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
There's some word combinations that you simply can't envisage together. "Jean-Claude Van Damme can act" is one of them. Yet, remarkable as it may seem, the Muscles from Brussels turns in a truly career turning performance in JCVD.
Directed and co-written by Mabrouk El Mechri, JCVD manages to capably straddle art house, action and comedy genres as it captivates the viewer by laying bare the soul of the star of such DVD fare as Bloodsport, Streetfighter, and Universal Soldier, to name only a few.
Largely based on his real life troubles, JCVD unfolds as Van Damme retreats to his native Belgium in the wake of a losing child custody battle in a Los Angeles court.
Mounting financial troubles have left our hero with over-maxed plastic and debit cards that no longer yield ATM withdrawals. Forced to tap into his savings reserves, he makes a pit stop at a post office/bank to arrange a money wire transfer to pay his lawyer, only to discover that the bank is in the process of being robbed and he's stuck in the midst of the drama.
To make matters worse, the manner in which things have unfolded has caused authorities and media alike to believe that Van Damme is the mastermind, orchestrating the heist and hostage taking to pay his legal bills.
Segmented into chapters and shown out of sequence, similar to Pulp Fiction, El Mechri manages to deftly juggle laughs and tension to deliver a film that uniquely straddles several genres, including breaking the "fourth wall" with an eight-minute long monologue in the film's third act that sees the muscle-bound Belgian recap, with painful tear-inducing pain, his life of cheesy movies, women and drugs.
Think of Dog Day Afternoon in which Pacino gets to speak to the audience and lay his soul bare and you've got an idea of what's in store with JCVD, which, if there's any justice, will do for Van Damme's career what Tarantino did for Travolta's. Especially now that we know JCVD can act.
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