Hell, yeah. Jean-Claude Van Damme. The Muscles from Brussels was a staple of my high school and college years. I didn’t see every movie he released during his prime, but I did see Bloodsport, Cyborg, Lionheart, Double Impact, Hard Target, Street Fighter, and Sudden Death. Probably a few others, too–those are just the ones I can remember.
Van Damme eventually drifted into direct-to-video hell, probably an inevitable fate for a niche action star. But I think I speak for millions of permanently immature boys in saying that Van Damme kicks ass!
Well, would you believe he’s made a comeback? And he’s getting good reviews? As an actor?
Introducing J.C.V.D., starring J.C.V.D. as J.C.V.D.
…I never thought I’d utter these words, but Jean-Claude Van Damme gives an exciting, impressive performance here, careening between action that leaves him breathless and comedy that leaves us laughing, revealing not only the timing and charisma that made him the action star we know him as but also a human side we probably had never imagined. There’s nothing more vain than insisting you’re without vanity, but Van Damme strips himself bare here — the aging action icon, the man who finds living other people’s dreams a nightmare, the star who is in danger of losing a part to Stephen frickin’ Seagal.
J.C.V.D. has been picked up for American distribution, but I don’t think a release date has been announced yet. Those of us in Austin can rest assured that the Alamo Drafthouse will be all over this one. And so will I.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer: