I am gonna start up by saying, i have been a fan of Van Damme since i first saw Timecop back in 1995. I might have only been 6-7 years old back then, but i knew right then and there that this guy was WAY cooler than any of the guys on the Cartoon Network and Fox Kids. Most of his movies was usaly rated 18+ so i always used to put a sticker or the price tag over the rating and have my dad buy it. Yeah, he was not that into movies so he diddnt know who Van Damme was.
Back then Jean-Claude Van Damme was the man, but as the years went by his movies just went downhill. Less and less people saw them in the theaters. Less and less people bought his movies and in the end people just forgot about him and the people that rememberd him, usaly rememberd his as a joke. And now, in 2008/2009, 20 years after his first starring role in Bloodsport, people now see him as a real actor. Why? Becaus of one little movie called JCVD. One of the most critically acclaimed movies of 2008.
The movie starts up with an impressive 3 and a half minute long one-shot action scene making this look like just any other direct-to-video Van Damme action film. Then you see Van Damme complaining about the scene to the asian director who basicly just tells Van Damme to shut up and do what he is told.
After that we see Van Damme returning to his home town in Belgum to take some time of from acting and think things over. He has just lost the custody of his daughter and his movie roles to Steven Seagal (he cut off his ponytail). When he is in Belgum he accidently walks into a bank robbery and gets held hostage, but the police and the public outside thinks it finally snapped for him and belives its Van Damme himself that is robbing the bank. The real bank-robbers however are a man that looks just like Sal from Dog Day Afternood, a big nerv-wreck and a Van Damme fanboy.
Now if this was one of Van Dammes regular movies he would have probarbly beat up the guys and saved the day right away, but this is the real Van Damme in a real bank robbery and we see a new side of the man as he tries to deal with the robbers in a real way.
I will not spoil alot of the movie for you, but im gonna have to bring up this: Close to the end of the movie, we get to see Van Damme kinda slide out of the movie as he is giving one of the greatest monologues in cinema history. A 6-7 minute long un-scripted, touching speech about his life where he is talking about his beggining in Hollywood, all his wifes, his long coke habbit and how hee feels about his accomplishments so far. It even made me, a long time fan of the man, look at him in a new way.
This movie ended up beeing my favorite movie of 2008 and i will reccomend it to all people that remember Van Damme from back in the days.
I give it 10 out of 10.
Wait! I do have one complaint. Not about the movie, but the terrible UK dvd cover.
What the hell!? Exploding cars? Men jumping trough the air with guns? helicopter? None of this is IN THE MOVIE!!! The guy who designed this should be fired.