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62triplet said:
(2008) 85% (%) 4) * * * * "See my profile for the key to this code" * * * * SYNOPSIS: "JCVD is an out of luck actor, the international action hero struggling to maintain relevancy on levels both professional and personal. He's out of money, his agent can't find him a decent production, and a judge is inclined to give his ex-wife custody of his daughter. He returns to his childhood home of Brussels. But when Jean-Claude walks into a bank to withdraw his attorney fees and is suddenly in the thick of a heist, is the haggard superstar orchestrating the stickup? Or is he simply a hostage, as trapped by fame as he is by criminals, who happen to know a couple of take-down moves? Due to an unfortunate mistake, the police believe JCVD is responsible for the crime. As the events are played from different perspectives, JCVD finds himself protecting the hostages, as well as serving as their negotiator. JCVD is forced to accept responsibility for crimes he didn't commit, as well as the life mistakes that he did make. JCVD dresses its dankness in glaringly blown-out lighting effects that acknowledge a topsy-turvy world in which artifice sits just upon reality." CONSENSUS: "JCVD" is a touching, fascinating piece, with Jean-Claude Van Damme confounding all with his heartfelt performance....a bold attempt to humanize him, not by trying to ignore his personal and professional pitfalls, but by reminding us that behind ever movie star, loved or loathed, is a complex human being. Van Damme's delivery of a Fellini-esque soliloquy about the angst of fame could've resulted in the action star coming across as a crybaby. Instead, the speech, in which he breaks the fourth wall and expresses his ironic frustrations, is revelatory and heartbreaking." MOTIVATION FOR ME TO SEE: I have avoided Jean-Claude studiously, except for ten second clips as I channel surf (same for Steven Seagal and Jackie Chan). But this new title caught my interest, as did the NYT review. And if Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler" (30 Apr 09) can be brought back to life, why not Jean-Claude Van Damme? MY THOUGHTS: Fascinating film, but certainly not up to "The Wrestler" comparison. Sincere, but still odd. [New purchase by HCL]
posted Jul 7, 2009 at 1:41AM
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