Blu-Ray Review: A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave (1990)

awol-van-damme101 Films have released this classic film from Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Sheldon Lettich (Writer -Rambo III) on Blu-Ray in the UK for the first time as part of their ‘Cult Classics’ collection .

Upon receiving news that his brother in Los Angeles is seriously injured, Lyon Gaultier (Van Damme) deserts the French Foreign Legion from a remote outpost in North Africa. Fleeing from two of the Legion’s security force who have orders to bring him back at any cost, Lyon reluctantly turns to the illegal, bare-knuckles underground fighting circuit to raise the money he needs to help his brother’s family.

vlcsnap-816964This story of the conflicted fighter who is expected to throw a fight is nothing new in Cinema; these stories have been told many times. The foreign legion element is the only thing that is new here; but not that new. Released in 1990, this film seems like a hang-over from the 80s. And as if we needed it pointing out, the largely distracting music cues that burst in at various times make this abundantly clear. Is this really necessary? The cinematography really dates this film as-well, shot like a wannabe Rocky.

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