Plot: JEAN-CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON stars global martial arts & film sensation Jean-Claude Van Damme playing “Jean-Claude Van Damme”, a global martial arts & film sensation, also operating under the simple alias of “Johnson” as the world’s best undercover private contractor. Retired for years, a chance encounter with a lost love brings him back to the game. This time, he’ll be deadlier than ever. Probably.
Review: When I first heard about this show I wasn’t sure it was a good idea but I was happy to be proven wrong as JCVJ is arguably the best thing Van Damme has done in years. It has heart, humour and some awesome action with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek.
It feels like a spin-off of the JCVD movie from 2008 with a similar tone; both feature the actor down on his luck but this time he’s a former spy known as Jean-Claude Van Johnson. I love how he faces problems like aging and when he tries to do the splits it hurts him.
He’s no longer an invincible, young action hero; now his spirit is willing but the body struggles to keep up. That doesn’t mean we don’t get much in the way of action, there is actually a fantastic fight scene with our hero taking on a room full of goons which is JCVD at his very best.
It’s projects like this which are why Jean-Claude Van Damme has always been my favourite action star; he’s never been afraid to challenge himself and try something a little different. There are references to movies like Timecop where it is compared to Looper (Timecop all the way for me, I might add) which provide a lot of the humour and the script is consistently sharp.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson feels fresh and yet wonderfully familiar and reminds us why we all loved the quirky action hero for so long. I hope this gets picked up as a full series as it’s far too interesting a concept to leave as merely a pilot.
Overall, if you haven’t watch it yet you should check out JCVJ and be open minded to see him do something a little different as it has heart, action and humour.