Rainy Day Movie is a feature here on Living With a Nerd that provides short insights into movies and series that you should save for a rainy day. In this edition of Rainy Day Movie, we explore the slightly comedic (and intensely interesting) JCVD.
Jean Claude Van Damme stars as himself in JVCD. As an aging actor and in a struggle for custody of his children, Van Damme is taken hostage in a holdup at a postal store. He is then utilized by the robbers to act as the person conducting the robbery, a reverse Stockholm Syndrome situation occurs, and hijinks go from there. While not a comedy film, JVCD definitely has comedic elements. Despite these few scenes that will make you chuckle, there are some trademark amazing Van Damme action scenes (especially the opening.)
Much of the film takes place inside the post office and the surrounding area outside of it. Long, continuous shots similar to the 3 minute sequence in Children of Men occur throughout the film. The cinematography is top notch, making you feel the isolation and confinement that the various hostages must be feeling. The overall colour palette is dull and grey, almost as if there is a cloud cover even indoors. Lighting for this film must have been a complicated affair, as the overall light level is bright on the characters, dark on the environment, washed out and muted all around.
JVCD isn’t the next big action movie, nor is it a big leap in dramatic filmmaking. It is a funny yet serious look at what happens when someone who pretends for a living is put in a situation that they can’t act their way out of. Watch on a grey overcast day, and the film will seem to expand beyond the borders of your TV and out into your world.