The Shepherd: Border Patrol


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is a straight-to-DVD Van Damme film in which the Belgian Chuck Norris, working for the Border Patrol, illegally violates Mexican sovereignty in pursuit of some drug lords, then single-handedly defeats an entire army of renegade Special Forces operatives, and an entire Mexican jail full of desperados, all while operating with no authority nor back-up on Mexican soil.

I have to admit that Jean-Claude Van Damme has surprised the hell out of me and become a quite capable actor. Oh, he's not going to take any Shakespeare work away from Kenneth Branagh, but he's gotten quite good at playing the type of roles he gets, and he can still fight gracefully and forcefully even though his face looks older than his 47 years. He did an excellent acting job in his previous movie, Until Death, which was a pretty damned (Dammed?) good straight-to-vid in which J-C played a complex anti-hero living in the real world. That film was good enough, and he was good enough in it, that he seemed to be making some real progress toward a comeback. The Shepherd Border Patrol is a significant regression from that progress. This one is a reversion to his old style of unrealistically noble and invulnerable hero living in a masturbatory fantasy which vacillates between heroic violence and sappy sentimentality. The classic example of the latter is that JC carries around a cute pet rabbit in memory of his dead daughter. You see, the animal had been her beloved pet until she overdosed on Mexican drugs. Now JC has sworn to protect the bunny while wiping out the cartel responsible for those drugs.

I hear you snickering, but here's a tip for you wiseacres: don't make fun of his bunny unless your medical insurance is paid up.

Our Grade:


OK, I'm kidding. Call it a D+. It's not utterly awful, but I consider a C- or higher to be a recommendation to at least some specialized audiences, and I would not want anyone to watch this based on my opinion.



  • There is quite a bit of nudity in one scene in which a Mexican drug lord holds a party at his hacienda. All the female ... er ... "guests" are topless.



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Straight to DVD.




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* widescreen anamorphic