JCVD (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  4 June 2008 (France)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 32,498 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 132 user | 163 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Jean-Claude Van Damme gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages situation and reflects about his life during it.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Valérie Bodson ...
Veuve Film Budapest
Hervé Sogne ...
Rock Chen ...
Réalisateur asiatique
Huifang Wang ...
Traductrice asiatique
Avocat ex-Femme
Renata Kamara ...
Juge Tribunal Los Angeles
Mourade Zeguendi ...
Client Vidéo club
Vincent Lecuyer ...
Vendeur Vidéo Club
Jenny De Chez ...
Taxiwoman JCVD
Patrick Steltzer ...
Policier 1
Bernard Eylenbosch ...
Technicien Telecom
Pascal Lefebvre ...
Képi 2
Jacky Lambert ...
Képi 3


Between his tax problems and his legal battle with his wife for the custody of his daughter, these are hard times for the action movie star who finds that even Steven Seagal has pinched a role from him! In JCVD, Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to the country of his birth to seek the peace and tranquility he can no longer enjoy in the United States. Written by Wismerhill & Redking

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The biggest fight of his life See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

4 June 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

JCVD - I huvudet på Van Damme  »

Box Office


€10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,119 (USA) (7 November 2008)


$470,691 (USA) (16 January 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the opening intro scene, Jean-Claude Van Damme's comment about not being able to film in one shot was his own ad-lib, partly in response to Mabrouk El Mechri actually wanting to shoot the scene in one shot. See more »


Towards the end of the movie, after JCVD is taken into custody and Bruges talks to the SWAT's chief, as the camera moves up we can see on the ground the shadow of a microphone. See more »


J.C.V.D.: This movie is for me. There we are, you and me. Why did you do that? Or why did I do that? You made my dream come true. I asked for it. I promised you something in return and I haven't delivered yet. You win, I lose. Unless... the path you've set for me is full of hurdles where the answer comes before the question. Yeah I do that. Now I know why. It's the cure, from what I've seen here. It all makes sense. It makes sense to those who understand. So... America, poverty, stealing to eat... ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Gaumont title sequence begins with a silhouetted boy picking up a sunflower, but he is met by a silhouetted Jean-Claude Van Damme, who attempts to grab the sunflower from him. When the boy refuses to let go of the sunflower, Van Damme gives him a roundhouse kick before kicking the sunflower up into space, where it grows into the Gaumont logo. See more »


References Candid Camera (1948) See more »


Modern Love
Performed by Marie Mazziotti (p2000)
Courtesy of Marie Mazziotti
By Arrangement with The Orchard
Lyrics and Music by David Bowie
Editions: North America: Jones Music Americ (ascap)
adm by Arzo Publishing
Rest of world: Jones Music America / RZO Music Ltd
(All Rights Reserved Globally)
See more »

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User Reviews

JCVD like we have never seen him before
7 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went into J.C.V.D with all the prepubescent memories of the action heroes of yesteryear; nostalgic roundhouse kicks, horrible dialogue, overdone explosions, one-liners and all. A time where the movie industry churned out the same movie a hundred different ways with the likes of Schwarzenegger, Stalone, and Van Damme in the spotlight. These action movies seem set aside from Hollywood history, not as bad films per say but as their own separate entity where critics and nay-sayers alike had no power to quell the insatiable appetite of young movie goers. A time where this trinity of subpar actors ruled the box offices with their muscles and gun toting charisma. Not that I was expecting J.C.V.D to be one of these films, but it is almost impossible not to be reminded of the better days of mindless entertainment when the film's title is the initials of the King of High Kicking, Jean Claude Van Damme. I was expecting something I have never seen before, something of a reinvention of an American, French, or more importantly, world icon. Which is exactly what I got.

J.C.V.D. is not a Jean Claude Van Damme movie whatsoever, no more than its namesake. There are no drawn out fight scenes, no car chases, and certainly no bad one-liners. Instead, the film is a hybrid, a meta-film, going beyond documentary, mocumentary, or full blown narrative. If I were to categorize it as anything, it would be a documentary of a mocumentary since it isn't afraid to break the fourth wall and does so on many occasions. The narrative is broken up, flipping back and forth if not only for the element of short lived mystery. It is not a character study since Van Damme is almost too well known for that, rather it is reenactment of his life dramatized for Hollywood. It doesn't matter if the story is true or not, the important thing is that Van Damme makes it real. Obviously drawing from his real life experiences, he pours his heart into his cinematic counterpart and proves to the world that he can flex his acting muscles just as well as he can flex his biceps, if not better now in his old age. Van Damme humanizes himself in a way that we have never seen. In a power and telling scene where Van Damme literally is lifted above the fourth wall, he explains to the camera his inglorious life and career, full or mistakes, drugs, and heartbreak. It brings a heart to those action films of yesteryear, of a past where things were simpler and a present where retrospection, as well as introspection, only leads to heartache.

This film speaks about the power of the celebrity and the quick to judge public. It brings to light the blood thirsty court system once it has a celebrity to make it famous. And it shows that not all of these superstars are the personalities we see on film. That they are normal people thrust into extraordinary situations with nothing to do but buckle under the pressure of the public. But beyond the serious nature of J.C.V.D. there are plenty of easter eggs to be found for those pure action fan boys. References to all of his previous work and signature high kicks are spread throughout the film that give it it's humor while the performances and solid writing attribute to many laughs as well.

The opening sequence of J.C.V.D. perfectly captures the message it is broadcasting to our time. It features an action sequence where Van Damme is out of breath and sloppily taking out soldiers while the stunt men and actors alike exhibit their heartless effort for a pay check in the film industry while the director throws darts at a picture of Hollywood. It lacks all the magic of his work while accentuating the cheesiness to a point where the fake film is a mirror image of the action industry today. And as Van Damme tries to catch his breath and lobby for a better film, he can only walk away in disgust of what his beloved career has become. J.C.V.D. is a film that knows what it is and what it is trying to say. Yet it somehow goes beyond that to become something more. It breaks down and then raises up one of the most famous action stars of all time only to show him in one of his best roles. Himself. It is not a tribute to those days gone by where I would rent six Van Damme movies and watch the rest of the afternoon away, it is more. It is a fun, funny, entertaining, and a damn good film. One thing is for sure, I will never look at Van Damme the same way again, and that is a great thing.

225 of 244 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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