Jean-Claude Van Damme is as active as ever and while he, like his genre colleagues Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins or Steven Seagal, also delivers irrelevant catalogue titles that barely captivate beyond their runtime, he occasionally dares to change his style. He has already done that several times in his career. This is also the direction The Bouncer takes, an almost silent and unglamorous thriller with a broken protagonist, who can barely keep his head above water financially and who only has the well-being of his daughter as his motivation. When he is forced to become an undercover spy disguised as a bouncer in order to stake out an unscrupulous strip club owner, he gets more and more caught up in a complicated maelstrom of violence and secrets.
If you expect Van Damme to put his opponents down with his martial arts skills or his famous split move, you'll be disappointed. Also, the frequency of the fights isn't very high. Van Damme tries to act here, mostly quite okay-ish. This is nicely filmed and entertaining for its runtime of 95 minutes. In France, the movie is called Lukas and was tightened up by several minutes. Numerous scenes were often shortened a bit in order to save some time, but sometimes, little narrative details get lost. That has an impact on the character buildup. For a movie that consciously focuses on a melancholic silence in some moments, this isn't the best way from an artistic point of view, either. If you want to get your hands on the original version, you should check out the German release by Constantin Film.
Comparison between the German FSK 16 Blu-ray aka The Bouncer version (by Constantin Film) and the French Blu-ray aka the Lukas version (by Sony Pictures).
48 cuts = 423.76 sec. or approx. 7 minutes 4 seconds
0:03:12: Lukas looks longer into the crowd and starts going a bit earlier.
0:03:43: He stands at the railing a little longer.
0:04:37: A drawing of his daughter, a game collection and a family photo can be seen. Impressions of better days.
0:04:50: He's showering.
0:05:51: Sarah says that she needs a certain type of paper for her drawings and Lukas says he will take care of it.
0:06:26: The headmistress says again emphatically that the school fees must be paid this week, then she and Lukas wish each other a good day.
0:06:58: Lukas is seen a bit longer as he’s shopping.
0:07:24: He's folding his bed.
0:07:46: He trains more in the apartment.
0:09:50: The guy gets upset that the waitress spills a drink on him and insults Lukas why he made such a fuss and dragged him away.
0:10:56: More thoughtful showering.
0:12:36: Lukas approaches the strip club building longer.
0:18:13: Lukas teaches Sarah in the kitchen even longer.
0:22:47: The two are watching TV, Lukas looks thoughtful and sad.
0:25:59: The scene in the car is much longer. Lisa introduces herself, because Lukas doesn't ask her on his own. The way he looked, he could obviously fight better than talk. His mine is still frozen, which is why she appeases him that it was just a joke.
0:27:27: Lukas escorts Lisa longer through the hotel.
0:28:51: A scene in the strip club starts earlier.
0:29:19: The too intrusive guest is taken away by Lukas.
0:29:49: He's crossing the road to Dekker’s car.
0:30:12: Extended shot in the car.
0:35:58: Dekkers says that Lukas should enjoy the time with his daughter.
0:39:01: Longer shot in the car.
0:39:20: Lukas hangs on the phone a bit longer.
0:40:51: He walks through the stable and sees Geert from a distance.
0:42:37: The jeep drives through the forest.
0:42:58: Longer shot in the car.
0:50:28: Lisa tells Sarah that she is sorry for the death of Sarah's mother. Sarah says it doesn't have to.
0:51:41: In the Bouncer version, Lukas says that Dekkers has kidnapped his daughter and Lukas was forced to do something. Maxim asks him what that was. In the Lukas version, he only asks him what happened.
0:52:31: Maxim says to Lukas that his daughter needs him.
0:55:53: Lisa gets in the car longer and examines the drug sample.
1:00:02: Lukas goes back to the car even longer and gets in.
1:01:10: In the Bouncer version, Lukas describes what went wrong. Maybe that was considered superfluous for the Lukas version.
1:02:20: Lukas and Sarah leave the room longer.
1:03:20: The scene in the garden begins earlier.
1:04:38: Omar is looking at Lukas.
1:06:36: Dekkers says to Lukas that he could not print a single banknote if Lisa lost her nerve. Without her, he would be dead.
1:08:52: Lisa is in tears and says that printing counterfeit money in Italy is worse than killing a child.
1:11:52: The dialog scene between Lukas and Maxim is a bit longer.
1:15:34: The shot in the hallway starts sooner.
1:15:47: Dekker's liaison man is coming down the stairs.
1:15:57: Dekkers goes for the guy's throat and then looks at Lukas, who closes the door.
1:16:28: We briefly see Lukas. Dekkers also says that the Dutch Mafia ratted him out to the police, his liaison denies it.
1:17:54: Sarah tells Lukas that she loves him.
1:20:39: Lukas stares longer.
1:22:19: Dekkers looks at Lukas longer before he shoots.
1:26:34: He's stumbling to the car a bit earlier.
1:27:54: Lukas takes out the picture with him, his deceased wife and his daughter Sarah and looks at it.