People I like no. 7: Jean-Claude Van Damme

This is going to be a long post because Van Damme (aka ‘The Muscles From Brussels’ (aka ‘The Bum From Belgium’ (aka ‘The I’m consistently in films that are amazing according to the guy that writes I Only Watch 18s’))) is so dedicated to the 18-rated cause that he’s hardly ever in anything that isn’t an 18.  That means he’s been in LOADS of 18s.  Therefore, in this worthy and insightful column I will discuss, analyse and explore the most important 18s of Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Bloodsport – Although Bloodsport has since been rammed up the arse by the BBFC and re-classified as a 15, when I saw it, it was an 18, so it counts.  I wouldn’t ever recommend watching it now unless you are scared of the dark and like picking your bum and wiping it under the table, however I will include this brief review in order to incite fond remembrance in the hearts of those who saw it when it was worth watching.

Bloodsport is about a bloke called Frank Dux (he actually exists, and is supposedly a massive liar in real life) who goes off to Hong Kong to fight in the ‘Kumite’ (pronounced ‘Koo-might’ if you want to piss off geeks that know how to really pronounce it) – an underground fighting competition.  Once there, he fights lots of people and kicks them in the face a great number of times while I sit (sat) there screaming my head off and throwing apples at the wall.

It’s not just a tournament movie though, there’s also a nice revenge plot thrown in for good measure.  There’s a massive nutcase fighter called Chong Li (Bolo Yeung) who basically puts Van Damme’s mate in hospital during the tournament, thereby causing the veins on Van Damme’s head to stick out.  As a result, the last fight is Van Damme vs. Chong Li and of course it is (was) fucking amazing.

HOWEVER NOW THE FILM IS SHIT AND CAN FUCK OFF AND DIE FOR ALL I CARE.

Van Damme can fashion bazookas out of wood. Gutted.

Cyborg – In Cyborg, lots of things happen and I really can’t be arsed to explain the whole plot here, so you can go ahead and read the Wikipedia description if you want.  If you don’t want to, then here is a very brief summary of what happens:

Van Damme kicks and punches a fuck load of people dressed as dickheads.

Cyborg is an Albert Pyun film, and if you’re familiar with Albert Pyun, then you’ll know exactly what to expect.  If you’re not, then this is what to expect:

  • Robots
  • Guns
  • Robots firing guns
  • People dressed as dickheads
  • Robots firing guns at people dressed as dickheads
  • People dressed as dickheads firing guns at robots
  • Sand
  • Tits
  • Tents
  • Eye-patches
  • Bad acting
  • Sex
  • Large boots
  • Post-apocalysisism (THAT IS A WORD YOU KNOB)

I’m pretty sure you’ll get to see all of these thing in Cyborg.

Overall, Cyborg hasn’t aged that well (like all Albert Pyun films) but it’s got Van Damme and tits in it so it’s definitely worth watching.

Kickboxer – FAVOURITE VAN DAMME FILM ALERT!  I absolutely love this movie with a passion, and anyone who disagrees is a whining shit with small bollocks/tits.  There is not one fault in this entire movie, from the plot, to the fights, to the music, to the tits – actually, there aren’t any tits, so that’s a small fault right there, but apart from that – NO FAULTS.

Kickboxer is the same film as Bloodsport only it’s much better.  There are more kicks to the face, better fights, and MUCH better music:

If that doesn’t make you want to enter an underground fighting tournament, then I don’t know what will.

A.W.O.L – This is pretty much the same as Kickboxer and Bloodsport, only this fighting tournament is really really underground and unofficial and naughty and shit.

There’s no point in repeating the plot description, because all the required elements are present and correct – illegal fighting tournaments, kicks to the face, revenge, head veins etc.  All you need to know is that it’s bloody good.

Death Warrant – Now, those of you out there that have me up on some sort of all-knowing pedestal, the ones that idolise me and love everything I stand for are about to be severely let down, and I’m sorry.  You’re not gonna like this next sentence one damn bit.

I haven’t seen Death Warrant.

I have no idea why, or even how, but I’ve never seen it, and it rocks me to the core.  However, it is an 18 and Van Damme is in it therefore I can wholeheartedly recommend it on that basis.

