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Top Ten Jean Claude Van Damme Movies
Number 10: The Expendables 2
Who's in it: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis.
Why you should watch it: Van Damme only appears on screen for about 15 minutes. He plays the main antagonist named Jean Vilain. A bad guy who loves money so much he's willing to kill for it. So why is this movie even included in the top ten? For the simple fact that action stars like Sly Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger just to name a few are all out to get Jean Claude Van Damme. And a movie like this with so many action stars, even if they are a bit past their primes, doesn't come around very often.
Favorite Scene: When Van Damme's character, Vilain, asks Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth), are you afraid of me? Billy the Kid defiantly says NO! In response Van Damme round house kicks a knife through his chest.
Best Quote: Jean Vilain – “Don't challenge me.”
Number 9: Cyborg
Who's in it? Jean Claude Van Damme, and no one else worth mentioning.
Why you should watch it: In a post-apocalyptic world set on the East Coast of the United States, Gibson Rickenbacker(Van Damme) plays a lone wolf looking for his lovers killers. But there is more to it than that. The plot revolves around a Cyborg, half woman half robot, who carries vital information that could end the plague which has killed most of the worlds population. The Cyborg is trying to get to Atlanta where scientists can extract the information from her. She is soon kidnapped by a gang of pirates led by their leader Fender Tremolo (Vincent Klyn), who wears the coolest shades seen on screen, and who subsequently happened to kill Gibson Rickenbacker's (Van Damme's) lover. Van Damme goes on a rampage and kills each of the pirates one by one and in the end only him and the evil pirate leader are left. I'll leave it up to you to guess (or watch and find out) who wins and if that Cyborg ever gets to where she's going. The best part of the movie Cyborg, would be Cyborg 2 which happened to be Angelina Jolie's first staring role in a movie.
Favorite Scene: When Jean Claude Van Damme is being chased by the pirates in the sewers, he manages to evade them by doing the splits high above the sewer walls. Van Damme looks down, as he see's one of the evil guys walking below his splits, and proceeds to kill the evil pirate with what can only be called, Death From Above!
Best Quote: Van Damme doesn't say much in this movie so the best quote comes from his flying kicks and his shoe, which has a knife pop out of it every time he does a famous Jean Claude Van Damme kick.
Number 8: Lionheart
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, Brian Thompson
Why you should watch it: Jean Claude Van Damme plays a French Foreign Legion paratrooper named Lyon Gaultier stationed in North Africa. Lyon's brother, who lives in Los Angeles and is married, is burned alive in a drug deal gone wrong and dies. Lyon finds out and rushes to his brothers wife's aid. He escapes the Legion, so throughout the film, two French Legion MP's chase Van Damme to bring him back. He soon lands in America and befriends a man named Joshua(Brian Thompson) who organizes no holds bar bare knuckle fights for money. Van Damme begins fighting for money and wins every fight becoming famous and coming face to face with an undefeated big, in shape out of shape, fat guy. The fights are well choreographed and the supporting character Joshua, played by Brian Thompson, plays well in the film and is believable as a down on his luck sidekick to Van Damme.
Favorite Scene: Pretty much all the fight scenes are memorable. One fight in particular is set inside a half empty swimming pool where Van Damme kicks butt with water splashing all around.
Best Quote: Sometimes life is...is...ugly. And stupid. And mean.
Number 7: Double Impact
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, Jean Claude Van Damme.
Why you should watch it: There's two of them! That's the line spoken when the bad guys realize there is, not just one, but two Van Damme's in this movie. Jean Claude Van Damme plays Chad and Alex Wagner, twins separated, when they were infants, when their parents were killed by evil corporate bosses in Hong Kong. Chad was raised by his fathers friend in Los Angeles and Alex was raised in an orphanage in Hong Kong. Chad is a ladies man who wears silk underwear, and Alex is a slick backed hair badass! The twins reunite when they are much older and in their mid twenties and go on to kick ass. They do have their disagreements in the beginning when each takes turns kicking the other ass. But in the end family comes first and the twins go after the bad guys for vengeance.
Favorite Scene: Jean Claude Van Damme fights Jean Claude Van Damme! When Alex, the bad ass Van Damme, learns that Chad, the ladies man Van Damme, is with Alex's girlfriend, he is enraged, angry and out to kick his brothers butt. It is a memorable scene, as the two Van Damme's kick the snot out of each other and in the end no one really wins as Van Damme can't hurt Van Damme.
Best Quote: Look like me? You, of all people, should know I would never in my life wear black-silk underwear!
Number 6: Hard Target
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme and Director John Woo
Why you should watch it: Veteran homeless men are being hunted for sport by rich bad guys looking for a thrill. When a Veteran named Douglas Binder is killed for sport, his daughter shows up, looking for her father. She goes around town asking questions which leads her to Chance Boudreaux (Jean Claude Van Damme). She enlists the help of Van Damme to find her father, they soon learn that her father was murdered. The rest is John Woo history! The director makes his American film debut and he doesn't disappoint with lots of explosions lots of guns and a whole lot of roundhouse kicking!
