Guide Picks - Top 5 Jean Claude Van Damme Movies
Jean Claude Van Damme's big break is Hollywood lore--how he whipped a spinning back kick over the head of B-movie mogul Menahem Golan outside a restaurant and parleyed that chance meeting into action-hero stardom. While some discount JCVD's movies as just barely above straight-to-video fare, I look at them as just pure entertainment. Here's the best Damme-good movies.
1) Bloodsport
Bloodsport cover graphic JCVD plays Frank Dux, an American fighting in the world's bloodiest no-holds-barred tournament. Dux faces fighters from different styles and different lands in a story that undoubtedly inspired the mixed martial arts phenomenon, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship. See my interview with the real Frank Dux for more on this fascinating tale.
2) Hard Target
Hard Target  cover graphic Although Van Damme's acting skills are often maligned, this movie makes up for them with John Woo's artistic direction and the casting of Lance Henriksen as the bad guy. Reminiscent of "The Most Dangerous Game", Van Damme has to elude Henriksen's band of hunters in the cajun-spiced South. Love Wilford Brimley's character as Van Damme's favorite uncle.
3) Timecop
One of JCVD's bigger films, "Timecop" lets Van Damme chase an evil U.S. Senator while trying to prevent his wife from being murdered--all with the help of convenient time travel. Ron Silver and Mia Sara, both underrated actors, are great as the senator and the wife. Check out Van Damme doing the splits.
4) Maximum Risk
Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam (who also did Jackie Chan's "Twin Dragons") makes this movie one of the better JCVD films. Natasha Henstridge, right off her debut in "Species", plays the girlfriend.
5) Double Impact
Ok, it's not all that great as a martial arts film, with noticeable stunt players doubling Van Damme as his "twin brother". But it's sheer fun, with the "dancer twin" Chad doing a hilarious turn as a ballet instructor. Very entertaining.
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