Double Impact – This is the first of many times that Van Damme has played dual roles in his films, something which it turns out he really likes doing.  In this, he plays two twin brothers separated at birth who luckily both train to be amazing martial artists and amazingly have the same accents even though one of them grew up in America and the other in Hong Kong, and then through a series of unbelievable coincidences, end up meeting each other and bringing down one of Hong Kong’s largest crime empires.

DO NOT CARE THOUGH because I liked this one a lot.  It’s two Van Dammes for the price of one, and at one point, they even fight each other:

YOU JUST WITNESSED MOVIE MAGIC.

Universal Soldier – If I had a propensity towards needless swearing, then I’d probably say something like ‘Universal Soldier is fucking sweet shit, bitch’, but as I don’t, I’d probably more likely go with, ‘Universal Soldier is shitting quality, you fucking cock-sucker’.  Oh wait.

Anyway, Universal Soldier is about these mega-soldiers who are actually dead soldiers but turned into mega-soldiers by other alive soldiers and then sent in teams of mega-soldiers to kill normal soldiers.  Captain America types, basically, except dead first.  Like Return of the Living Dead 3 Captain America Frankenstein’s monster mega-soldier types.

Van Damme plays one, and so does Dolph Lundgren (extra point), only Dolph plays a psycho one, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my time as head of a top secret biological super-soldier science team, a psycho mega-soldier is one thing you DO NOT want on your hands.

However, if you also have a Van Damme mega soldier on your hands, then things aren’t quite as bad.

What else to say apart from if my fucking mobile phone turns itself off again while I’m trying to send a text, then I’ll fucking smash it?  Probably that there’s loads of fighting and shooting and explosions.

FUCK SNAKES

Hard Target – In this, Van Damme has a mullet, which although frowned upon nowadays, WAS THE EPITOME of high fashion in the early 90s (I think) and so Van Damme comes across as doubly cool here – even though he only plays one part.  Imagine if he’d have played twins with mullets in Double Team?  They’d have had to supply the audience with femidoms to stop all the men getting pregnant.

Hard Target also stars Lance Henriksen, so we can therefore multiply the already double coolness of the film by two once more.  Then, when you factor in that it’s directed by John Woo, double it again.  What you now have is a film so cool it could only be ruined if Van Damme had a mullet in it.

Timecop – This is still one of my favourite Van Damme films – mainly because of this bit:

However, the line ‘Have a nice day’ is a bit shit.  I couldn’t help but think ‘Have an ICE day would have been better.

Although maybe he does actually say that – he’s got a funny accent don’t you know?

Either way, Timecop is brilliant because they’ve added time travel to all the splits.  Van Damme’s hair is also really crap.

Sudden Death – This is one of those Steven Seagal-alike films where terrorists attack a certain location (boat/train) but their plan is foiled because they messed with the wrong person with unexpected terrorist plan-foiling skills (chef/chef).  Only in this case, the location is an ice hockey arena, and this time they messed with the wrong…FIREFIGHTER!

In this case, the terrorists are headed up by Powers Boothe (the man with the coolest name on planet earth) and Van Damme gets all up in their kool-aid as he goes around disabling bombs and beating the shit out of giant penguins:

(Best quality clip I could find)

The Quest – This one is the same as Bloodsport and Kickboxer and all the other underground tournament movies Van Damme has done, only it’s even more like Bloodsport and Kickboxer than the other underground tournament movies Van Damme has done.

Which of course makes it absolutely amazing.

It’s even got Roger Moore in it.

AND IF THAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU WANT TO ENTER AN UNDERGROUND FIGHTING TOURNAMENT, THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL.

Maximum Risk –

Van Damme: Can I play two parts again please?
Agent: Well, as it happens, I’ve just got a script for this film where you play twins.
Van Damme: What’s it called?
Agent: Maximum Risk.
Van Damme: Yes, that’s nice and generic – I like it.  Can there be a scene where I fight myself?
Agent: Sorry, one of the twins dies right at the beginning.
Van Damme: I’M NOT DOING IT.
Agent: You’ll get to see Natasha Henstridge’s tits.
Van Damme: Hmmm…
Agent: There’s a scene where you get your arse out.
Van Damme: LET’S DO THIS THANG.

Double Team – For some reason, someone somewhere along the line, thought it would be a good move to put Jean-Claude Van Damme in a film with Dennis Rodman.

