JCVD comes out this weekend and, if you’re like me, you haven’t been paying attention at all.
I had a few friends buzzing about the movie, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention because the concept sounds great. 90’s action star Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in a mockumentary as a real-life version of himself where he stumbles into the middle of a bank robbery. High kicking and movie staged heroics are no match for real bullets, so what does an actor do when confronted with a gun to his temple?
That synopsis is a little clumsy. Maybe as clumsy as the movie title itself. Watch the trailer. It does a better job explaining things than I do.
Now that I have an idea what the movie is about, I’m kind of interested to see it play out.
I should say that I’m not a big Jean-Claude Van Damme fan. I liked Lionheart and probably saw it a half-dozen time in syndication on Saturday afternoons. Growing up, it seemed like either Lionheart or Big Trouble in Little China was always playing sometime, somewhere on the dial. But by the time Timecop hit theaters in 1994, I had all but rejected Van Damme and his mullet. I was always impressed by his athleticism, but his acting was always hammy and atrocious. I know that’s supposed to be part of the appeal for a big, bloated action movie. Certainly Van Damme is no less ridiculous than Stallone, Segal or even Schwarzenegger. But when the market was flooded with those kind of movies, he was the first actor to be cut from my list.
So now, over a decade later, here comes JCVD featuring Van Damme in hyper-awareness mode peeling away his soul for entertainment. Critics actually like the performance. They’re calling it a comeback! Anything is possible, I suppose. But I don’t know if Van Damme is doing himself any favors by taking that good will and announcing he’ll star in Universal Soldier III. Follow the money, I suppose.
Something equally preposterous is the news I shared in today’s comic. It’s absolutely true that Van Damme has canceled promotional appearances to take care of a dog he is adopting from Thailand that has fallen into a coma. I read that story and thought it sounded like a lie that someone is making up AS they’re telling it. Like “I’m sorry, but I can’t come to your birthday party because I have to help my cousin fix his canoe so he can by antibiotics for a staph infection. Yeah, he lives in Nova Scotia. Sorry!”
I mean, I don’t want to sound insensitive. It’s good that Van Damme is taking responsibility for a sick animal. But, first of all, why Thailand? They didn’t have any dogs up for adoption in Brussles? Second, when you have critics at your back for the first time in a LONG time (in some cases, the first time EVER), why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that, put your face out there and remind people that you’re still alive. You know the old saying in Hollywood: “Here today, gone today!”
Maybe Van Damme has good reason to stay out of the public eye. Have you seen a picture of him lately? Looks like he’s been doing some hard livin’. The man is 48 years-old and he looks 78. See for yourself.
Yikes. The last time I saw lines that deep I was visiting the Grand Canyon!
Oh, who am I kidding. He could still kick my ass.
Look, Van Damme has been a joke in the industry for a long time, but obviously the guy has some smarts about the business or he wouldn’t have hung around as long as he has. Heck, he probably wouldn’t have broken into the business to begin with if he wasn’t at least somewhat ambitious and smart about his decisions.
But at some point he lost his way. Started making crap like Leigonnaire and Replicant and then got shipped back to Europe to make more bottom of the barrel flicks. All I’m saying is I would be happy is Van Damme could at least salvage some respect out of a smart, self-aware turn like JCVD. But instead, he seems to be displaying more poor decision making and it’s a shame.
That’s it for me this week. I hope to see Role Models this weekend, which has been getting some surprisingly good reviews! Probably stronger than it deserves, but I can finally unclench and stop worrying about Paul Rudd starring in some career-killing bomb. Hey… there’s no telling what could happen to your career when you’re doing time with Sean Williams Scott. Just ask Johnny Knoxville.
Thanks for swinging by today and I hope you have a great weekend. See you here on Monday!
What other obstacles could keep Van Damme away from promoting the film critics have heralded as his comeback?
A stubbed toe.
Gilmore Girls marathon!
Oh, Rory. Will you ever find love?
Jason Statham trying to collect the five Euro he lent you.
C’mere! I’ll show you some high kicking!