JCVD (Belguim, Luxembourg, France, 2008)

Haggard but acting

Haggard but acting

It’s very difficult for action heroes to get thespian credibility; Sylvester Stallone got some for Copland (1997) but I can’t imagine Keanu Reeves ever receiving a nice sounding gong. Jean-Claude van Damme lives, as a movie star, in straight-to-video land mostly. He surfaced most prominently in John Woo’s first Hollywood film Hard Target (1993) but I’ve heard little of him since; of course he’s continued to make movies.

JCVD is little more than postmodern fluff, he plays himself caught in a hostage situation in a beseiged Post Office in Belguim, but is worth a watch. Most extraordinary is the scene were, with no narrative motivation, Jean-Claude is elevated above the fracas to bear his soul to camera in a long take. Blimey! Doesn’t he pull it off.

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