JCVD | Chicago Reader
That's Jean-Claude Van Damme to you. In this witty French feature, the Muscles From Brussels gets the comeback role of all time—as himself, a washed-up action hero whose early-90s stardom in blockbusters like Timecop and Universal Soldier has deteriorated into a life cranking out crummy straight-to-video martial arts flicks. On the street people badger him for autographs, making awkward remarks about his fading career; in a child-custody hearing his young daughter confesses that her classmates mock her whenever his movies come on TV. When he blunders into a holdup at a post office, the hostages look to him for heroic action and the bad guys try to exploit his fame in their negotiations with the police, who've set up a command post in the video store across the street. Written and directed by Mabrouk El Mechri, this functions perfectly well as a Van Damme vehicle, but it's also a funny and poignant look at a man trapped by his own ridiculous reputation. In English and subtitled French. R, 96 min.

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