Stars global martial arts & actor Jean-Claude Van Damme playing "Jean-Claude Van Damme", a global martial arts & film sensation, also operating under the simple alias of "Johnson" as the ... See full summary »
Terrorists kidnap the Russian Prime Minister's 2 kids, take Chernobyl nuclear power plant and threaten to blow up a reactor. 4 Universal Soldiers go in but are no match to a Next Gen. UniSol. Luc/JCVD goes in but faces 2 NGUs.
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
Police chief Bruges tells Van Damme the decision to act was GIGN's move, not his. GIGN (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale - French SWAT) exists in France but not in Belgium where the movie story takes place. In Belgium, police's tactical unit is called ESI (Escadron Special d'Intervention). See more »
Once in the film "Hard Target", I took a shot from a blank. It took salts to reanimate me.
"Hard Target"! John Woo! What an ass!
Don't say that!
C'mon, Jean-Claude, wait a sec!
[to the hostages, referring to Van Damme]
He's the one who brought him to the US. Without him, he'd still be filming pigeons in Hong Kong!
[to Van Damme]
And then what? He drops you!
At least, he did "Face/Off".
So what? He could've picked you!
[...] See more »
"He'd still be shooting pigeons in Hong Kong," says one of the players In JCVD about director John Woo's debt to action star Jean-Claude Van Damme for their 1993 collaboration, Hard Target. Making that film may have been JCVD's greatest contribution to modern cinema although the current film with his initials in the title is more interesting than any previous kick-butt martial arts flick of his I can remember.
The story's framing device is Van Damme's fictional character of the same name unwittingly becoming a hostage in a bank robbery where his inability to extricate himself and the other hostages is a commentary on the impotence in real life of the mythical hero on the screen. The gritty, de-saturated look inside and outside the bank reminds me of the urban realism of Sidney Lumet's bank-heist Dog Day Afternoon. There's even a stringy-haired thug, but Van Damme is no Dustin Hoffman.
In this satire of his mercurial career as an action star, Van Damme ironically manages a mini-Mickey Rourke comeback by expressing feelings for his daughter and for the lost glamorous life of the Muscles from Brussels. His taciturn, expressionless persona is exactly what the satire needs to move it from a comedy about celebrity to a serious attempt to throw his identity into the existential arena. Indeed one long take in which he tearfully philosophizes about his troubled life is either ludicrous or a rather nice reflection on the vagaries of fame, albeit low rent. The other long take during the titles shows the aging hero fighting his way through a gauntlet of bad guys in a current movie. It's not bad given how bad Stallone could be in the same situation.
Van Damme has had real-life difficulties getting custody of his daughter and righting his tax problems, so JCVD is an apt imagining of his troubles. At some moments he does quite well taking his acting where it has never gone before. That he recently lost a role to Stephen Seagal, who agreed to cut his pony tail for the part, is less an indictment of Jean-Claude than it is a commentary on the vagaries of showbiz heroism.
"Sic transit gloria mundi."
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