by Kris Katz
Brief spoiler-free entertainment reviews

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

JCVD (2008)

Jean-Claude Van Damme, the muscles from Brussels, is a washed up actor who's hard up for cash and credibility. Then he gets involved in a bank robbery. There's a strange thing going on in this mostly-French language film. With Jean-Claude playing himself, the fourth wall is but a plot device, and in fashion similar to Being John Malkovich there's the sense that the things going on behind the scenes are as important as the on-screen result. Van Damme seems to be trying to reinvent himself with this film, repositioning himself with a mea culpa for his reputation, and the result is surprising and compelling. Sadly, the same cannot be said for most of the remainder of the film, which is a largely standard trip through the genre. There's nothing particularly bad about the story being told, just that it doesn't really stand out. Yet still, there's a nugget here from Van Damme, a genuine showing that there's more to things than what usually makes the cut. While the film itself may not be much, there is still something honest to be appreciated.

6 out of 10.

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