Now some people may say John Claude Van Damme is back, but for me he never left.
Much like his brother in arms (though they may not see it that way) Steven Segal, they have toiled their trade in the DTV market with varying results. They were both a huge part of the 80s/90s action genre and they both still entertain audiences today. But it is Van Damme on this occasion that is having a more main stream popularity surge. We had the incredible JCVD movie and then it all went quiet until The Expendables 2 with a very nice villain turn which he also used in the fantastically dark Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning movie. But strangely it is his comedic turn in the Coors Light adverts which really grabbed people’s attention
Oh as well as the splits advert he recently did, showing off he still has the dexterity of his youth
This all culminated in Welcome to the Jungle (not the Dwayne Johnson one) where Van Damme really gets to play in the comedy sand pit.
Here the premise is simple, preppy style office workers go on a retreat to chill out and learn combat skills from none other than Van Damme himself. See the trailer below and be prepared for maximum chuckles.
Storm Roughchild, man that’s an awesome name. The great thing about this movie is that Van Damme gently mocks his own self-image but still manages to come off as generally rock hard. The scene where Van Damme’s anguished fight moan goes on a little too long is genius. Some of the other comedy elements fall a bit flat to be honest, though the Lord of the Flies scene has promise.
That takes us to Van Damme’s return to his action roots with Enemies Closer. Check out the trailer below…
With hair that Doc Brown would be jealous off and a relaxed approach to random killings Van Damme really shines in this trailer. Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones come out of this pretty good too, with some nice action scenes throughout the trailer, but it is once again Van Damme’s show. He gets some great action here, especially with him dressed in a Mountie uniform kicking ass and taking names. This film has a ‘Ten Little Indians’ feel to it with the two guys being hunted by Van Damme’s militant group. The thing I liked about Van Damme here is he plays a character very similar to the type of people he would normally be fighting against. The complete lack of interest in the deaths around him as well as the mad glint in his eye makes this all come together nicely.
Welcome to the Jungle and Enemies Closer have a 2014 release date. With all this going on it looks like Van Damme is going to be a busy man and this reviewer cannot wait to see what he round house kicks our way in the future. Until then here are the posters for both movies to keep you going until 2014.