Hey gang, Valkor here. The next film up on the TOV MediaView chopping block would have been a horror (and I assume a bad one). But I pushed that aside in favor of this “choice” Van Damme/Lundgren team-up because I can never turn down a Lundgren film. And Black Water looked to be the type of late night, cheesy fare I’ve been wanting to see for some time now. Until I actually sat down and watched it. And well, read on. Oh, and prepare for spoilers, but not too many.
Black Water centers an ex-CIA operative named Scott (Jean-Claude Van Damme – Alien Uprising), whom he and his girlfriend, Ballard (Courtney B Turk) are on the hunt by some military types in search of files that the two possess. Ballard is shot dead yet Scott gets away. However, he isn’t free for too long as he’s captured and imprisoned on a submarine to be interrogated about the location of the files. Sharing a cell right next to him is a guy named Marco (Dolph Lundgren – Battle of the Damned, Altitude), who is there because he “knows too much”; at this point in the story, Marco is of no importance. And he doesn’t get involved until towards the end of the film.
The first and only round of interrogations yields no fruit as Scott claims over and over to his captors that he doesn’t know where the file is. And right before things could either continue or he’s taken back to his cell, bullets start to fly, Scott ends up escaping and teaming with another agent named Taylor (Jasmine Waltz) and eventually Marco as they battle against a handful of mercs and other operatives as they attempt an escape of their subterranean prison.
On the outset, Black Water sounds like it could be a fun action flick; I mean, you have two of the best B-movie action stars teaming up to fight bad guys on a submarine. So, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot! And I’ll tell you all about it in the TOV Breakdown!
Black Water isn’t a terrible film; it’s just an OK actioner that if you come across it while scouring Netflix or maybe scrolling through late night television, you might stop and watch a bit. The plot may draw you in and there are some action scenes that will get you amped as there’s plenty of punches thrown or bullets flying by to keep you interested. And as far as the acting goes, I gotta give it up to Lundgren, who provides what little spark of life his brief time on screen can provide; usually, he looks tired and haggard in his films. But in this film, he’s mostly smiling and looking rather upbeat, with a couple of jokes peppered here and there. So, Black Water wasn’t a complete waste of time as it does have a few moments that were entertaining. It’s not the worst film I’ve seen. But would I view it again? Probably not.
My first real issue with the film is the setting; much of the film takes place in a submarine. And from the looks of things, from both the inside and out, there wasn’t much space to work with. I mean, it’s a submarine with only one level. How much can you really do with that much space? It should have been on a boat. Now that would have been fun. So, I found myself growing annoyed because the bad guys should have taken out Scott and his cohorts with ease. However, they can’t seem to aim if their life depended on it. My next issue is with the plot, which was murky and all over the place; at one point I had to remind myself that the film was about a missing file because they don't talk about it all that much. Lastly, I find the film’s lack of Dolph rather disturbing as he spent most of his onscreen time locked in a cell. I actually thought his Marco character was going to be more involved in the “interrogation” process, maybe having a little back and forth with Scott in an attempt to get the location of the file. NOPE! So we get another film where Dolph gets top billing and he’s hardly in the thing.
Black Water gets a limited US release on June 29th, with a digital release soon after. It’s not one of the finest action films out there, but if you plan on checking this one out then don’t go in with the highest of expectations because you will be disappointed. It’s a bit rough but entertaining. So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Black Water a 2.