Directed By: Mabrouk El Merchi
Written By: Mabrouk El Merchi, Frederic Benudis & Christophe Turpin
Story By: Frederic Taddei & Vincent Ravalec
Cinematography By: Pierre Yves-Bastard
Editor: Kako Kelber
Cast: Jean Claude Van-Damme, Valerie Bodson, Herve Sogne, Rock Chen
Jean-Claude Van Damme gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages situation and reflects about his life during it.
This film has vivid Cinematography. Great but few action sequences. The film is like a action hybrid of DOG DAY AFTERNOON and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. Notice i didn’t call the film action packed. The film sets a claustrophobic tone with dark comedy thrown in.
Jena Claude Van-Damme Plays himself or at least a warped version of himself that touchon some truths about him in the real world. He is going through a custody battle in the flashbacksof this film. Most of the rest of the film is true other then the plot which is a heist scenerio where Jean Calude goes into a bank just when it is being robbed and thanks to much confusion. Though he is a hostage Everyone outside the bank believes he is the leader of the bank robbers. The mastermind. While the other hostages expect him to come through and be the hero. One of the bank robbers is a huge fan of his work. He keeps wanting to hear stories and teach him martial arts.
This is probably the deepest we are ever going to get out of van-damme. For one glorious scene a Monologue that comes out of nowhere he let’s his guard down and let’s us see the personal side of him. It’s penetrating as for most of the film he has a good sense of humor about himself and the state of his career. Those expecting to see a drama are going to be disappointed. he shows range but not too much. I mean he’s playing himself. This film more fits his sensabilities Though not full blown action film. The action sequences are pretty tight.
This is a fun movie to watch. Though it is not entirely succesful in it’s intentions. The film almost comes close to satire but comes out more as a action Dramedy.
So that by putting Van-Damme in his element it allows the film to let him satirize himself as well as open up and be somewhat truthful on screen. A kind of biography to a degree. As after this it seemd that Van-Damme lined up more projects from either playing himself or a version of himself.
The film was originally more supposed to be a comedy, but the director was brought in to rewrite the project since they already had Jean-Claude Van damme. He asked to meet Van Damme so he could come up with a better story to really show off Van Dammes passion and personality. He Let Van Damme Decide when to cut the scene. In fact most of Van Damme’s dialogue is ab-libbed as the other actors in the film are scripted. Mostly VanDamme was directed to just react. The film is 70% scripted 30% improvised.
The monologue scene was filmed seperately from the rest of the movie. Van damme is apparently a shy person and as the monologue was personal and no one will actually talk about what it was in reference to.
It’s a good rental even if you are not a fan of his. It will make you look at him in a different way. This film is a part artistic statement and a attempt at a comeback.