I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Van Damme’s latest work

What’s the deal at the end there – are they really telling us this is real? I’m assuming it’s a special effect, and I like it. An iconic JCVD moment (doing the splits between the walls in CYBORG) taken to ludicrous heights. And with a sunset and Enya-type music to show how important it is. Now let’s get Seagal playing the hand slap game with a Volkswagen.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 1:12 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

39 Responses to “Van Damme’s latest work”

  1. Outstanding.

  2. So THAT’S what every JCVD fan in my Twitter feed was so excited about! Damn.

  3. Apparently this is a real stunt, no CG involved.

    JCVD FTW.

  4. Mister Van Damme is a serious contender for the “Best Comeback of the Decade” award. Right up there with Sylvester Stallone and Matthew McConaughey.

  5. I wouldn’t say “no CG involved”. I’m sure the split between the moving trucks was real, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they digitally removed some safety measures. They should release some raw footage.

  6. It’s beautiful.

  7. That is your actual Enya there. And more importantly, yes, this is a great advert

  8. This is a cool commercial. I wondered the same thing. I assume there has to be some CGI involved.

    JCVD should start a YouTube channel of him just doing the splits in exotic places.

  9. Normally you would see your Michael Jordan or your David Beckham in this kind of ad. Awesome to see an action dude getting the same kind of “iconic” treatment.

  10. I assume rotating the camera at the end was meant to show us that this was indeed real, but I agree, something looks CGI about it. Maybe my eyes are just not used to seeing pure awesome.

  11. It’s real. They used trickery to remove some safety equipment but the split, the trucks, They’re real. So is his age: 53.

    From an article in the Guardian titled “He’s still got it!”:

    “Although some safety equipment was digitally removed, no computer trickery was involved on camera and the stunt is genuine, according to Volvo.”

    I believe it and that may be because I want to. I agree with a bunch of folks on here: after falling hard on his ass and being humbled, he’s become damn likeable.

  12. When was the last time JCVD did something that got 5 and a half million views, I wonder?

  13. My wife asked me if I was jealous after seeing this. I said I was proud.

  14. Yeah they removed an extension over the mirrors and a safety harness. Van damme is awesome, and I love that he’s not afraid to take the puss out of himself. Go see the godaddy bakery commercial on YouTube.

  15. Really? Let’s not get the horse confused with the buggy here, people. Enya’s music has that ethereal/solemnly majestic/magic carpet ride vibe that elevates ANY visual you pair it with. Footage of an 86 year old man taking a dump wouldn’t come across as unseemly (OK, maybe somewhat) if it was accompanied by, let’s say, Enya’s Portrait (Out Of The Blue), my personal favorite of her compositions. Try splicing that Van Damme footage with the Benny Hill Theme and you’ll see what I mean/where it gets ya.

    If Seagal’s Mountain Dew commercial didn’t harken a renaissance, this won’t either. Way it goes.

  16. So you’re saying that Enya is the only real artist involved. Interesting assertion to make, given what websight you made it on…

  17. anaru— I consider Enya a musical artist (although some if not many would disagree with that opinion). Movies….. even silent movies have a musical accompaniment. There’s always been a place for it, and she’s been tied to any number of movies in that regard, and IMO made them better through her contributions.

    But… Van Damme? Yes, he’s a martial artist… but if one would define a “movie artist” as a bonafide actor (let me throw out John Barrymore, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Peter O’Toole, and Ian Holm as examples), then NO, Van Damme isn’t qualified.

    He is— much like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, and (yes, it must be said) Scott Adkins— a martial artist who appears in movies. Not quite the same thing.

  18. Sorry, but Enya is elevator music for yuppies.

  19. I don’t particularly agree with Larry’s assessment of the commercial, but I do also like Enya. Enya owns bro!

    I don’t think I have much in common with the musical taste of my fellow Vernites I’m afraid. Pretty much any Hip-hop songs I ever chose to listen to, I listen to out of nostalgia.

  20. Hip-hop’s elevator music for nostalgics.

  21. Elevator music is Hip Hop for kids who live in elevators.

  22. That’s cool, but some part of me is still annoyed that I was kind of tricked into watching a commercial. Also Enya’s music is even shittier than I remember it.

  23. How are we defining ‘artist’? And also: please note, no one is excited about this commercial because of Enya. The music is a funny touch, and that’s about it. Not to be a hater (although I personally dislike Enya, for the record), but let’s give credit where credit is due. You can argue artistic merit vs popular recognition ’til the cows come home, but ultimately it’s not Enya’s name up top, and it’s not the reason people are clicking on the link.

  24. * Edit: Amazing Larry did define ‘movie artist’ as a ‘bonafide actor.’ Fair point, but I personally find that a very reductive / limiting label.

  25. Sorry about that, Daniel— after I posted that, it did occur to me that the term “movie artist” would be cause for semantic confusion. My bad thing.

