Jean-Claude Van Damme delivers punchy action comedy with Amazon’s ‘Johnson’
The brand new Amazon sequence “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” teeters someplace between its absurd self-referential idea and an amusing offbeat action flick.
Within the six-part present, international martial-arts movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme performs “Jean-Claude Van Damme,” a world martial-arts movie star. The fictional Jean-Claude of the sequence lives in retirement, puttering round his property. One night time he spots his former lover, Vanessa (Kat Foster), who’s an undercover spy. So too, we be taught, was Jean-Claude, solely he labored below the identify Van Johnson.
He reconnects together with his outdated contacts and is assigned to go undercover on an action movie set in Bulgaria, ostensibly to take down some drug kingpins, however actually it’s to get subsequent to Vanessa, who works as a hairdresser on the movie.
She goes alongside, not completely sad concerning the growth. The movie is kung-fu remake of “Huckleberry Finn,” wherein Jean-Claude is Huck, whose lover, Tom, is performed by a girl, in a narrative about defeating the Confederacy. One night time whereas on a mission Jean-Claude – “I’m king of the splits” – runs throughout a frightened upkeep man, Philip, who appears to be like like him (additionally performed by Van Damme). Jean-Claude tells him the plot of 1994’s “Timecop” to elucidate the scenario. Ultimately, the dangerous guys uncover the resemblance and set Philip up as a lookalike.
It isn’t lengthy earlier than the spy actuality and the movie actuality overlap, significantly when some baddies come after J-C. Pondering he’s capturing nice combat scenes, the director is ecstatic. When his assistant factors out that automated weapons weren’t used within the 1850s, the director tells her nobody cares about issues like that.
The meta-concept for “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” is from Dave Callaham, the creator and showrunner. The longtime action hero referred to as The Muscular tissues From Brussels nonetheless has a kick and appears to get pleasure from spoofing his picture, gleefully slicing and dicing his profession.
At six episodes, the sequence has sufficient drive to maintain it, particularly because it throws in some outlandish gags and a diabolical scheme to take over the world. Then within the fifth episode, it takes an surprising flip when a previous plot level is immediately revived.
The sequence has one thing of a “True Lies” really feel, with its plot winking at itself. There’s loads of action and suspense and even a “Timecop” twist. J-C, although, is a special form of action-figure, full of extra self-doubt and remorse then you definitely normally see within the movies. However even with that, the sequence well by no means takes itself too critically.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson
What: Six-episode sequence – half action, half spoof – starring Jean-Claude Van Damme taking part in a model of himself.When: Episodes obtainable Friday.The place: Amazon.
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