JCVD: A Meta-Action Movie
I'm sure I would have appreciated JCVD more if I had seen more Jean-Claude Van Damme movies-- I think the only one I ever watched in its entirety was Bloodsport . . . or if I read the tabloids more and knew anything about his life-- but I still found the premise intriguing, though it dragged a little at the end; Van Damme plays a down and out version of himself, sincere and beaten, losing a custody case for his daughter, losing roles to Steven Seagal, unable to access funds, and painfully honest about his career, his art, and living the shallow life of a celebrity; ultimately the film asks a meta-question: does acting translate to reality? are actors skilled in what they portray or are they truly just pretending? could Paul Newman really shoot a game of pool? is Clint Eastwood actually tough? can Natalie Portman do ballet? and can Jean-Claude Van Damme actually use his martial arts training to rescue himself and others from a real hostage situation? . . . you'll have to watch the film to see the answer, and endure a six minute sincere monologue from Van Damme about the significance (and futility) of his life, and I didn't fully understand the very end . . . warning: spoiler! . . . why he is convicted, but if you like action and you like meta and you like the darkness of foreign film then you will like this story.