Second in Command

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Second in Command
DVD cover of the movie Secret Cutting.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Simon Fellows
Written byJonathan Bowers
David Corley
Jayson Rothwell
Story by Milton Bearden
Jonathan Bowers
David Corley
Produced by Brad Krevoy
Donald Kushner
Pierre Spengler
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Julie Cox
Alan McKenna
William Tapley
Raz Adoti
Velibor Topić
Cinematography Douglas Milsome
Music byMark Sayfritz
Castel Film Romania
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date
  • May 2, 2006 (2006-05-02)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million

Second in Command is a 2006 American action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and directed by Simon Fellows. The film was released direct-to-DVD in the United States on May 2, 2006.



Commander Sam Keenan (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a decorated US Navy SEAL, is sent to the Eastern European nation of Moldavia to become the new security attaché at the US Embassy.

When he arrives, Keenan learns that Moldavia is in the middle of a civil war. At the embassy, Keenan meets with Ambassador George Norland (Colin Stinton), who designates Keenan as his "second in command" despite the traditional diplomatic hierarchy, which is contested by others afterward. Recently, the US installed a new government in Moldavia, which is led by Moldavia's newly elected president Yuri Amirev (Serban Celea). Amirev wants the nation to be run as a democratic republic, but under the command of Anton Tavarov (Velibor Topić), communist insurgents have caused a riot at the presidential palace, threatening the fragile stability of the country. The insurgents are loyal to Alexei Kirilov (Costel Lupea), the former brutal communist dictator of Moldavia.

When the palace guards start firing on the insurgents without Amirev's authorization, the insurgents storm the palace, demanding Amirev's head. Keenan volunteers to bring Amirev to the embassy. But events reach critical mass, and the insurgents open fire. Keenan barely makes it back with Amirev, but the fight isn't over yet. Fifty Americans are holed up in the embassy, and Tavarov and his massive army have arrived at the gates, with plans to crash the building and drag Amirev out by any means necessary. To add to Keenan's problems, Norland is killed by a rocket that was launched by one of Tavarov's men.

To defend the embassy, Keenan has only 15 Marines, CIA bureaucrat Frank Gaines (William Tapley), limited ammunition, and his martial arts skills to hold Tavarov's army off until American reinforcements arrive. To make matters worse, Keenan's girlfriend, reporter Michelle Whitman (Julie Cox), is one of the hostages. With Tavarov's crew getting in position for attack, a power struggle takes place between Keenan and Gaines; with help hours away, it will be up to Keenan to rescue the hostages.

When the supposedly loyal General Borgov (a personal CIA "asset" claimed by Gaines) arrives, he turns out to side with the insurgents but Keenan rescues the surviving personnel with help from arriving American military reinforcements.



It is set and filmed in Bucharest, Romania in 50 days on June 7 and July 27, 2005.


The film opened in the 24th place with $1.04 million in the rentals chart. [1]

David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews gave it 1.5 out of 4. He said that after Van Damme's surprisingly decent previous film Wake of Death it was hard not to be disappointed and criticized the "astonishingly inept directorial choices". [2]

Home media

DVD was released in Region 1 in the United States on May 2, 2006. It was released in Region 2 in the United Kingdom on 15 May 2006. It was distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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  1. Strowbridge, C. S. (2006-05-13). "Home market numbers bounce back". The Numbers. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  2. David Nusair. "Second in Command". Reel Film Reviews .