Though the French have a knack for embracing the most embarrassing elements of American culture, not even Jerry Lewis could have prepared us for JCVD, the shockingly acclaimed Cannes sensation featuring washed-up action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. A postmodern drama that stars the Muscles from Brussels as himself, we've brought you the awkward teaser trailer (wherein Van Damme stumbles upon a JCVD casting call, then argues for a more believable character motivation: cocaine) and now we're happy to announce that Peace Arch Entertainment has picked the film up for U.S. distribution. There's just one problem:...namely, Peace Arch kind of sucks. Though they occasionally give halfhearted, unprofitable releases to Sundance duds like Chapter 27 and The Go-Getter, they're far more adept at putting out straight-to-DVD titles like the Tom Green snowboard comedy Shred and something called American Poop (unrated edition!). We'd trust them to release a Lou Diamond Phillips actioner, but JCVD isn't that run of the mill. Just check out this excerpt from Variety's review:
Freshly spurned by preteen daughter, jetlagged from trip back to Belgium, and electronically dissed at the hometown ATM, JCVD loses his cool while seeking a post-office wire transfer of euros, only to find he has stumbled into in-progress heist for which he'll be blamed by cops — and credited, oddly or not, by hordes of placard-waving fans (e.g., "Free Jean-Claude!"). As before, bulky thesp's acting is as flat as his pecs are sculpted, but here said limitations are more clearly part of joke within hollow mirror world, where JCVD loses key role to Steven Seagal because latter negotiated to topline sans ponytail.
All this, plus the film ends with "a tear- and prayer-filled Van Damme monologue that must be seen to be believed"? Peace Arch, don't screw this one up — hasn't a man who once popped a boner on live TV (and in bleached jeans, no less) been through enough already?
- Peace Arch gets "JCVD" [Variety]