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Film / Blackjack (1998)

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Blackjack (also known as John Woo's Blackjack) is a 1998 action film directed by John Woo (well, no doy) and starring Dolph Lundgren as a former United States Marshals-turned-bodyguard.

Jack (Dolph) is a bodyguard for Dr. Rachel Stein, but during a shootout against assassins he suffered the side-effects of having a stray flash grenade detonating right in front of his face, causing him to suffer from constant leukophobia (fear of the colour white). Surviving one gunfight after another, Jack have to contend with his last opponent, Rory Gaines (Phillip MacKenzie), an elite hitman in a white suit.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Badass Biker: The shootout in the second act happens on the convoy Jack is assigned to protect, assaulted by motorcycle thugs wielding machine-guns. Naturally Jack manage to take down the bikers by shooting repeatedly at their bike’s fuel tanks, causing them to blow up, just like what Tequila did in Hard Boiled 5 years earlier.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Jack (who wears black) and Rory (who wears white).
  • Big Bad: Rory Gaines, an elite enemy hitman who sees Jack as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Big Fancy House: The house Rachel and Casey lives in, which gets raided by a group of thugs in the Action Prologue.
  • Blinded by the Light: Jack suffers this fate right in the opening shootout, when attempting to shield Casey from a flash grenade and taking most of the after-effects of having a flash-bang going off right in front of his face.
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  • Boisterous Bruiser: Jack, despite being played by the huge and physically imposing Dolph Lundgren, is still a jolly and friendly chap who smiles a lot and bonds easily with everyone, even young Casey.
  • Cool Shades: Jack wears shades throughout the movie, but for once it’s a justified example, given his crippling leukophobia.
  • Dance of Romance: Between Jack and Rachel.
  • Death Dealer: Jack, who in his first scene in the casino, uses playing cards to slice the necktie of a thug threatening him, hinting that he’s a man not to be messed with.
  • Friend to All Children: Jack, despite being a bodyguard and professional killing machine, hits off really well with Rachel’s young niece Casey, bonding with her through card tricks and generally entertaining the young girl.
  • Guns Akimbo: Typical for being a John Woo flick.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: The final showdown between Jack and Rory takes place in a room filled with white drapes and curtains, and with white candles burning everywhere. Oh and Rory is wearing a white suit.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The opening shootout ends with Jack jumping out of the way over a balcony from a massive explosion when a grenade blows up the front façade of the mansion he’s in.
  • Railing Kill: In the opening shootout when Jack shoots a thug behind the railings on a balcony. And for good measure, Jack then kicks a glass table underneath so that the falling thug lands on the table and breaks in apart.
  • Slippery Skid: In the opening action scene when Jack is in the middle of a shootout, a lone thug had grabbed Casey and is using her as a hostage, demanding for Jack to drop his weapon. But Casey happens to be still holding a carton of milk she was drinking earlier, and when Jack winks at her, motioning to her that she knows what to do, Casey then spills the milk on the thug’s arm, the liquid allowing her to slip out while Jack guns down said thug.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Rory Gaines, who wears a smart white suit throughout the entirety of his screentime. Naturally it becomes a White Shirt of Death when Jack finally guns him down in the final shootout.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Jack’s main weakness? His leukophobia or fear of the colour white, which he develops after being blinded by a flash grenade early in the movie.


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