Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
San Francisco Chronicle
I found myself enjoying Lionheart, mostly because Van Damme is appealing and easy to root for. I like the steady, oddly unjudgmental look that crosses his face when he's about to beat someone to a pulp. [12 Jan 1991, p.C3]
Tampa Bay Times
Van Damme, who co-wrote the script, set out to make a punch-packed, entertaining action film, and succeeded. [18 Jan 1991, p.10]
By never fessing up to its own bloodlust, Lionheart is, at bottom, chickenhearted.
Although it's possible to enjoy isolated sequences of LIONHEART, this is not one of martial arts superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme's better kick-ass vehicles. Sleekly produced and densely plotted, it lacks the excitement of the earlier Van Damme flicks which had a less calculated aura about them.
Unless you're a Van Damme or martial arts fanatic, you're more likely to be thinking: No, merci.
USA Today
But there are kicks a-plenty besides the times J-C flings his tootsies of terror at opponents. [14 Jan 1991, p.6D]
Being able to kick people in the head, at least while they’re standing up, is no negligible talent--though Lionheart is a pretty negligible movie. It has that grotesquely off-scale exaggeration of many post-'80s action movies.
The Seattle Times
Performances are lively, the story is incredibly stupid - and if you've seen one fight you've seen them all. Van Damme should market his next film as offbeat comedy - go for the laughs he'd get from the art-house crowd. [11 Jan 1991, p.26]
Van Damme, who has nonetheless made eight films in six years, including "Bloodsport," "Cyborg" and "Kickboxer." His looks are memorable but his acting skills stunningly limited, confined mostly to the flexing, seething and pouting realm. Should anyone be in the market for an all-new Hercules, Mr. Van Damme might at the very least take a number. But when it comes to even the minimally dramatic events of Lionheart, he's in over his head.
Van Damme himself, a graduate of the blank-stare school of acting, is so without emotional inflection on the screen that his most affecting moment in this film, if one is to judge from a preview audience's reaction, is when he drops a bathrobe for a couple of seconds of magnificent gluteal exposure.

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