Favorite Scene: Van Damme grabs a rattlesnake, by its neck, when it tries to bite his lady friend, then punches the snake unconscious and bites it's rattler off, with his teeth, and sets a trap for the bad guys.
Best Quote: Now take your pig-stick and your boyfriend, and find a bus to catch
Number 5: Kickboxer
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, no one else I could name.
Why you should watch it: Jean Claude Van Damme plays Kurt Sloane, a corner man for his kickboxer brother Eric. Eric is an American Champion. The two brothers decide to travel to Bangkok and challenge Thailand's undefeated champion, and the main antagonist, Tong Po! Well you can guess what happens next. Eric gets a major butt whopping from Tong Po. The fight also results in Eric being hospitalized and becoming paralyzed. Kurt(Van Damme) goes out to avenge his brother, but his fighting skills are less then stellar and no one will train him. A master martial artist named Xian Chow eventually agrees to train Van Damme in the art of Muay Thai. Van Damme trains, and trains some more until he is ready to kick butt! He has his first bout in the ring and goes on to defeat his first opponent setting up the final fight between him and Tong Po. The final scene is Jean Claude Van Damme and Tong Po going at it in a no holds barred, no shorts allowed, only a brown cloth even Jesus wouldn't wear, bear knuckle, wait scratch that. It's not really bear knuckle more like some tape around the knuckles some glue and shattered glass. The fight is memorable and of course features a few spinning helicopter kicks.
Favorite Scene: Kurt Sloan is taken to bar by master Xian Chow where he is given his next lesson is drunken fighting. Van Damme's character, Kurt, gets drunk goes on to disco dance and then beats up twenty guys all at once.
Best Quote: "Nuk Soo Kow!"
Number 4: Universal Soldier
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren.
Why you should watch it: It's the Swede vs the Belgian. Van Damme plays Luc Deveraux and the main antagonist is Andrew Scott played by Dolph Lundgren. The two play Vietnam war soldiers who off each other in the opening scene. Lundgren's character has gone mad and starts killing everyone in sight and cutting off their ears. Van Damme the one guy in Vietnam who hasn't lost his mind tries to stop Lundgren, and they both die. Some twenty years later, in the early nineties the two appear again as soldiers, Universal Soldiers, hence the name. Later we find out that the two main guys, Luc Deveraux and Andrew Scott also known as GR44 and GR13, along with other soldiers are part of a government experiment to reanimate dead soldiers and use them as special forces units. The soldiers have no memory or recollection of their past but all that changes soon Luc and Andrew start remembering everything. A woman reporter is also involved in all the mayhem as she investigates the secret government project. She soon teams up with Van Damme's character and the two set out on a journey running away from the government forces and Lundgrens character, who kills off everyone involved in the secret project and goes after Luc Deveraux. In the end Jean Claude Van Damme reunites with his parents, only to have the party ruined by Lundgren. The two finally decide to settle their differences with fists and steroids.
Favorite Scene: Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) walks into a supermarket and starts ranting at all the customers thinking he is still in Vietnam. The scene has another one of the Universal Soldier eating a raw steak and some good acting by Lundgren.
Best Quote: You're discharged, Sarge.
Number 3: Bloodsport
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, Forrest Whitaker, Bolo Yueng
Why you should watch it: Jean Claude Van Damme's first staring role, where he plays the main character, is the movie Bloodsport. Bloodsport is based on true events in the life of Frank Dux, well sort of. Van Damme plays the main character Frank Dux, stop me if you heard this one before, an American soldier who escapes an Army base camp in order to fight in a no holds bar bare knuckle underground tournament. Of course he has two Army MP's chasing him through out the film, one of them being Forrest Whitaker, and he has a reporter girlfriend who just won't mind her own business and is intent on reporting on the secret underground tournament. The reporter and Van Damme begin to have a romantic relationship and the rest of the movie is two much to explain. I'll summarize it with, it's got great and memorable fight scenes which are eerily similar to today's UFC bouts and each and every fighter is memorable. The final fight scene involves Van Damme and Bolo Yueng, a sort of revenge match for Van Damme, as Bolo's character beats up and hospitalizes Van Damme's friend in the movie, Ray Jackson. Van Damme gets blinded in the final fight scene by Bolo, which is not a problem for Van Damme because early in life, as we learn through flash back scenes, he trained the art of fighting with blind folds on.
Favorite Scene: Every single fight scene and all the fighters are memorable. The movie is low budget, but the fight scenes are top notch.
Best Quote: Well I'm just trying to be the best I can be! Not just for me, for Tanaka, my Shidoshi, too.
Number 2: Timecop
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver
Why you should watch it: In the future, if you're reading this sometime in the year 1994, or in the past if your reading this now, time travel is reality in the year 2004. Some people take advantage of this new found technology and set out to make money with it. The main villain is Senator Aaron McComb (Ron Silver), who has his own time machine and travels back and fort causing all sorts of carnage in order to finance his campaign for the presidency. Jean Claude Van Damme plays Max Walker, before there ever was a Texas Ranger named Walker. And as you guessed from the title, he is a Timecop, who enforces and polices a ban on time travelers who are out to alter the future. Max Walker travels back and forth through time apprehending evil bad guys. In the opening scenes his characters wife, played by Mia Sara, unknown to Max Walker, is killed by McComb in the year 1994. We then flash forward to 2004 where Van Damme will soon discover his wife's killer and set out to not only stop the senators evil plans but to change the future as we know it! The film is one of Van Damme's highest grossing films and is one of the only Van Damme films of the time where his acting is praised. The special effects are high quality, especially for a 1994 film. Looking back at it now some of the future concepts the producers had of the scenes from 2004, are a bit outlandish and farfetched, but the movie should still be regarded as a top of the line futuristic sci-fi movie and one of Van Damme's best works.
