When i first heard the news Jean Claude Van Damme would be starring in his own TV series, i was very excited. Here, Van Damme plays himself and to be honest he is very good at it, showcasing his acting ability flicking through dramatic to comedy with ease (Yes we get to see some of his trademark kicks).
Jean Clade Van Johnson opens with Jean Claude Van Damme staring at the camera, speaking about his old films such as Bloodsport and Timecop, ““My name is Jean-Claude Van Damme and I used to be super famous.Maybe you've seen Timecop, which is like Looper only a million times better” and how right he is.
He has it all, his own mansion, own car, own perfume and women on the side – but what he doesn't have is the woman he loves and the big fame anymore.
After the opening sequence, there is a funny moment in a noodle bar between Van Damme and a waiter:
“I'm really retired, but not like Nicolas Cage retired,” Van Damme says to a waiter, which the waiter then responds, “Man, I thought you were Nicolas Cage.” Here, Van Damme looks worn out, unshaven and tired but then calls his agent and says “I'm back, not as JCVD, but as Johnson”.
When Van Damme, sorry Johnson realises his ex Girl is on a job in Bulgaria, he wants an undercover job there but is told he will have to shoot a movie which starts in 2 days. So Johnson starts to work out again in his home gym, but this time his reactions are to slow after years of not training (Tries a spin kick on the heavy bag, misses it and the bag hits him in the face).
Once in Bulgaria, he is on the set and filming a fight scene (Delivering a nice jumping kick to a guys chest). But after a few moments he swings an ae over his head which nearly hits the actress and they call “cut”. Afterwards Johnson goes undercover in a factory in his side role as a contractor and ends up banging into a load of guys, to which they reply “Jean Claude Van Damme?”. This is when we get to see Van Damme/Johnson portray his old school kicks, 360 spin kick, shouts “Come Onnnn” then finishes with the splits and punch to the groin (Bloodsport style”.
Overall, very enjoyable and it's great to see Jean Claude Van Damme in this kind of role. Weather your a fan or not, you will enjoy the opening episode. Great watch.
You can watch Jean Claude Van Johnson “Pilot” on Amazon prime.