Sometimes we’re just as low brow here as we are attempting to be high brow. No joke, I watched this today:
JCVD, also released as Van Dammage in some parts of the world, ha ha. I watch a lot of good, classy films, I’m not going to lie, but I also watch a lot of popcorn shit and, well, strange oddities, like this film. But it wasn’t bad.
It’s like if Lost In Translation punched The Wrestler in the balls and then high kicked Being John Malkovich in the face and then had sex on top of Jean Luc Godard.
This movie is frighteningly aware, dangerously meta. For example, in the picture above, they’re talking about John Wood, whom Van Damme brought over from Hong Kong to do Hard Target, and then who dropped him. After that, they talk a little shit about Steven Seagal. It not only takes the cinema of the broken man of action into a new level, but actually elevate Van Damme, which is a sentence that I never thought I’d have to type anywhere ever.
Van Damme plays himself, coming back to Brussels, broke and tired, having just lost his daughter in a nasty custody battle and looking back on a faded career. He goes into a bank to withdraw what little cash he has left, but it’s being held up. There’s a hostage situation and he’s framed as the bad guy. Then, of course, he has to take matters into his own hand to catch the real bad guys and clear his good, ridiculous name. Cllllasssic, right?
Man, remember back to those halcyon days of the 90s when Van Damme guest starred on that post-Superbowl episode of Friends? And it was kind of an exciting thing, too? He played himself back then, as well (perhaps he’s a better actor when he’s playing himself?) starring in a fictional movie – brilliantly, it was Outbreak 2 – and was trying to make a threesome happen between himself, Courtney Cox, and Jennifer Aniston. Oh, Muscles from Brussels, you silly dog you.
I remember that Van Damme kind of updated my previously held notion of what a Belgian person was like, the only real previous contender being Hercule Poirot. And, obviously there’s a huge difference between those two…
But now, thanks to Van Damme, my impression of Belgian guys – sadly, I know no Belgian girls, though I’d obviously like to – is pretty much the same as French guys. Rather than the whole “Yes, I smell funny” and “Yes, I would love to paint you in the nude, then have dirty sexy,” it’s more of a “Let’s have some waffles, make work out a little, and then have dirty sex!” Take that, Europe.
Anyway. This movie? Not so bad.