ⓘ Enemies Closer

Enemies Closer

ⓘ Enemies Closer

Enemies Closer is a 2013 Canadian/American action thriller film directed and photographed by Peter Hyams, and starring Jean-Claude van Damme, Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones. It is Hyams third directorial collaboration with Van Damme, following 1994s Timecop and 1995s Sudden Death.


1. Plot

A plane carrying a mysterious cargo crashes into a lake near the US-Canada border. A group of American Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE officers prepare for a search of the plane and its cargo, but are attacked and killed by a criminal crew - wearing Canadian Mounties uniforms - whose leader is a man named Xander Van Damme. The criminals must complete their task within four hours before the next shift of ICE agents arrives.

Ex-Navy SEAL Henry Taylor Scott is a forest ranger on Kings Island near the border, where he runs the Ranger station/visitors center. The sole other resident, Mr. Sanderson Robbie, is a resentful elderly man whom Henry infrequently checks on. While checking the nearby trails, Henry finds an injured woman named Kayla Cocker. He takes her back to his cabin, and she starts flirting with him. He escorts her to her canoe, and she invites him to dinner later that night across the lake. Meanwhile, Xander and his men steal a boat, killing the owner and dumping the body.

While Henry is changing, an unknown man knocks on the door, claiming that he had beached his boat on the island and is looking for help. Henry lets him in, but notices his odd behavior and a tattoo on his right arm. The man, named Clay Jones, pulls a gun on Henry, and tells him that his younger brother Decker was a SEAL under Henrys command who had been killed in the line of duty. Clay had heard that Decker was abandoned by his commanding officer, and wants Henry to pay for his death. Henry responds by explaining they had been ambushed, and he pulled out early to prevent risking the lives of more men. Just then, Kayla calls Henrys phone, telling him that she is running late. Clay shoots the phone and Henry takes the opportunity to attack Clay, who proves to be a skilled fighter and after a sustained fight, eventually knocks Henry unconscious. He drags him out into a nearby field and gives him a gun, ordering him to shoot himself. Henry refuses and says Deckers death wasnt his fault. Just as Clay is about to shoot Henry himself, Xander and his men show up on their boat, claiming to be ICE agents and questioning their presence. Henry sees through the ruse and runs. Xanders men fire at him, but Clay shoots back and manages to disable the diver. The gunfire is heard by two real ICE agents who were lucky to havent been at the office when Xander attacked the place. They are investigating the death of their partners when the gunfire alerts them. Xander determines that his diver wont survive and smothers him to death. He recognizes Henry as ex-military, and resolves to force him to act as their diver so they can retrieve the planes contents, a large shipment of heroin.

Two of Xanders men arrive at Henrys cabin and find no one. On Xanders orders, they sink his boat. Henry, meanwhile, goes to find his stashed kayak, but is intercepted by another one of Xanders men, who shoots the kayak. The assailant, however, is later beaten and loses consciousness. While walking, Henry explains to Clay that the Canadians who pursue them are drug dealers who had military training, yet Clay chides him into not talking about his brother again. Xander later kills the ICE agents one by one while they search. As Xanders other men search for Henry and Clay, the two men seek refuge by breaking into Sandersons house. Sanderson initially resists their plea for help but later gives in when they tell him that he and they are the dealers targets while his house is shot at. In desperation, he tells them to escape through the back door while staying behind.

Later Sanderson is wounded while he tries to drive Xander and his men away, then he is captured. Xander questions him about Henry and Clays whereabouts, but when Sanderson fails to answer their questions correctly, he stabs him dead. He reminds Henry to give him the stash of heroin or his family will die. In the forest, Henry lights a giant bonfire as a diversion then goes away. The assailant who has shot Henrys kayak later awakens and attacks Clay, who then kills him with a rock. As Xanders man Saul finds Henry, they engage in combat. Henry appears to be losing the fight, but is helped by Clay who stabs Saul in the neck. The two men then try to find Xander after pulling another henchman from a booby trap and questioning him, then Clay punches him to sleep.

Meanwhile, Kayla returns after Henry fails to meet with her for dinner. Xander captures her and calls for Henry to hand over the drugs. Henry is also captured and he pleads with Xander not to harm her while he is being led to the boat. Kayla is held at knifepoint, and later at gunpoint, with her mouth gagged with a strip of duct tape. She is then tied up, with tape on her mouth. Unknown to both Henry and Clay, Kayla secretly has been on Xanders side all along and tries to hide her involvement by pretending to be Henrys girlfriend and using her capture as a ploy to reach Henry. Xander reveals he was a soldier like Henry aboard the boat, only that he has gone bad. When Clay finds Kayla to rescue her, he assaults and eventually subdues her captor. As Clay unties Kayla and removes the strip of duct tape which was used to gag her mouth, she displays her treachery when she points the gun at Clay, saying Xander paid her to keep anyone out of his activities. Feeling confounded, he dares her to shoot him, so he jumps into the water to save himself when she opens fire at him, then looks for him. As forest police come to ask Kayla about where Henry is and what really happened, she says she has just arrived and wants to fish in the morning, only for her to shoot them dead when Clay yells to warn them. Clay and Kayla struggle, but he knocks her out with a gun. Henry manages to find the heroin. Kayla later awakens and while Clay holds her at gunpoint, Xander tells her on the transceiver to meet him and retrieve the drugs, and in return, she falsely convinces him that Clay has been dealt with.

While Henry accompanies Xander on land, Kayla cries for help, still at gunpoint; Clay relays her betrayal to Henry by yelling at him to drop the gun, to no avail. The villains fight back as Kayla and Clay grapple, yet he lets her go to face Xander. Next, Kayla attempts to strangle Henry, but he manages to overpower her. Xander subdues Clay by stabbing him in the leg. Henry challenges Xander to run after him and catch the drugs. When Xander realizes Kayla is unable to take Henry out, he snaps her neck. The two men engage in a struggle in the forest. They fall from a tree and later they continue fighting on Xanders boat. Xander tries to hit Henry, who is hanging on to the boat, with an anchor but it hits the fuel tank, leaking fuel. Henry catches a flare and lights it, then throws it at the path of the boat. The boat explodes, killing Xander and burning the stash. Clay then pulls Henry, who forgets that Kayla is dead, from the shore.


2. Cast

  • Jean-Claude van Damme as Xander
  • Kris van Varenberg as François
  • Christopher Robbie as Mr. Sanderson
  • Zahari Baharov as Saul
  • Tom Everett Scott as Henry Taylor
  • Orlando Jones as Clay
  • Linzey Cocker as Kayla

3. Reception

The film received mostly positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a "fresh" score of 77% based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10 with no consensus as of yet. Metacritic gave the film a weighted average metascore of 49/100, based on 9 reviews, indicating mixed or average reviews.

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