Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Jan 27 2009Jean Claude van Damme was never an obvious candidate for a midlife crisis, chugging merrily through a parade of identikit beat-’em-ups for the global DVD market. But frustration has been building, erupting in the form of ‘JCVD’, a witty, oddball postmodern actioner in which the Muscles gets to beat the bad guys, lampoon his tough guy image, tear a strip off the media and bare his battered soul.
Taking a simple heist structure – terrorists hijack the bank JC, playing a scripted version of himself, happens to be patronising – director Mabrouk el Mechri constructs a compelling, if rather unambitious narrative. But plot is irrelevant here, the script so focused on van Damme that it could almost work as a one-man play: a scene where he rises to the ceiling and delivers a hallucinatory soliloquy of wry self-pity has to be an early contender for most bizarrely moving scene of the year. Unpredictable, engaging and even challenging, ‘JCVD’ is an intriguing oddity.
Author: Tom Huddleston