It was a bad move.

But as I am so easily pleased it’s unreal – I still liked this film.  Mainly because the fighting is really good – it’s a lot closer to a Hong Kong martial arts film style than the usual Van Damme fare.

Dennis Rodman is not a good actor though.  JUST TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

Is that Natasha Henstridge with her tits out?

Knock Off – For some reason, someone somewhere along the line, thought it would be a good move to put Jean-Claude Van Damme in a film with Rob Schneider.

It was a bad move.

And even though I’m so easily pleased it’s unreal – I still didn’t like this film.  Mainly because the fighting is really bad – it’s a lot closer to a really shit movie with really shit fighting in it than the usual Van Damme fare.

Jean-Claude Van Damme should not do comedy again.  JUST TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.

Universal Soldier: The Return – This one was universally slated and panned by critics the world over.  But guess what?

I liked it.

There were kicks, punches, explosion, wrestlers, Michael Jai White and Van Damme in it.  Why wouldn’t you like it?  Probably because it wasn’t even close to how good the first one was, but then NOT MANY FILMS ARE MATE.

Desert Heat – This one is a remake of Yojimbo which of course I haven’t seen because I’m still at work while Children’s TV is on.  It’s about this guy called (cool name alert) Eddie Lomax who rides into this little town and kicks someone in the face or some shit.  Mr Miyagi is also there, and so is Jamie Pressley, and also Danny Trejo, which are all welcome additions.

There’s some sub-plot about apple pie or some bollocks but the main plot in which Lomax’s boot hits people in the face is the most interesting part.

This is what I look like during Hayfever season

Replicant –

Van Damme: Can I play two parts again please?
Agent: Well, as it happens, I’ve just got a script for this film where you play clones.
Van Damme: What’s it called?
Agent: Replicant.
Van Damme: Yes, that’s nice and generic – I like it.  Will I get to see Natasha Henstridge’s tits?
Agent: Sorry, she’s not in it.
Van Damme: I’M NOT DOING IT.
Agent: You’ll get to fight yourself.
Van Damme: Hmmm…
Agent: There’s a scene where you get your arse out.
Van Damme: LET’S DO THIS THANG.

In Hell – I assume this one is like Death Warrant because it’s set in a prison.  And if Death Warrant is as good as this then I’m missing out more than I thought.

I mean the beard on Van Damme in this movie will knock the shit right out of your arse.

Wake of Death – Another revenge one now.  And what with revenge being the most potent emotion, Wake of Death is pretty heavy-going.  I don’t think Van Damme smiles once – ignoring of course the obligatory ‘look how happy I am before everyone dies and I have to dedicate my life to tracking down the killers and kicking them in the neck and head’ opening scenes.

Overall, it’s ok, but there isn’t an underground fighting tournament in it and therefore I felt it was lacking in a few departments.  Mainly the underground fighting tournament department.

"HAVE A NICE DAY"

Universal Soldier: Regeneration – Finally!  After making a long string of 15s (I wrote in various letters querying why Van Damme was doing this to me, but was threatened with police action so had to stop – frigid) Van Damme finally pulled his finger out of his bum and made this absolute stormer.

It’s not quite as good as the first one but it’s a million times better than the sequel, and instantly eliminates any doubts non-believers may have had that Van Damme had lost it.

HE FUCKING HADN’T.  HE’S STILL GOT IT.

Basically, if he keeps this up, his next few films (The Eagle Path, Weapon, Kung Fu Panda 2, Dragon Eyes) will be stone cold stunners.

So there we have it readers, and if you haven’t seen some of these, you’ve got a lot to be getting on with.  And if there’s one film that you absolutely MUST see, it’s Death Warrant.  And if you haven’t seen that you’re a cunt.

 

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One Response to People I like no. 7: Jean-Claude Van Damme

  1. Priscilla Fernandes says:

    Hahaha Colega o Van Damme tem excelentes filmes e eu adimiro mto ele seu blog mto beem argumentado mas suas teses são sem fundamentos . Cada um tem liberdade de expressão vce expressou a sua no caso estou expressando a minha. O musculos de Bruxelas como você mesmo se referiu é um otimo ator.. e sua opnião não muda em nada isso grata.

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