The Mercenary 2021: A Review of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Latest Action Comedy
The Mercenary 2021 is a French action comedy film that stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as a former secret agent who must return to France to save his estranged son from a false accusation of arms and drug trafficking. The film is directed by David Charhon and co-written by Charhon and Ismael Sy Savane. It also features Alban Ivanov, Assa Sylla and Samir Decazza in supporting roles. The film was released on Netflix on July 30, 2021.
In this article, we will review the plot, the cast, the humor and the action of The Mercenary 2021, and give our verdict on whether it is worth watching or not.
The Mercenary 2021 follows Richard Brumere (Van Damme), a mysterious former secret agent who worked for the French government. During an operation, he had impregnated the wife of his friend Jouard (Patrick Timsit), a fellow agent. The two have a son named Archibald al Mahmoud (Decazza), who is raised by Fernand (Michel Cremades), another agent assigned to take care of him. Archibald never knew his father, so he always assumed Fernand was his dad.
Years later, Archibald is falsely accused of arms and drug trafficking by the government, following a blunder by an overzealous bureaucrat named Sivardiere (Valerie Kaprisky) and a mafia operation led by Ivanovich (Aleksey Gorbunov). Richard finds out about his son’s situation and decides to stage a rescue. He teams up with Alexandre (Ivanov), a clumsy interpreter who works for Sivardiere, and Dalila (Sylla), Archibald’s girlfriend who is also a hacker. Along the way, he also kidnaps Sivardiere herself and tries to clear his son’s name.
However, Richard’s past catches up with him as he faces his old enemies and allies, such as Paul Lesueur (Eric Judor), a rival agent who wants to capture him, Marguerite (Miou-Miou), a former lover who runs a brothel, and Jouard, who still holds a grudge against him for stealing his wife. Richard also has to deal with his son’s resentment and mistrust, as he reveals his true identity and tries to bond with him.
The Mercenary 2021 boasts a talented cast of French actors who deliver solid performances in their roles. Jean-Claude Van Damme proves that he still has the charisma and the skills to carry an action comedy film at the age of 60. He plays Richard with a mix of humor and seriousness, showing his comedic timing and his martial arts prowess. He also speaks both French and English in the film, which adds to his character’s charm.
Alban Ivanov is hilarious as Alexandre, the hapless interpreter who becomes Richard’s sidekick. He provides most of the comic relief in the film with his witty remarks and his physical gags. He also has good chemistry with Van Damme, as they form an unlikely duo that contrasts their personalities and abilities.
Assa Sylla is impressive as Dalila, the smart and resourceful hacker who helps Richard and Alexandre in their mission. She is not just a love interest for Archibald, but also a strong and independent woman who can hold her own in a fight. She also shows her emotional range as she expresses her concern for Archibald and her admiration for Richard.
Samir Decazza is convincing as Archibald, the innocent son who is caught in a dangerous situation. He portrays Archibald’s confusion and anger towards his father, as well as his curiosity and admiration for him. He also has some funny moments with Van Damme, as they try to bond over their similarities and differences.
The supporting cast also does a good job in their roles, such as Patrick Timsit as Jouard, Valerie Kaprisky as Sivardiere, Eric Judor as Lesueur, Miou-Miou as Marguerite, Aleksey Gorbun