Can The Last Mercenary begin a renaissance for Jean-Claude Van Damme?


Tom Jolliffe looks at the upcoming Jean-Claude Van Damme Netflix car, The Last Mercenary. Can we call it a comeback?

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In 2008, Jean-Claude Van Damme had a few years on a deep DVD where mainstream interest has gone, but only enthusiasts have been left behind. Several years after his last theatrical release (Universal Soldier: Return), Van Damme appeared in several low-budget action thrillers and produced very much what one would expect from some landing directly on DVD shelves. Some were better than others, although the grayer and rougher Van Damme had definitely taken a more mature translation in characters and shades.


Gone were the high-flying helicopter fires and fighting heavy movies. Gone was the overwhelming sense of optimism, the victory over evil and morally enduring characters, replaced by darker roles. Van Damme played a violent gangster The revival of death, which contained intensity and conviction in a role not previously seen but disappointed with inconsistent direction, over-styled editing, and routine script. Then he pulled a Evil lieutenant year 2006 Till death. Once again, a good performance, a film that was better than his then general standard, but which changed About Henry for the second half, and it became half as interesting. He still managed to work with good directors, the last slam with Ringo Lam In hellor later, the first collaboration of 2009 with John Hyams in Universal Soldier: regeneration, which was an interestingly gloomy remake of Luc Devereaux.


However, it was in 2008 where Van Damme really surprised people. First, he found himself in an indie film that had the proper indie sensitivity. It was a fictional version of itself and a film that mixed drama, comedy and no shortage of heartfelt, genuine patronage. It was a good festival tour, got some grip and also surprised many critics. JCVD was both entertaining and honest. The sad moment of the films took place on the fourth wall, which was different from the film series in which Van Damme spoke to the audience. He spoke from the heart with emotion and honesty, then went on with the film at hand (where JC goes in the middle of a custody battle directly to a poorly designed post office and finds himself the main suspect). In addition to its monologue, Van Damme offers a brilliant performance that took every ounce of improvement he had shown for a decade and encapsulated it in a more unique vehicle that wasn’t an atypical direct video film of revenge or the expulsion of terrorists. , or whatever.


People now began to wonder if we could see career development at JC by reinventing not only as a kickboxer, but also as a legitimate actor. He could inject a decision into his roles. He can also be comic, and he can be powerful. He was able to do things in an interesting way that perhaps many of his contemporaries were unable to do. Van Damme could do that genre or do more interesting things with it. This revolution never happened. He was followed by a pet project (The eagle’s pathor other names known to it) which are still unpublished. A bizarre interesting delusion aside (like his two Universal Soldier sequels under the aforementioned Hyams), he also found himself making back straight to low-budget genre movies. Assassination games and Six bullets For example, they were good as they are, but it was very clear that JC could do more. His roles were already occupied by misery. Dour, the battered characters in humorous films where the drama wasn’t as skillful as it needed to show how good Van Damme can be.


There were a few more wrong dawns. Unconsumed part 2 brought Van Damme back to pop cultural significance. He steals the movie, but still feels underused. What it did to him was better to secure high-profile and memorable commercial bits than the actual movies. Kill them all it really wasn’t the kind of renaissance film that Van Damme deserved. He also had Jean-Claude Van Johnson, a short-lived and slightly controlling Amazon series. It came to a point where the studio was just starting a production attack. Maybe it took a year or two before they found their feet, and the level of performances and movies has improved since then. Nevertheless, even though it had a few riffs in the self-reference that he had successfully pulled in JCVD, it just didn’t land enough punches and was later canceled after one set.


Still, he had commercials for Coors light and Volvo trucks and he still had nostalgic heat, people respond well too. It seemed that the transition to growing streaming houses was inevitable. As many fading theater stars have found, Netflix and others have a very certain audience from the old school. Adam Sandler has new life insurance there, among other things. It was ultimately a streaming service that has given the world an awful Snyder Cut Defenders of justice, as well as the new Snyder zombie opus. Arnold Schwarzenegger has something at work, and many other heroes of times past may better serve these studios where a wider audience is waiting, and they may have one last cheer. Expendables for example. would find a gorgeous home on one of the big streaming wastes, while the theater openings in the west now seem to be outside the franchise area.

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Now Van Damme gets a new, hopefully not final, stabbing for streaming collaboration. Netflix will supply the next Van Damme vehicle, and based on the trailer, it will have a production value that it would not receive as standard directly to the DVD players it has made. Also filmed in his native language, the film seems to be the right balance between action, comedy, nostalgia and JC jokes. The last mercenary In fact, it’s exactly the type of film Van Damme should have made after that JCVD. It’s been a long time, but this may well be a new comeback and one that might catch on. If viewership is present (and Netflix ratings seem to be high on things like that), he might be making a few more films with them, maybe even giving a chance to show that he’s become a very successful actor.

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Van Damme has also been trying for a long time to get a continuation in the same way as the country Double effect, Lionheart (Lionnnhhheeeaarrt!) And more. It may just be that if all the complex legal issues can be sorted out, Netflix could be the place to do them. They return to nostalgia-driven action aside, I really hope Van Damme gets a chance to surprise people again as an actor, to get hisWrestlerorUncut gems. ‘ What do you think The last mercenary? Are you watching this when it premieres on Netflix? Tell us your thoughts on our social channels @ flickeringmyth …

Tom Jolliffe is an award-winning screenwriter and passionate kinefile. He has several films on DVD / VOD around the world and several releases scheduled for release in 2021/2022, including Renegades (Lee Majors, Danny Trejo, Michael Pare, Tiny Lister, Nick Moran, Patsy Kensit, Ian Ogilvy and Billy Murray), Crackdown, When Darkness Falls, and World of War: The Attack (Vincent Regan). You can find more information on the best personal site you will ever see …

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