Favorite Scene: The best scene in the movie would have to be the 1929 scene of New York just after the 1929 stock market crash. The set decoration are nicely done and the audience is led to believe that this is all taking place in the 1920s until ear phones and a walkman with modern rock music is heard and Van Damme shows up from the future to catch another bad guy.
Best Quote: I'm still kicking. I must be on Broadway.
Number 1: JCVD
Who's in it: Jean Claude Van Damme and a number of supporting character.
Why you should watch it: Jean Claude Van Damme plays himself as Jean Claude Van Damme. A semi fictionalized version of himself. To date this is Van Damme's best work so far. The movie takes place mostly in Belgium when a struggling actor, Van Damme, with no money, is trying to pay his lawyers in Los Angeles for a custody battle for his daughter. When Van Damme visits a post office for a wire transfer, he see's the place is being held up by a couple of goons and is also taken hostage. Most of the film is in French and explaining the plot would not do justice to this film, you would have to watch it to get a real feel for this movie. What makes this film stand out and Van Damme's acting stand out is the dialogue spoken in French. After all Jean Claude Van Damme is an action star, who arrived in Hollywood at 22 with little to no understanding of the English language. Most of his roles were that of cliché action stars, and his lines were written down for him and in his early films he struggles with most of his lines. And you can tell because of it that it was forced out of him and the lines were practiced over and over just to get the word right rather than the actual meaning of the lines. In JCVD the film is about 90% in French with a few scenes that take place in Los Angeles where English is spoken. Van Damme plays the part beautiful and flawlessly. Before this film ever came out most critics were intent that JCVD had no real acting skills, but he proves them wrong. The film is a drama and not an action film. And one of 2008 biggest surprises.
Best Scene: A single take six minute monologue by Van Damme where he is lifted above the set.
Best Quote: Again the most memorable thing about the film is not really a quote but the entire six minute single take monologue performed by JCVD. Below is the entire monologue, translated in English.
Jean Claude Van Damme: This movie is for me. There we are, you and me. Why did you do that? Or why did I do that? You made my dream come true. I asked for it. I promised you something in return and I haven't delivered yet. You win, I lose. Unless... the path you've set for me is full of hurdles where the answer comes before the question. Yeah I do that. Now I know why. It's the cure, from what I've seen here. It all makes sense. It makes sense to those who understand. So... America, poverty, stealing to eat... stalking producers, actors, 'movie stars', going to clubs hoping to see a star, with my pictures, karate magazines. It's all I had. I didn't speak English. But I did 20 years of karate. 'Cause before I wasn't like that
[points to flexed bicep]
This... this is me today. I used to be small and scrawny. And I took up karate. Hence the Dojo, hence respect, thou shall believe people who say, "Oss!" It's Samurai code. It's honour, no lies. So this guy in the US, it's not the same thing. No one says "Oss" to you. Sometimes people in show business say, "We're gonna' fuck em'". I believed in people, in the Dojo. I was blessed and had a lot of 'wives'. I always believed in love. It's hard for a woman with three kids to say, "Which one do I love more?" A mother... If you have 5, 6, 7, or 10 wives in a lifetime, they've all got something special, but no one cares about that in the so-called media. What about drugs? When you got it all, you travel the world. When you've been in all the hotels, you're the prima donna of the penthouse. And in all hotels the world over, travelling, you want something more. And because of a woman... well, because of love, I tried something and I got hooked. Van-Damme, the beast, the tiger in a cage, the "Bloodsport" man got hooked. I was wasted mentally and physically. To the point that I got out of it. I got out of it. But... it's all there. It's all there. It was really tough. I saw people worse off than me. I went from poor to rich and thought, why aren't we all like me, why all the privileges? I'm just a regular guy. It makes me sick to see people... who don't have what I've got. Knowing that they have qualities, too. Much more than I do! It's not my fault if I was cut out to be a star. I asked for it. I asked for it, really believed in it. When you're 13, you believe in your dream. Well it came true for me. But I still ask myself today what I've done on this Earth. Nothing! I've done nothing! And I might just die in this post office, hoping to start all over here in Belgium, in my country, where my roots are. Start all over with my parents and get my health back, pick up again. So I really hope... nobody's gonna' pull a trigger in this post office... It's so stupid to kill people. They're so beautiful! So, today, I pray to God. I truly believe it's not a movie. It's real life. Real life. I've seen so many things. I was born in Belgium, but I'm a citizen of the world. I've travelled a lot. It's hard for me to judge people and it's hard for them... not to judge me. Easier to blame me. Yeah, something like that.
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