So Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of my favourite actors and action stars, so how is it that I have not yet done a list related to him? Well that is now being changed, because I am here to offer a list!
With all the things I could write about in regards to Van Damme, I figured I may as well share what my Top roles for Van Damme are. These are listed in order of my own enjoyment of the roles, this isn’t what I think is his absolute best work, but the work he has done that has entertained me the most.
Okay folks, sit back, relax and read on.
5.) Ivan The Russian or Karl Brezdin from No Retreat No Surrender
So Van Damme isn’t actually in this film a whole lot, he shows up at the beginning and at the end. In the film he is known as Ivan the Russian yet in the end credits he is called Karl Brezdin. There is no explanation for it, but we can all giggle at it. Anyway, why I love this role so much is because it is gold! He shows up at the beginning and doesn’t really say anything, except break the Sensai’s leg, makes him cry and leaves. He lo0ks tough and you don’t want to mess with him, when he shows up later in the film, for the final fight show down, he’s definitely intimidating. I absolutely love when he speaks, it is so not threatening at all, and it’s just so much fun. I can watch this film every day for a week without hesitation, it is one of Van Damme’s earliest roles and easily one of the most fun to watch.
4.) Anthony Stowe from Until Death
This is not a film I have watched often, but it is that striking and hard hitting that it does tend to stay with you long after you have watched it. This is really due to Van Damme’s performance, and how he tackles this very intense and complex role. Van Damme plays a dirty cop who is a heroine addict, sleeps with hookers and is generally disliked by everyone. After he finds himself in a coma, he wants to make his life right. This is a Van Damme we haven’t seen before, sexing hookers and being a drug addict is not the first thing you think of when you think of Van Damme. The role he managed to prove a lot, that he is a great actor and he can handle a difficult character. Definitely a highly recommended film and performance.
3.) Chad and Alex from Double Impact
Van Damme seems to like playing two characters in the one film, and this one is actually the best and the most fun. He plays long lost twin brothers Alex and Chad, and he sports probably the best wardrobe he’s ever had in a film. Not only does he play two characters, he does make you believe they are played by two different actors. Chad and Alex are so different, and he plays them both so convincingly and it is a great time to see them on screen together. It is very clear watching the film, Van Damme had a blast filming this and he put in a lot of work to make it the fun time that it is. This always makes for a great rewatch.
Luc Deveraux from Universal Soldier
It was a tough call to decide what role would go to the number 2 spot, but this one felt right. I absolutely love this film, I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen it. Both Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren are excellent in their roles, as two Vietnam soldiers killed in action, who get put on ice and resurrected as UniSol’s. Not a bad program until they start to remember their old lives, and all hell breaks loose. This film also boasts a great performance from Lundgren, and the pair pretty much own this film. I love the way Van Damme develops his character, I love how he acts like a robot and emotionless being and then starts to regain his memories. Not only is this a really fun film, but it really is a damn fine performance, love it.
1.) Jean-Claude Van Damme from JCVD
And the top spot goes to Van Damme playing a version of himself. Makes sense right? This is the film that really reignited his career and showed off more insane acting chops from the man. This is a really fantastic film, and it is made all the more awesome, because Van Damme is playing a version of himself and it does not go in the directions you think it will. He also gives one hell of a monologue directly to the camera, which may be the best thing he has done on film. This may not be a film you can watch over and over, but it does have a really high rewatch value. This is a MUST SEE! Add it to you list if you haven’t seen it.