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Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,062
Location: Rendezvous Point

27 Dec 2009, 4:35 pm

I was wondering... has anyone seen this movie? Well it is not a major blockbuster so I guess few or any people at all will reply to this post....

I was very enthusiastic about seeing this movie right from the start. The trailler really caught my attention when it was released, and the reviews seemed just fine. You know there were kinds of stuff like "Van Damme as you never seen it". It seemed that we would be seeing the "muscles from Brussels" in a whole different way in a story focusing on his decadence as an actor, his personal problems and his explosive personality when dealing with people.

Van Damme was also my all-time favourite hero as a child. I remember watching Sudden Death, Street Fighter, Timecop, Universal Soldier. Universal Soldier: The Return (which sucked), Legionnaire, Maximum Risk, Kickboxer, Double Impact. His characters were always beyond plain, he kept the same null facial expression in his face throughout the whole movie and yet his character always carried a sense of heroism and charisma that would captivate the public. That was my way of having fun as a kid, lots of kicking in a brainless movie but still keeping the style.


JCVD wasn't released at the movies here and I had to rent a DVD. The first scene is amusing as he make his way kicking, slashing, shooting through a whole company of soldiers in an uncutted movie scene just to be treated like crap by his Asian director.

Next he loses his daughter custody and his problems are escalating as he struggles to get hooked in a movie contract. Most of the action of the movie happens inside this bank agency that is being robbed where Van Damme incidentally steep foot. Wrong time at the wrong place as the saying goes. He is used as scapegot in the robbery and is confused with the robbers. Outside the bank a multitude of fans wave signs like "We Love You J-C Van Damme".

There is a remarkable scene at the agency when Van Damme makes a personal statement and dwells about his past life. He says very emotionally that he has practiced karate for more than 20 years and how the practice of karacter was imbued in a sense of honor for him. He contrast that with the crappy/mercantilist treatment he received in America in the show business industry. He talks about his past cocaine addiction (yeah same story as other celebrities here), his many wifes and his fear of dying in that bank agency.

A little bit further and another remarkable scene. Van Damme in his head seems to be reviving his old days of glory when he was an idol, and these images keep coming to his head no matter how distant they are from reality now.

Well, what can we say about the movie then. Certainly it is Van Damme at his best. It is by far his best acting as he portrays his complex personality leaving the old plain unidimensional characters he played in the past behind. Also the story is appealing. Van Damme seems to get in this spiral of problems each leading to a bigger one and we can see how deeply disturbed his personality gets as the movie progress. It reminds of that days when nothing gets right or the opposite of a fairy tale, everything gets wrong and at the end the character is at his worst. The movie then shows a different and quite realistic story behing the life of a celebrity very different from the rosy things we see at TV about celebrities.