Chad’s Essential JCVD Collection
Jean Claude’s first starring role and one of the best tournament style martial arts movies in history. Bolo Yeung is perfect and JCVD does the splits seven times… way more than Sandra Bullock in Gravity and The Blind Side put together!
Alias: Frank Dux
2. Hard Target
Van Damme kills half of Louisiana and wears an amazing mullet. John Woo’s first American movie and winner of best snake knockout award 1993!
Alias: Chance Boudreaux
3. Universal Soldier
JCVD and Dolph Lundgren play two American Vietnam casualties (who are totally not European) who wake up as killing machines in the year 1992. Awesome gun battles, fight scenes, and car chases make this a must see early nineties flick.
Alias: Luc Deveraux
Jean Claude must learn the old ways of Muay Thai if he wants to avenge his big bro’s paralyzation at the hands of cool-haired Tong Po. Van Damme shows off his super sweet dance skills and flexes pretty much the entire movie.
Alias: Kurt Sloane
5. Double Impact
What is better than one Van Damme? Yup, two of those mothers! Here he plays brothers who were separated at birth who re-unite to avenge the death of their parent’s years earlier. He beats up Bolo Yeung again and gets wasted and screams at his shadow. JCVD apparently did this one in lieu of a sequel to Kickboxer, so we have him to thank for Sasha Mitchell.
Alias: Alex and Chad Wagner
After finding out that his brother is dying, JCVD stows away on a ship and deserts his French Foreign Legion brethren. Now in America, he is forced to fight for the money to support his bro’s family while also being badass and doing shopping montages.
Van Damme plays a Timecop who jumps back through time to ensure other guys don’t go back and change stuff like creating the Big Mac or keeping the Red Sox from trading Babe Ruth. Oh, and some political dudes kill his wife so he grows his hair out and does the splits…this time in the kitchen!
8. Sudden Death
JCVD does Die Hard at a hockey game after some terrorists kidnap the Vice President of the US and threaten to blow up the stadium. Van Damme takes it one step further than Bruce Willis and beats the shit out of a mascot then makes a crucial save to send the game into SUDDEN DEATH!!!
Alias: Darren McCord
The movie that put Van Damme back on the map, Jean Claude gives probably his best dramatic performance of his career. Most people will tell you that this is his best movie but don’t go into this expecting him to save the world or even roundhouse kick a man into an exploding gas tank. This is one of those movies that he needed to do to get his mojo back, and it worked.
10. Universal Soldier: Regeneration
This movie had shit sandwich written all over it but it turned out to be one of my favorite action films of the past five years or so. The fighting in this one is totally brutal and Arlovski pretty much plays The Terminator, which works for his acting range. It would have been nice for Dolph to get a little more screen-time but Van Damme plays a really strung-out, depressing version of himself from the original Universal Soldier.
Alias: Luc Deveraux
So those are my picks. Not necessarily what I think are his ten best movies but my favorite movies of his and ones that I think are essential to watch for any fan of Van Damme’s work. Let me know what you think in the comments below.