C'mon Hollywood #214
... donít screw it up Van Damme!
For those of us that lived our pre-teen years in the early 90ís, Jean-Claude Van Damme was a staple on our TV sets and in the theaters. Karate dojoís across America were filled with kids hoping to someday be able to do the splits while throwing knives at unsuspecting terrorists. But after several bad movies and a nasty coke habit, Van Damme was relegated to doing B-movies, where heís faded from our hearts and minds as merely a punch line of 90ís clichťs. However, he still has his fan base and all we needed was for him to find that special role that would remind people just how cool he still is. So it was with much glee that we got JCVD, which is a once in a lifetime comeback role if there ever was one.
But now the question is; you got it, what are you going to do with it? JCVD shed a light on Van Damme that most of us had never seen before and even though he was playing himself, it gave us hope that he actually does have some acting ability. But finding that role is worthless if he goes right back to doing straight to DVD B-movies. I realize those films have an audience and they eventually make money for everyone involved, but Van Damme can do better than that. There was a time and a place where he had to do them, and I accept that. But with the very impressive JCVD, I think heís proved he can still carry a film if all the other ingredients are in place.
Time Cop: still my favorite, classic Van Damme movie
Thereís a point in JCVD where he asks his agent to get him a mainstream movie, even at less money. I couldnít have said it better myself. This is exactly what he needs. Why on earth he didnít take a role in the EXPENDABLES is baffling. Stallone is out to resurrect the careers of every action hero out there and no one needs it more than Van Damme. I canít believe that thereís not a studio out there that wouldnít take a chance on Van Damme in a smaller role. The guyís still in shape and can still kick some ass. He doesnít have to be the hero, cast him as a sidekick or a supporting character and I guarantee heíll make your film better.
He got his second chance, now what?
We can spend all day talking about who needs more roles and who should make a comeback, but itís never clear what an actor should do once they actually get that comeback role. Such is the case with Van Damme. Not many former stars ever get a second chance, so Van Damme better take full advantage of his opportunity. As for what to do next, hereís a hint; if itís produced by a company youíve never heard of, directed by someone youíve never heard of, costars people you donít know and is shooting in the Middle East, donít take the role!