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 »
Alain is a boxer in 1925 Marseille, France. When he doesn't take the dive paid to take by a mob boss, he has to split. He joins the Foreign Legion and is sent to Morocco. He makes 3 friends and they watch each other's backs.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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