A 1997 action movie directed by Hong Kong
filmmaker Tsui Hark which stars Jean-Claude Van Damme
, Dennis Rodman, and Mickey Rourke. Here, Jack Paul Quinn (Van Damme) is a retired government anti-terrorist agent with a pregnant wife who learns the news that his old nemesis Stavros (Rourke) is back in action, and is forced to un-retire
to stop him. Quinn travels to Antwerp, Belgium to meet up with arms dealer Yaz (Rodman), then to an amusement park where Stavros meets with his six-year-old son. A shootout occurs (where Stavros' son dies)
and he and Quinn are led to a hospital maternity ward. Quinn is then knocked unconscious in an explosion.
Due to his failure to capture Stavros, Quinn wakes up on an island called "The Colony", an invisible and inescapable penal institution for secret agents "too valuable to kill but too dangerous to set free", which even includes terrorists. Quinn later receives a message saying that Stavros has kidnapped his wife, so he attempts to escape The Colony, team up with Yaz, and rescue her.
This film provides examples of:
- Anti-Villain: Arguably Stavros.
- Artistic License - Physics: Where to start?
- The scene where Quinn jumps into the water on the island—jumping into a body of water from that high would be like jumping onto concrete.
- Pretty much any of the explosion scenes would have done far worse damage than they do in the movie, not just from the explosions but from the blasts of air and subsequent shrapnel. The ending, where Yaz outruns the Colloseum fireball, takes this to even more ludicrous levels, when he defends himself and the baby from the explosion via a Coca-Cola vendor—a scene that would give the tunnel fire scene from Independence Day a run for it's money.
- Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Quinn cuts out the skin of his own thumb to provide time-needed biometrics while he is elsewhere.
- Defeat Means Explosion
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Stavros stands on a mine of the coliseum's minefield, and a tiger is about to maul him. So Stavros steps off the mine the second the tiger lunges at him and send the entire coliseum up in flames. Further adding to the madness is Belloq, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Dennis Rodman outrunning a fireball while holding a baby.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Stavros is about to be attacked by the tiger which he brought to the coliseum when one of the mines blows up.
- Improbable Cover: The heroes hide behind a coke machine and survive despite roaring walls of flame on either side. Possibly a moment of genre-savvy.
- Incredibly Lame Pun/Actor Allusion: Yaz spouts off a lot of basketball puns throughout the film.
- Infant Immortality: Subverted; Stavros' son dies during the shootout. Played straight with the babies in the maternity ward and Quinn's son, though.
- Land Mine Goes Click: The colosseum has a mine field on it. One blows Stavros up.
- Mandatory Unretirement
- Multicolored Hair: Yaz, and just like the actor who plays him.
- Non-Actor Vehicle: Dennis Rodman
- Non Fatal Explosions
- Outrun the Fireball: Three times, no less. The first time, however, averts the trope and Quinn ends up hospitalized for 6 months.
- Pregnant Hostage: Quinn's wife.
- Product Placement: The dozens of Coke machines inexplicably placed in the colosseum. Which apparently provide excellent shields against firey explosions.
- Steel Ear Drums: Despite all the explosions and gunfire, no one loses their hearing.
- Stuff Blowing Up: And boy is there a lot of it!
- Unflinching Walk