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Monday, August 15, 2022

Jean-Claude Van Johnson

I knew this man had something more to offer us than the rest of the 80s and 90s action stars when I saw this scene.

You can never look away.

After a brief stay at whichever resort old school action heroes trundle off to after their flame burns out, Jean-Claude Van Damme AKA The Muscles from Brussels started to slowly infiltrate our smaller screens.

First up, we had this eye watering moment.

Then he showed us his angelic side.

Of course… this happened.

Keen to demonstrate that he was so much more than high kicks, truck splits, snow tricks and crotch dips he agreed to star in the Belgian crime thriller JCVD, which achieves SO MUCH MORE that it sets out to do. There’s a link below to my favourite scene from the film. Maybe it’s because he delivers the speech in such a beautiful language, maybe it’s how the lighting picks out the rough crags and lines of his face, maybe it’s because Van Damme is just an incredible actor. Who knows. Make up your own mind.

Skip to 2016, and he’s back again with a pilot on Amazon Prime that has a similar concept with a much lighter tone.

Jean Claude Van Johnson sets up the premise that all of JCVD’s earlier, possibly misguided cinematic endeavours were nothing more than a cover for his work as a world saving, bad guy slapping CIA operative. Retired, older and out of shape, living in a mansion with coconut water in the pipes, rolling around in solitude on a Segway with a silk gown billowing behind him he has found himself out of the spotlight, out of the spy game and out of passion.

Without spoiling anything further, a chance encounter leads him to make the decision to jump back in and he soon finds himself on a mission, starring in an action re-telling of Huckleberry Finn complete with slow motion axe battles in the rain and vape smoking hipster directors.

Shot beautifully, and with a truly blissful soundtrack and genuine laughter inducing scenes seamlessly paired with genuine emotion and tragedy it’s a shame that this show has to battle it out with the other Amazon pilots to be considered for a full season pick up.

The Brusseled Muscles are back and in top shape. I can’t wait to see what this incredibly ridiculous man does next.


Have you seen all the Amazon pilots? What did you make of them? Will JCVJ kick them square in the face? Do you have an excellent Jean Claude Van Gif to share with us? As always, hit us up in the comments.

Jamie McKeller is a writer and director who lives behind a desk on the outskirts of York. He eats a lot of soup and drinks more coffee than medically advised. Having spent at least a decade directing theatrical stuff, he had a spark of an idea to attempt making a web series in early 2010. He didn’t have a clue how filmmaking worked. Fast-forward several years, and he’s obsessed. Editing, writing, filming and eating soup with wild abandon. But now he has a beard.

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