Jean-Claude Van Damme is a name that has the perfect image of all brawn and brain attached to it. Van Damme has earned his name among some of the top action heroes in Hollywood. Jean-Claude Van Damme’s name was originally Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg and the actor had not always aimed at getting into movies.
Guided by his father, Van Damme started martial arts training at the age of 11, and while participating in numerous matches and championships, he found himself winning most of them most of them.
However, in 1980 Jean-Claude suffered an injury to his nose in one of the matches and was unable to continue as a martial arts fighter. This led him to take up alternate jobs that included carpet laying, pizza delivery, a limo driver and with the help of Chuck Norris was also a bouncer at a club in Los Angeles. To his good luck he later met a Cannon Pictures producer who helped him star in his debut film.
While his journey into the world of films may have been a shaky one, his career was just as confident and stable as one of his revolving kicks! Jean-Claude Van Damme has some great movies to his credit and here, we have listed some of them for you.
The film Bloodsport is the one started off Jean-Claude’s career in action films and in this one, Van Damme played the role of a U.S. Army Captain. Fans would definitely recall the complete split done by Van Damme, among some of the extreme martial arts stunts and as the name goes, the movie included a lot of martial art stunts, brutal kicks and punches and a lot of bloodshed.
This one had Van Damme show off some of the most extreme martial arts stunts he had learned. The story revolves around Van Damme travelling to Thailand to avenge his brothers beating in a fight with the martial arts champion Tong Po. The final fight in the movie is worth every minute and both fighters display some of the most unbelievable martial arts stunts. Even today, viewers find themselves biting their fingernails even at the thought of the dangerous in this fight.
Van Damme fans go crazy watching the martial arts champion in action so imagine getting the opportunity to see two Van Dammes in a single flick. Twice the action! Twice the heat! Every fans dream come true! In Double Impact, Van Damme plays the role of twins who get separated and meet after 25 years. They unite to fight the bad guys. While one of his characters had the usual cropped hair and rugged look, the other flaunted a slick look with his hair gelled back but both Van Damme characters with the tightly toned muscles were indeed a treat for martial arts fans and flailing hearts.
Directed by the creator of Face Off and Mission Impossible II, this movie was John Woo’s American directorial debut. Van Damme plays the role of a merchant seaman who rescues a young lady from some thugs. Later he goes on to help the damsel-in-distress avenge her father’s death.
Sudden Death is a movie based on the story of a normal man’s fight against terrorists. With the amazing martial arts stunts performed by Van Damme, the movie was no doubt one of the greatest films the actor has starred in.
Van Damme fans love to see their idol perform in some bloodshed and hardcore action and with this movie, Van Damme gives them just that! Van Damme’s acting always sets him apart from other well-known action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal and in this project, Van Damme plays the role of dead soldier who has been brought back to life as part of a secret Army project. He played opposite the famous Dolph Lundgren. The picture earned decent revenue of over $36 million.
Timecop is one of Van Damme’s sci-fi action films, similar to Universal Soldier in terms of its genre. Released in 1994, this movie is about a man who travels in time over a decade to stop the evil works of a politician. This is, till date, the highest grossing film starring Van Damme. While the film generated revenue of over $100 million, even critics state that this movie is one of Van Damme’s best works as far as his acting prowess is concerned.
Van Damme fans are well aware and quite used to the kind of movie plots he acts in. This film again is one that includes revenge, fight tournaments, bloodshed, murder and survival. None the less, this is one of Van Damme’s essential performances. In this movie, Van Damme starred along with Michel Qissi, who also starred as Tong Po in Kickboxer.
Cyborg was the first of director Albert Pyun’s trilogy and was again one of Van Damme’s few sci-fi movies. The plot of the movie is set in the post-apocalyptic future and Van Damme plays the role of a mercenary. Ironically, the film was made on a small budget with spare costumes from another movie that hadn’t been used! However, the movie gained importance owing to the excellent martial arts stunts by Van Damme. There were a number of blood-filled scenes that had to be edited from the movie considering the fact that it required an R-rating to be released.
The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2 was released in 2012. The original movie, The Expendables, to which this is a sequel, was released the previous year. However, due to Van Damme’s busy schedule, he was unable to be a part of that movie in 2011. Starring alongside some of the most celebrated action heroes of all time, this movie is definitely one of Van Damme’s best. However, it is said that Van Damme stayed away from the rest of the cast that included Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris so that he could focus on his character. Van Damme sure takes his acting very seriously!
Now that you’ve caught a glimpse of Jean Claude Van Damme’s best works, you can get back to your martial arts practice sessions!