first read the back of this DVD, I actually thought that the Muscles
from Brussels actually hit rock bottom. Embarrassingly wrong, JCVD
(Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a
drama comedy that is directed by Mabrouk
El Mechri and stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Francois Damiens.
Unlike those bad 80ís and 90ís movie
such as Bloodsport or Cyborg, this is a much more mellower action star
who seems to have matured in the world of movies. Almost paralleling
Mickey Rourkeís The Wrestler, Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as himself, a
washed out shadow of the man he once was.
For now, Jean-Claude is fighting another
battle, that of the custody of his own daughter and to compound the
situation, he is almost destitute as he attempts to pay his lawyers. The
kick in the stomach is yet to come as his close rival in Martial Art
films, Steven Seagal has just stole a role from him.
Unable to live in the US anymore, JVCD
packs his bags and heads home to Belgium. Unfortunately his luck does
not return and he is mixed up during a robbery attempt in the town of
Schaerbeek. The criminals even force Van Damme to become their
spokesperson which in turn many people believe that he is part of this
Interestingly enough, director Mabrouk
El Mechri creates a clever movie that is split into three different view
points, one from Van Damme, the police and Commissioner Bruges (Francois
Damiens). These different viewpoints gives the viewer an insiders
knowledge of how the world and certain individuals portray Van Damme,
including himself in this movie.
There is a wonderful scene in the movie
which involves Van Damme and one of his captors who is a huge fan of the
Muscles from Brussels. It's moments like this that make the film so damn
With some brilliant acting by Van Damme
and his co-stars, this may be a real turning point for this action star
in a truly inspirational and at times pathetic movie about a broken man.
The video quality is muted with dull
colours which actually suits the storyline perfectly and the sound and
music only compliments the story even more. For those that love special
features, it includes some deleted scenes, the making of JCVD which adds
some interesting insights into the creation of the film and also Van
Dammeís move from action to comedy drama.
is a classic film!