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Directed by: Sheldon Lettich
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sofia Milos, Ben Cross, Abdel Qissi, Brian Thompson, and Charlton Heston
Rudy (Van Damme) is a charming smuggler whose father is an
archaeologist. When his beloved dad goes missing, Rudy travels to Israel
to try and find him. While there, he meets his father’s old friend
Finley (Heston) and they begin the search. Complicating matters are
authorities that want to find Rudy, and a mysterious, ancient “Order”
led by cult leader Cyrus Jacob (Thompson). Will Rudy navigate his way
through the complex web?
A director specializing in Van Damme
vehicles, Sheldon Lettich returns to Israel after his previous effort,
the horrible The Last Warrior (2000) (surprisingly, with Dolph and not Van Damme),
which was also shot there. Fortunately, The Order is far better and is
decently entertaining. Yes, it has all the stupidity we’ve come to know
and love from Nu-Image, but the Israel locations add a lot and the
movie has a good pace.
Van Damme gives a pretty upbeat
performance as Rudy, whose claim to fame is that he’s a black market
Faberge egg dealer. His funny line readings are one of the main joys of
this movie. Seeing as Van Damme co-wrote the screenplay, he obviously
cared a little more this time, and the viewer reaps some of the
benefits. Like Gary Daniels in Hawk's Vengeance (1997), we’re treated to the sight of the
main hero dressing as an Orthodox Jew and doing some fighting. This
appears in the scene with his The Quest (1996) co-star Abdel Qissi. Also the circular bump on his forehead is here, as can be seen in many
of his 2000’s-era efforts.
far as the presence of Charlton Heston in a Nu-Image production, you
have to ask: Why? How? How did this happen? There’s even some minor
Heston-Fu! It’s definitely an unusual sight to see. Of course, Yahoots
Magoondi himself, Brian Thompson also is here,
playing the leader of the mysterious sect. It seems like good casting,
but it would have been nice to see a little more of this aspect of the
Like a lot of movies of this type, there are some scenes,
especially in the second half, which are under-lit and very hard to see.
But on the bright side, Pino Donaggio contributes a great,
theatrical-style score which helps a lot. Due to similar subject matter,
The Order would make an interesting double feature with The Minion (1998).
Someone try it and tell us how it goes.
For a Nu-Image title
made during a low ebb in Van Damme’s career, The Order is surprisingly
good, maybe the best made under those circumstances.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty