Once again Ringo Lam makes a silk purse out of a sow's ear
Aug 4, 2009
In Hell is a fine example of what Ringo Lam is capable of. With the material given under any other director , this movie would have been bad or unwatchable. But under the steady hand of a veteran film maker such as Ringo Lam it succeeds. This is what makes Mr. Lam a far superior director compared to John Woo. He doesn't need a gigantic budget or highly paid actors. What is a big surprise is that he's the only director (so far) who can get a motivated performance from Jean-Claude Van Damme. Kudos also for Lawrence Taylor, he can actually act!
The story takes place in some eastern European country. Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a foreign contractor who's wife is attacked and brutally murdered one night. After a shady trial, J.C.V.D. snaps and goes after the guy who killed his wife. But due to the court system he's sent to a hell hole of a s.h.u. A sadistic warden likes to put on human cockfights. Demoralized and beaten, will J.C.V.D. give in to his savage urges or will he find a way to remain sane and survive to live another day?
Brutal and bloody. That's the only description for this film. No flashy fight scenes with the highly over used (and abused) Matrix-like fight scenes or phony situations. This is Ringo Lam doing what he does best. A protagonist trying to survive a dark world with a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.
Believe it or not, Replicant was not a fluke: Jean-Claude Van Damme can act.