Wake of Death

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Overview

Action star and goofball extraordinaire Jean-Claude Van Damme returns in this gritty tale of revenge between the Los Angeles mob and an invading Chinese Triad. The "Muscles From Brussels" stars as Ben Archer, an ex-mob tough guy whose wife is savagely murdered after she brings home an orphaned child who happens to be a Chinese kingpin's daughter. Racked with grief, Archer is forced back into the mob life as Van Damme stacks up the dead bodies until he finally comes face to face with his wife's killer in an ...
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Overview

Action star and goofball extraordinaire Jean-Claude Van Damme returns in this gritty tale of revenge between the Los Angeles mob and an invading Chinese Triad. The "Muscles From Brussels" stars as Ben Archer, an ex-mob tough guy whose wife is savagely murdered after she brings home an orphaned child who happens to be a Chinese kingpin's daughter. Racked with grief, Archer is forced back into the mob life as Van Damme stacks up the dead bodies until he finally comes face to face with his wife's killer in an explosive match to the death.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Featurette; Previews
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
The immortal Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to action cinema in the surprisingly solid Wake of Death, certainly his most accomplished straight-to-DVD work to date. Now, in no way is the film a Hard Target or even a Bloodsport, but for this aging action star, this sucker might as well be renamed "Double-Fisted Shakespeare." Jean-Claude flexes his acting muscles to new extremes in this one, highlighted by a classic two-minute scene of him breaking down and uncontrollably weeping for his dead wife that hearkens back to his embarrassing drunken ramblings in 1999's Desert Heat or even his virtuoso pseudo-Jesus role in Ringo Lam's yawn-fest In Hell. Of course, this being a cheeseball action flick, his thespian chops are rudely interrupted by a samurai Triad busting through a plate-glass window right in front of him, but by that time, you're quite ready for some "Van-Dammage." The movie also features the action star's most lurid sex scene to date, where viewers are subjected to a lot more than they bargained for (or even wanted in the first place). The action, however, is filmed and edited quite nicely -- a shock for even the most jaded digger of low-budget action junk. Fine stunt work graces an inventive motorcycle chase through a mall, while the gunplay is coherent and the violence extremely brutal. The mob storyline also gives the filmmakers the chance to throw in a wicked torture scene involving a power drill that's both delirious and jarring to the senses. In the end, the whole thing is one big cliché, but you only have to root through the junk that this guy has put out over the years to see how much of a step up this really is. Of course, it does make one long for the days when the Belgian-born brawler was coked-up and making surreal action flicks with Hong Kong directors like Tsui Hark (see 1998's Knock Off), but there is some sort of gleeful satisfaction to see this new brand of Jean-Claude Van Damme -- the actor!
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/28/2004
  • UPC: 043396063754
  • Original Release: 2004
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean-Claude Van Damme Ben Archer
Simon Yam Sun Quan
Valerie Tian Kim
Danny Keogh Mac Hoggins
Tony Schiena Tony
Lisa King Cynthia
Philip Tan
Technical Credits
Philippe Martinez Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Donald A. Barton Executive Producer
Karinne Behr Executive Producer
Antony Blakey Executive Producer
Luc Campeau Executive Producer
Mick Davis Screenwriter
Paul Feetum Executive Producer
Laurent Fellous Screenwriter
Manu Kadosh Cinematographer
Alan Latham Producer
Stephanie Martinez-Campeau Producer
Douglas W. Miller Executive Producer
Dedan Ouziel Editor
Ernie Seegers Art Director
Hans van der Zanden Production Designer
Jeremy Zimmerman Casting
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Lone Warrior [2:25]
2. Opening Credits [3:31]
3. Tired [1:18]
4. Refugee [5:22]
5. Safe Haven [6:25]
6. "Welcome to L.A." [7:17]
7. Mamma Li's [5:50]
8. Unfinished Business [10:00]
9. Ambush [5:41]
10. Postponement [2:33]
11. Coffee and Questions [5:45]
12. The Drill [1:17]
13. Mall Rats [5:03]
14. Abduction [3:18]
15. Pier 19 [9:21]
16. End Credits [11:09]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Trailer
      Previews
         Warriors of Heaven and Earth
         The Foreigner
         In Hell
         Sniper 3
         Unstoppable
         Tae Guk Gi
         Play All
      Featurette
   Audio Setup
      Languages: Spanish
      Languages: French
      Languages: English
      Subtitles: French - On
      Subtitles: French - Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Van Damme does very well.

    I am a big Van Damme fan; I own almost all of his movies. Even if Van Damme isn't your favorite action star, if you like action, you'll probably like 'Wake of Death'. I have been waiting about a year for this movie to come out and I'm happy to have my high expectations met. Jean Claude conveys emotions and feelings in this movie that I have rarely felt from his previous performances. I became emotional a few times during the movie, which can only be done for me through superb acting. Van Damme has certainly showcased his talent well in this movie. He has come very far from just spin-kicks to be a well-rounded actor who can play many roles well. The supporting cast also plays their parts well. This movie isn't for the faint of heart. It does have some blood and gore, but it is used fairly tastefully. Other movies overdo it, but I think 'Wake of Death' has balanced everything well. The technical aspects of the movie also deserve positive notes. The shooting locations, camera work, lighting, etc. are all chosen well, and help tell the story effectively. I'm critical of everything, even things I am passionate about (like Van Damme's movies). Having said that, I will say 'Wake of Death' if one of my personal Van Damme favorites, and one of the best movies I have seen in recent memory. I hope Jean Claude can continue making more great movies, and further improve on his already immense talent.

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