hero wastes the killer of hiswife outside the courtroom so that makes everything all right. He is inRussia by the way so then is unjustly incarcerated in a Russian jail,where he is systematically brutalized by the sadistic guards. IsAmerica ever ever going to grow out of this kind of dismal toe-curlingcharacterization? This sad affair is a litany of increasingly brutal beatings and malerapes punctuated with an excruciating cracker-barrel philosophy of the"you have to be what you are, not what they want you to be" ilk fromthe narrator that had me squirming and writhing in my seat.Presumably when the film stock was running low, Mr Van Damme incrediblydrives his way to freedom through the prison gates with a damningdossier after donning a Russian uniform. We are then told that theprison was shut down three months later. Hooray! Do yourself and your loved ones a favour. Don't. It's 90 minutes ofyour life you'll never get back.