movie film review | chris tookey

AWOL - Absent Without Leave / Lionheart / The Wrong Bet / A.W.O.L. / AWOL

  AWOL - Absent Without Leave   / Lionheart / The Wrong Bet  / A.W.O.L. / AWOL Review
Tookey's Rating
2 /10
Average Rating
3.43 /10
Jean-Claude Van Damme , Deborah Rennard, Harrison Page
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Directed by: Sheldon Lettich
Written by: Sheldon Lettich, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Released: 1990
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 110

Foreign legionnaire (Jean-Claude van Damme) deserts and turns bare-knuckle fighter.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A fight film for those who found Rocky III too intellectually demanding. It is hard to know which is the more sickening: the brutality or the sentiment, as Mr Van Damme becomes a bare-knuckle fighter for love of a little niece so cute that she makes Orphan Annie look like the Bride of Frankenstein. The screenplay is chiefly notable for its courageous use of cliche. A white-coated doctor somehow manages to remain straight-faced while saying of a dead patient "He's gone, and nothing we can do will bring him back". My favourite line remains, however, "Zis eez ze Foreign Legion... not ze Club Med."This is a film so naive that it is highly entertaining, and further endearing proof that Mr Van Damme is to screen-acting what Saddam Hussein is to humanitarianism.


The scenes between fights appear either mawkish or stupid, so the only reason for seeing the film would be for the action [which is] well-staged if you like that sort of thing... one for the fan-club only."

(Michael Darvel, What's On in London)

An action movie pure and simple, and apart from the presence of one of the most winsomely obnoxious of child actors I've ever seen on the screen, has a certain basic entertainment value you can't deny.

(Derek Malcolm, Guardian)

Vintage B-movie shlock.

(Hugo Davenport, Daily Telegraph)

A curious mixture of dumb action and dumber sentiment... but in its own crude way it is twice as sincere and thrice as entertaining as cynical money-spinning exercises such as Another 48 Hours.

(Anne Billson, Sunday Correspondent)



(Steven H. Scheuer, Movies on TV and Videocassette, 1992)

Musclebound action... sentimental when it is not violent.

(Halliwell's Film Guide, 2004)

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