Think of it as Sunset Bloodsport with Jean-Claude as Norma Desmond.
It's a watershed moment in Van Damme's career; the moment you realise the crazy bastard really can act. It's a tragedy of sorts that most of his fans won't even care.
| Original Score: 3/5
Turns out as bad as the star's recent string of dreadful films except for the fascination to look at it as one would a car crash.
| Original Score: C+
It has ensured JCVD will be remembered as an introspective, thoughtful and altogether more profound individual than anyone who ever watched him split a skull would have thought possible.
For all we know, it's just a big show, a put-on for our entertainment -- but what matters is that it's really quite convincing. You do want to believe this is Van Damme.
| Original Score: 8/10
a bold attempt to humanize Van Damme, 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
| Original Score: 3.5/4
...not your usual Van Damme movie...and a refreshing change of pace for the actor.
| Original Score: 7/10
If you thought that Mickey Rourke had the market cornered on comebacks with his transcendent performance in Darren Aronofsky's masterpiece The Wrestler, then think again.
It's fun as far as it goes, and for the most part quite well made, but in the end it's really not about very much at all.
Mechri allows the verbally challenged action star dignity and, with this, the film works. Maybe next time he could bring Jean-Claude and Mickey Rourke together. Now that would be a movie.
...reveals ... a supple and engaging actor with a sense of humor and a rare kind of self-recognition. Van Damme knows what we think of him and understands why.
| Original Score: 86/100
Van Damme has never done work like this before, and he's supported by the director's unique vision for the film
It's clever and unexpected, this confluence of dramatic fiction and real life that finds action star Jean-Claude Van Damme playing a version of himself in a heist movie
A real departure for Van Dame, but it ought to help his career. Who knew he could act?
| Original Score: B
[Van Damme] brings a kind of weary dignity to the role, and a surprising self-awareness...
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's as if he's trying to reach through the screen and show us the real guy behind the image he's spent a lifetime creating. I'm not sure if he's successful, but the attempt is fascinating.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
His face has a Bogart-esque haggardness, and his speeches about his life and career have at least a semblance of painful sincerity. This spectacle isn't enough to keep the film from dragging, but it certainly has curiosity value.
| Original Score: 2/5
It's fun, and moderately well handled by a young French director.
An existential-heist thriller with moments of dark comedy, JCVD is decidedly different and has its moments but you probably have to be a diehard fan to really cherish it.
Will make you see the Muscles from Brussels in a new light.