    Not much love for Enya ’round these parts, but I kinda figured as much. Enya strikes me as being the Celtic music equivalent of Andrew Dice Clay (minus the misogynistic/vulgar/leather-jacketed demeanor, natch), in that they were both truly & briefly popular around the same time (her in 1988, him in 1990), then POOF! they both kinda vanished, but tend to resurface about once a decade for reasons known only to The Gods Of Pop Culture.

    You know what I’d like to see?— Clay reciting his litany of Dirty Nursery Rhymes with Enya’s music as a backdrop. That would be juxtapositional weirdness at its apex.

  26. Huh. Just realizing that I’m probably the only Vernite to really enjoy and identify with post-punk-dance. Probably all the cheap synth and garage-punk soundtracks I grew up with.

    And Vern, I know you’re a hip-hop man at heart, but you should probably viddy the docu A Band Called Death.

    I think it might…fuck it; dude, you’ll dig it.

  27. Akrion, I think that might also be my bag, but I would you to clarify quite what you mean by “Post-Punk-Dance”. If it’s the kind of thing Simon Reynolds touches on in the book RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN, then I’m likely to at least quite like it.

    The book, for reference:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rip-Up-Start-Again-1978-1984/dp/057121570X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384682246&sr=1-3&keywords=simon+reynolds

  28. Pacman— I see your Amazon book link, and raise you this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Postpunk-Chronicles-Scared-To-Dance/dp/B00000G5PE

    It showed up as the 5th entry on a Google search of “post punk dance music”. Not sure if it’s what you’re getting at, but it seemed relevant.

  29. OK, I was a little peturbed by the implication that a badass artiste could not produce a sublime moment of advertising without the aid of a New Age singer. Thus, I replaced Enya with a musician more closely assiciated with badass cinema. The clip is now 100% badass. Is it still good?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uke0dtIxBoM

  30. Larry; yes, thanks, can’t claim to be familiar with all those artists, but that’s broadly what I thought of when I read the term “post-punk-dance”

  31. anaru— Sir, you are a god among YouTube men. That works a WHOLE helluva lot better. Well played.

    Pacman— anything to perpetuate a good idea. I may come across as something of an asshole at times, but I do try to be helpful.

  32. When I think of post-punk bad-ass combos, first thing that comes to mind is the liberally sampled soundtrack for Master of the Flying Guillotine. However, I think the further we get from the great “split” from punk and dance (since both are built on the same fundamental idea; make the audience move), then I think you start seeing great works like the new Maniac soundtrack or the Drokk alternate tracks for Dredd. Are they a little less punk than, oh, Suicide? Sure, but they’re working the same veins in surprisingly mature ways.

    Beyond the Black Rainbow, for example, has one of the best post-punk soundtracks I’ve heard in some time. Great use of repetition and “screech” signifying a deeper methodology, and one that is deeply disturbed. Most of it is so strident and melancholy, but then you get great moments like the “Outside” track, when Elena finally gets to see the real world. That track breaks my heart in how understated it is, but using the language, it hits like a fucking hammer of a metal song. Power is in the structure, and the structure of post-punk dance is what I find appealing. That perfect blend of repetitive and unpredictable.

    But don’t take my word for it, look at Drive.

  33. I wasn’t going to watch this one (I usually avoid anything that contains movie footage of movies I haven’t seen if possible) until I read some of the comments. Then I thought “It’s an advert?” So I watched it.

    My thoughts upon watching it went something like this: “Ok, JCVD, sitting down looking stern. Wait, he’s not sitting. Is he moving? Oh, I see. I see… oh ow. Ow. OW. OWW. OWWWWOWWOWOWOWOW!!!!”

    My trousers are splitting at the very thought of what I just saw.

    It’s not just “Cyborg” by the way. He did something very similar in “Kickboxer”.

  34. And I’m pro-Enya, although I’m more of a “Sail Away” man myself.

  35. Watched ENEMIES CLOSER the other night The latest JCVD actioner released in Sweden. Van Damme is great as a goofy b-movie villain.The movie itself isn´t very good.It´s a halfassed version of the CLIFFHANGER/HUNT FOR A KILL formula. Van Damme is the reason you guys should watch it.I mean look at this. This is the first shot of him in the film:

    http://im-ignv1.ziffdavisinternational.com/ign_nl/pictures/articles/9446/107741.jpg

    He doesn´t do much action in it, but has a crazy environmental aware/vegan aspect to his villainy that he has fun with. In one scene after he kills a couple of dudes in the forest he picks up a strawberry and says “Wild Strawberry!” in a high pitched voice. Later he has a funny monologue of how he befriended a goose when he grew up. He literally chews up the screen in this one.

  36. If you want to know what a low budget martial arts version of The Usual Suspects looks like I highly recommend Kill ‘Em All. I actually enjoyed I it quite a bit even if the action wasn’t very good.

  37. The twist is oh so obvious.

  38. Yeah but I thought they put in a lot of effort into the story. A little weird to see a father murder his son on screen.

  39. JCVD has just posted a new teaser for the long gestating FULL LOVE aka THE EAGLE PATH on his Facebook page.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>