By Clint Morris
Van Damme was at the height of his success when “Wrong Bet” was released in 1988.
These days, for such a film to get a theatrical release, the distributor would have to blow the chain’s chief executive officer. Back then, there were no favours needed – the film would and did sell.
Having impressed with his raw martial-arts outing “Kickboxer” a couple of years before, “Wrong Bet” had no trouble attracting it’s audience – it’s endless array of fleshy martial-arts skirmishes was just what the pimply-faced teen asked for.
At the time, Van Damme was being earmarked as the man to replace ageing action heroes Sly and Arnie – and though he never quite got there you can see, you can see why they were thinking that way.
The muscles from Brussels really did have the goods – he could kick butt for real (how many action stars can you honestly say that about!?), had a sort of slimy charisma, and then – not now – knew exactly what his audience wanted to see of him.
Directed by Van Damme’s long-time pal and collaborator Sheldon Lettich (then hot off “Rambo III” – which he co-wrote with Sylvester Stallone), “Bet” has JC playing Legionnaire Lyon, in L.A to track down his brother whose apparently been seriously injured. Fleeing from two of the Legions security force who have orders to bring him back at any cost, our muscly short-stack reluctantly turns to the illegal bare-knuckle underground fighting circuit to raise the money he needs to help his brothers family.
There’s not much of a story here, but there’s plenty of action – and stacked up against some of Van Damme’s more recent efforts (all of which go direct to DVD), it’s a minor gem.
This, the â€˜Uncut’ Version, apparently includes a few more minutes of blood-letting and bruising.
Extras include the short film â€˜Monaco Forever’ which marked the acting debut of Van Damme.
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.