With stolen top-secret technology, terrorists have created a next-generation Universal Soldier - an elite fighter genetically altered into a programmable killing machine. With this "UniSol"... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Alain Lefevre is a boxer paid by a Marseille mobster to take a dive. When he wins the fight he attempts to flee to America with the mobster's girlfriend Katrina. This plan fails and he ... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
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
According to Mabrouk El Mechri in a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival, about 70% of the film was scripted and the other 30% was improvised by the actors. See more »
When the two guys talk about movies in the Video-store the one claims that Stallone fought against Arabs in "Rambo 3". But actually in "Rambo 3" John Rambo was fighting FOR Afghans Muslims in Afghanistan and against the "bad" Russian troops. See more »
[out of breath]
It's very difficult for me to do everything in one shot, you know? I'm 47 years old!
See more »
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 »
Interesting movie, with a terrific performance by Van Damme.
Interesting concept from french director Mabrouk el Mechri: real action star Jean Claude Van Damme is engaged into a bitter legal battle for his daughter's custody. Said daughter is mocked by her classmates for her father's antics, and prefers staying with her mother. Ridiculed by the media and smarty-pants naysayers, condemned to shoot sub-par B-movies in eastern Europe, almost broke and devastated by his little girl's condition, Jean Claude flies back to his native Belgium in order to find solace. After an odd encounter with small time crooks, his life and perception by the public will be changed forever.
From a direction/scriptwriting point of view, the movie is somewhat lacking focus. It's relying a bit too much on inside jokes and heist movie clichés, for better or worse. There are some truly great moments (the opening scene is hilarious - any scene using Baby Huey's "Hard Times" tune cannot be bad anyway; the court scenes are cleverly written and the very last shot finds a perfect balance of emotion without being overblown or tear-jerking) and the whole film deserves praise for being original and clever. However it stretches some scenes way too much, uses an awful bleached color scheme that could turn off some people (it's just a detail, but it annoyed me throughout the whole screening) and uses unnecessary flashbacks instead of sticking to a more tight storytelling, which could've benefited the movie in my humble opinion.
However, these little flaws are nothing compared to the enormous heart this movie displays. Jean Claude Van Damme may not be Daniel Day Lewis or Sean Penn, but he gives an astounding performance in this film. He's very comfortable in the comical scenes, but his acting chops really shine when the movie gets emotional. His long monologue, looking at the camera, and the audience (and perhaps even God) is nothing short of amazing. In his own words, he really begs for a second chance not only in his career, but in life. He's incredibly moving (acting in his native language helps a lot) and above all doesn't try to pretend he's something more than a washed up movie star, with a somewhat limited vocabulary. He just asks for one more chance, and judging by this flick he truly deserves it.
Overall, a nice surprise for those unfamiliar with "the Muscles from Brussels" and a refreshing comedy. Except a few complaints about the pace and the direction it's a highly recommended movie. And hopefully the beginning of a new career for JCVD.
149 of 162 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?