Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay)
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb, George Dickerson, Art LaFleur, Patrick Kilpatrick
Plot: In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.
Tagline – In “Bloodsport” and “Kickboxer” he won it all, now there are no rules, no escape, and NOBODY’S playing games!
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Action Film
Story: Death Warrant starts as we meet the Canadian detective Louis Burke (Van Damme) who has tracked down serial killer The Sandman (Kilpatrick) who killed his partner. 16 months later Burke is assigned to go undercover inside a prison to solve a string of murders coming from within it.
Inside the prison Burke learns who to trust with Hawkins (Guillaume) being someone he wants to trust, the warden Sergeant DeGraf (LaFleur) having a strict rule through the prison and the gangs running the riots in shadows. Burke uses all his fighting skills to stay alive and solve the murders in a style only he could.
Thoughts on Death Warrant
Characters – Burke is the determined never say die attitude cop that gets assigned to go undercover in a prison to solve a series of murders happening inside. He must fight to survive against all enemies wanting to kill him. Hawkins is the ears to ground prisoner that Burke wants to work with, he has his own problems with the racial divide within the prison too. Amanda is the rookie agent that assigned to work with Burke from the outside, this is a big case for her and she learns a lot from working with Burke.
Performances – Jean-Claude Van Damme is the star of the film, we are only invested because we want to see him kick ass and he does that. The rest of the cast fit their roles which is good without any of them trying to out shine the star.
Story – The story is a good simple story to follow, it is a cop going undercover to figure out who is behind a string of murders only to find himself uncovering something much bigger. We know the story isn’t going to be the main focus here which is fine, but it does give us enough time to keep guessing about where the film will end up going.
Action/Crime/Mystery – Van Damme brings the action we want to see as he fights the countless amounts of enemies in search for the truth. There is a crime mystery to be solved but this can take the back burner to watching Van Damme fight.
Settings – Van Damme side of the story is inside the prison which is good as we see how he must doubt everyone on all sides, anything outside the prison does solve part of the mystery but is largely forgettable.
Final Thoughts – This is a typical easy to watch Van Damme movie, lacking the story but is full of the action that entertains.
Overall: Easy to watch throughout.