JCVD ★★★½

I have a feeling I'll connect to this more when when I've seen more of the key titles in the Van Damme filmography; I'm familiar enough with him to appreciate how disarming his performance as himself is here, but I'll appreciate the deconstruction aspect when I have a better idea of what is being deconstructed. Either way, having real-life Van Damme get swept up in a hostage plot out of one of his own movies and using his inability to live up to what his onscreen self would do is a hilarious and surprisingly revealing conceit. The six-minute monologue where he steps out of the monologue to admit his own failures, personal and professional, is at once oblique and blunt, and fascinatingly so. Probably the best compliment I can give JCVD is it made me want to check out Bloodsport, Hard Target and other movies I hadn't given much thought for more insight into a guy who is apparently more complicated and soulful than I'd ever given him credit for.

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