It’s the same as with Arnold, Sylvester and Dolph: I’ve always liked Jean-Claude Van Damme. I have been watching the Belgian fighter’s movies for over three decades now. I admit: he did a lot of bad stuff (Street Fighter to name only one film), mediocre things (In Hell and pretty much everything low-budget in the beginnings of 2000). But he also did awesome movies. This blog post is about my very own top 5 of that kind.
#5: Expendables 2 (IMDb Link)
Once it became a fact that Jean-Claude would be the villain in this movie, I was critical about it. But he did it really well. I really liked how be brought that villain’s arrogance and meanness to the big screen. I really liked watching the ensemble of stars in this movie having to fight JCVD. The final fight with Stallone and JCVD was well-choreographed and brought back the ‘old times’ Van Damme fighting nostalgia.
#4: Sudden Death (IMDb Link)
I like the Die Hard movies. And if you do and get over the fact that Sudden Death copied that concept, you will start enjoying a thrilling cat-and-mouse ride of an action movie. It is and was an underrated movie, if you ask me. Not a lot people remember JCVD for this one. I like the overall movie: great stunts, great actors and thrilling story.
#3: Timecop (IMDb Link)
I am in science-fiction movies. And as Arnold (Terminator, Total Recall) and Sly (Demolition Man, Judge Dredd), JCVD had to test that genre as well. And it was a successful probe. Even if the special effects were not that up-to-date, the concept of time-travelling Van Damme trying to find the murderer of his wife worked very well for me. It was suspense, science-fiction and great ‘epic splits’. 🙂
#2: Universal Soldier (IMDb Link)
It’s on #2 because it hast JCVD and Dolph Lundgren at the same time in it. 🙂 I liked Dolph the minute he was in Rocky IV and Masters of the Universe. I like Emmerich’s fast-paced storytelling and the fact that Dolph and JCVD are enemies which I think was rather refreshing and new in the 90s. There wasn’t an Expendables concept at that time and the fact that you had to stars fight each other was quite innovative. Also liked the mano-a-mano combat approach of the movie in which both stars really can show off.
#1: Bloodsport (IMDb Link)
True classic. Not a lot a story there (guy wants to win a secret martial arts contest). But one great movie. The action is great (great fighting scenes, great editing, pacing), the (rather one-dimensional) story is told in a fast-paced manner (why need 130 minutes plus if you can make your point in about 90 minutes?). And JCVD was great in that movie: he seems to be all motivated, eager to perform and the action scenes are performed with quite passion. Bloodsport is aging and getting 30 years old next year, but it is still performing well on my top 5 list! 🙂
Do you agree with this list? What are your favorite JCVD movies? Let us all know in the comment section.
Watch the original trailers of these great movies discussed before: