The Curator of Schlock #225 by Jeff Shuster
And Ol’ Blue Eyes…sort of.
No blog last week. I was busy celebrating May the 4th, spent the whole day dressed as Sy Snootles. We here at The Museum of Schlock would like to extend a belated May the 4th to all the Star Wars fans out there (or The Rebel Legion as they to be called). Wow! This has been quite a decade for Star Wars fans. Three brand new movies and a fourth one at the end of the month, a solo Star Wars movie about Han Solo aptly titled Solo: A Star Wars Story. Well, Rebel Legion, have I got a special treat for you this month. Your humble curator will be covering not one, not two, but three Jean-Claude Van Damme movies! How do you like that you super nerds? Get a life!
Yeah, Jean-Claude Van Damme is still alive and ass-kicking. Tonight’s movie is 2012’s Dragon Eyes from director John Hyams. In this movie, Jean-Claude Van Damme is not the lead. We see him here in a supporting role as Tiano, a kind of all-knowing grandmaster to Ryan Hong (Cung Le), a bruiser of man who’s unjustly wound up in prison. When one of the resident skinheads starts harassing Hong, Tiana unleashes some sweet chin music on the offender. From there on, Tiano has taken on the role of Hong’s mentor, training him in the martial arts. He’s kind of like Obi Wan Kenobi if Obi Wan repeatedly kicked Luke Skywalker in the jimmy.
When Hong gets out of prison, he makes his way to St. Jude, a town that’s a lost cause. This place is full of gangs! We get introduced to each of their leaders. We’ve got Dash (Luis Da Silva), leader of the 6th St. Kings, no doubt named because he dabs cocaine on the dorsal surface of his left hand before snorting it. Then there’s Antoine (Edrick Browne), leader of the Eastsiders who is interested in having Hong work for him after learning that he made short work of some 6th St. Kings after they yelled some racial epitaphs involving Hong’s Chinese heritage.
The Eastsiders and 6th St. Kings both operate under the mysterious Mr. V, Peter Weller dressing just like Frank Sinatra. Seriously, look at these two.
Weller is practically channeling Ol’ Blue Eyes. Here’s a tip, if you’re working under a guy named Mr. V or Mr. X, you should just get the hell out of Dodge before a bloodthirsty vigilante takes down the whole operation, leaving you bleeding out on the cold concrete floor of an empty warehouse, wondering why you didn’t pursue your dream of becoming an event organizer.
Anyway, it turns out Mr. V is the Chief of the St. Jude Police Department and every cop in the city is getting kickbacks from the drug lords and gangbangers. Oh, and there’s a Russian gang named the Devil Dogs who want to move in on the territory. Who names their gang the Devil Dogs? Honestly. Hong manipulates his way into Mr. V’s good graces, only to betray him and set up a final showdown with Hong pitted against every criminal and corrupt cop in the city. I think Hong wants revenge over a girlfriend that was murdered or something like that. What else? There’s a comical scene with a couple of crack heads.
Not too much Van Damme in this one, but just enough to justify his mug on the poster.