Release Date: 11/7/2008 – Rated R

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme (Blood Sport)

Plot Summary:  Our feature begins with a five-minute continuous action sequence where Jean-Claude is kicking ass on a movie set, only to have the final shot be ruined and him having to start all over.  After delivering a Murtaugh-like line of being too old for this shit, we cut to his everyday life where the real Muscles from Brussels has fallen on some hard times; he lost custody of his daughter, he can’t find a decent acting gig and he is broke.  He returns to Belgium for a break to sort out his life, and as he enters a post office to receive a wire transfer he gets tangled up in a real-life heist.  Some shot are fired and the next person seen in the window is Van Damme, so naturally the cops think he is the one robbing the place and holding those inside hostage.  The real robbers (a star-struck fan, and giant oaf and one guy who looks like a balding French Professor Snape) take advantage of that, and have Van Damme negotiate on the phone for them.  After telling the police the robbers demands, he throws in a demand that all of his substantial legal fees be paid off as well, because why not.  After some stressful time inside, the robbers begin arguing amongst themselves as the police bust in and the robbers are killed.  Van Damme is the actual hero of the day, preventing the robbers from killing anyone, but the police put him away for extortion for that little trick he pulled with his debt.

This movie is filmed from several points of view.  It begins with people outside the post office seeing Van Damme enter and then the chaos that ensues.  It then re-starts with Van Damme’s POV and shows what really happened inside and that he was not responsible for what the people outside thought they saw.  Near the end of the movie, before the police storm in, there is a 10-minute monologue with just Van Damme looking into the camera talking about his failed marriages, his cocaine addition and how his is trying to be a better person and doesn’t want to die here.  It is a very personal scene with everything he says being 100% true.

Alex’s Thoughts:  Like most guys my age, I really like Van Damme’s early fighting movies; but that schtick got pretty old as it seemed like the same movie getting churned out every year.  I kind of always thought he was a dick by the way he acted off camera, but this movie sort of changed my opinion of him.  I really liked the movie and the different POVs, but that monologue made it for me.  He still might be a dick, but at least now I respect that dick.

Tim’s Thoughts: I grew up loving Van Damme, he was such a bad-ass. And like most, I also grew tired of him, and his antics. JCVD had to have taken some balls to make, it’s so honest, and is an amazing window into this man and his life. At the same time it’s a pretty good hostage movie, and with the non-linear story telling I really got into this story. I hope that fans of the genre, and of JCVD will give it a chance.

Final Thoughts: See this, if you like crime movies/bio pics, or Van Damme.  See this now, but first recommend this blog to your friends.

Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim Rates This Movie 9/10

“It’s hard for me to judge people and it’s hard for them… not to judge me. Easier to blame me.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue