Jean-Claude Van Johnson (TV Series 2016–2017) Poster


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Jean-Claude Van Damme as you've never seen him before... older, better, lovesick!
Khun Kru Mark14 June 2017
(This review is based on the pilot episode only.)

A laugh-out-loud spoof of silly action movies - starring the biggest action movie star of them all.

No reviews for this? Come on, people!

Not long ago (2015) a brilliant comedy came out on NetFlix called 'The Grinder'. It ran for just one series as it was really too deadpan for mainstream American TV viewers... plus it was mercilessly buried under the weight of so many other new and original programs that were being spewed out at the time.

This time around, the theme is the same... take a world famous guy who is willing to laugh at himself and let the comedy begin. This time though, instead of Rob Lowe as a fake lawyer, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the part of an aging and lovesick action hero... himself.

The first half hour episode is crammed full of inside jokes, movie references and great sight gags. If you blink you'll miss something. It's a helluva ride.

The whole idea is preposterous, of course, and that's part of the joke. Jean-Claude Van Damme is really a secret agent, saving the world and solving crimes while buried deep undercover as a famous action movie star. See what I mean? It's just too silly to be true, right?

Jean-Claude Van Damme is an absolute delight and takes it on the chin (literally) while on his mission to make the world a better place and win the love of his life back.

I hope that this series takes off but there seems to be not much reliable info about it. Amazon has made so much rubbish that it would be a crime to let this gem go by unfulfilled.
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The Best Thing Van Damme Has Ever Done
Spanky413212 September 2017
Proving himself a far better actor than any of his action star contemporaries Jean Claude Van Damme headlines this Amazon pilot. If there is any justice it will get a full series and provide him with the career renaissance he so richly deserves. Without giving too much away our hero plays a fictionalised version of himself who specalises in secret missions in dangerous locations which he carries out while sneaking away from the movie set. Funny and poignant in equal measure this is accessible to anyone although some of the throwaway lines will go over the heads of those who aren't familiar with JCVD's back catalogue. Regardless of any previous familiarity with or feelings for the star this is worth a try. This could be the most impressive comeback since Lazarus.
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Surprisingly good - hope there's a second season!
Charles McGrew16 December 2017
Very tightly written; lots of in-jokes, a parody in each episode of something Mr. Van Damme has ever been in (made all the better by he joining in with gusto.)

Each episode is very nearly its own action-movie, with shootouts, kicks, punches, and kung-fu-theater cliches, lovingly rendered and expertly done. Van Damme's acting is extremely good -- from slapstick, to tragedy, to simple world-weariness, to hopeless romantic, to tough-guy, and occasionally to characters (notably 'Filipe' in episode 4) that should be simply awful, but nevertheless, somehow, work.

Give it a try; you might be pleasantly surprised.
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Enjoyed it ! Looking forwards to seeing more !
sakram13 October 2017
I wouldn't be able to say much without spoiling anything, but whether you're a Jean-Claude Van Damme's fan or not, you'll definitely enjoy this. It says it's a series not a movie yet I am waiting 'til another episode, the first episode is top notch! This is JCVD for you ! You don't need a "fighting" Van Damme to have a Van Damme show, but a rather hilarious entertaining Van Damme !

This is for Episode 1's review. I will edit this once Episode 2 is released (on 15th of December as it seems, we waited so long haha).

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Great idea and hilarious execution.
wht1knight16 December 2017
This is hilarious. Well crafted, good writing, good cast and camera work. Imagine, "Red". "The Expendables" and "True Lies" merged into 30 minute episodes. Very clever and well worth watching. The end credit music is very cool.

Great job Amazon.
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Surprisingly Good
attipton15 December 2017
I was surprised at how good this actually was. Good on JC for being able to poke fun at himself and the entire genre of his movies.
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Time Cop or Looper?
Michael Ledo9 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I am not a big JCVD fan, but I loved this feature. The short goes into the criticisms of JCVD and his films from his vanity and brand lines to unrealistic fight splits and 80's style of fighting one person at a time from a group. Having lost a step, Jean-Claude wants to come out of retirement and be a black ops agent...again, shooting Huck Finn in Bulgaria. I love satire and this film was nearly 100%.

Who is Brown? Could it be Steven Seagal Brown? This has real comedy-action potential.

Guide: F-word. No sex. Rear nudity
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You have to watch this, its great
stevejotom20 December 2017
So as a 40 something, I have grown up in a time when JCVD was quite a star, never as big as Arnold or Bruce, more like a Rutger Hauer of the 90's.

This show is a brilliant concept and plays out perfectly. Jean Claude is a washed up actor who is at face value plodding along minding his own business. Meanwhile unbeknown to all he is a secret agent.

The show has a fascinating combination of reminding us of trade mark van damme moves and references previous movies in a laugh out laugh manner, at the same time it has a deeper inner meaning, which is in a way calling to the world to let Jean Claude come back to the limelight. Not as the tough guy but as who you see here, (If you watch it listen out for his last line in the last episode). It's clever, funny, entertaining and I hope to see more of this and also wish him all the best in getting new work that is this good.
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He was one of the Heroes of my Childhood......
nikhil_mi220 December 2017
This is a pleasantly surprising series.

I was unaware (Until I watched the First episode of JCVD) how much I missed Jean Claude Van Damme. His peculiar style of Martial Arts was what got me mostly through my childhood. And I expected a little more of the stuff from the series, but as I said I was pleasantly surprised because it was more. It was Hilarious at times, swashbuckling with action at some times and very very Heart warming towards the end. All the characters were beautiful and perfectly acted. The Villain is fantastic and probably the most convincing in the role.

Definitely a must watch for all the Van Damme Fans.
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van damme is back
sukhib1 December 2017
This pilot had everything any die hard van damme fan would want, action and also some humour. This show will be returning on Amazon prime, with 6 more episodes after this pilot. Hopefully we get to see more of the same. Van Damme could have a major hit with this show. Overall I would give the pilot a 9/10.
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Very disappointed that no more episodes
rowantl18 March 2018
So heartbroken that there are not more episodes or season two. I loved this show and so did my son. It was great on how he made fun of himself.
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Great Production, Amazon Video Team: Please take note
gustafsonleif2 November 2017
Dear Amazon Video,

This (like "the legend of master legend") is a truly original production. Please don't screw this up. First of all, note the great successes of your competition (Netflix, Hulu). With productions like "Stranger Things," "11.22.63," and "Sense8," bringing back an actor with the reputation of JCVD is a great step forward for you. Even more, blending the roles between actor and character is a very ingenious concept.

For the sake of retaining viewers, please give timely updates to when (or "if") your massive quantity of original productions will continue or be scrapped. Until I read the first review here on IMDb, I though this great concept (like many others) was scrapped in favor of unoriginal works (such as "The Tick" or "Good Girls Revolt") blatantly targeted for a specific viewer demographics.

It's a relief to know that this series will resume airing 12.15.2017. Please make this announcement official.

Thank you
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Great to see this martial arts legend back in action
milos-panic198419 December 2017
An old familiar childhood feeling rushed through me while watching the series. I was afraid it might go away but it did'nt. It was very nice to see this great martial artist and actor back where he belongs... Go JCVD! Looking forward to see much more of your talent. Greatings from Serbia!
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Love it!
gitterkins10 November 2017
Amazon, please keep this show going! I am a huge JCVD fan and this is arguably him at his finest. It's a refreshing and somewhat unique mix of action and comedy that manages to avoid being cheesy. There seems to be a considerable amount of spoofing, but not to the extent that anyone would feel annoyed if they didn't get the references. Every moment is entertaining - really look forward to more episodes being released!
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light-rock25 May 2018
I think it is important to chime in even though everything that needs to be said has already been said by the reviews that come before. Perhaps if we all lend our voice they will make more of these.

Did I see that right? Ridley Scott an executive producer. Good choice and kudos to recognizing whoever it was that had this idea and all the work to solidify the vision, and JC for being a good sport.

There are some subtle, some blatant, and some over the top opportunities for some ... how do you say ... stretching? of JC's acting range. I like how as he has matured in age, now at least there is some breathing room, a place to let his hair down.

This is some kind of a master class, but I have no idea how to categorize it.

Hahaha, how about this... in the words of Yoda: "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
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Jean-Claude at his best
tyson_mcc5 May 2018
Currently on my second watch of season 1 and there is nothing about this show I dislike. Absolutely hilarious. I really hope they make a season 2 some day. If you grew up on 80s-90s action flicks, you will love this show.
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Hit and miss, but still an interesting turn in VD's career path
davideo-24 February 2018
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning


In his heyday, Jean Claude Van Damme was one of the most renowned action stars, a cultural icon nearly on a par with Schwarzenegger or Stallone. But these days, his passion has gone as his star has waned, appearing in straight to DVD non-entities, helmed by directors with delusions of grandeur. However, unbeknownst (to us all!), he's also a real life undercover agent (well, Steven Seagal was a cop!) operating under the codename Jean Claude Van Johnson. His old employer calls him in to thwart a massive heroin dealing operation, all to be controlled by a giant weather controlling device (don't ask!) Along the way, he must reconnect with himself, and come to terms with unresolved issues from his past.

Self referentially sending himself and his true to life current career predicament up, Jean Claude Van Damme has taken a subversive step with this surrealist, post-modern series, in the vein of work such as Being John Malkovich and Pauly Shore is Dead. It's great that he's in on the joke and willingly takes pot shots at himself, in something that will surely generate more interest than another one of his generic, straight to DVD non-entities. And while it fires a few too many blanks to be considered great, it's generally on the ball and successful.

At times, it's quite funny, but it's never really as hilarious or impressive as it wants to be. It suffers as well from a slightly wobbly, inconsistent story that doesn't always flow as smoothly from one episode to the next. It's an ambitious project from VD, the sort of premise he first capitalized on with his regular appearances in those Cors Light adverts, but which, like this, were, pretty much hit and miss. The absurdity and outlandishness of the whole thing keeps it ticking along, though, more than enough to hold you for just about all six episodes.

While there's scope for improvement in the next series, this first one has been surprising and funny enough. And, yeah, I agree, Timecop is way better than Looper. ***
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JCVD at his absolute finest
urthpainter23 December 2017
Jean-Claude Van Johnson is a revelation: visionary conflict between good and evil, with nothing less than the entire world on the line. Sound silly? It is - it is very, very silly. Yet, hidden in the comedy is an incredibly well written show that creates it's own rule book, that somehow follows a certain logic created by all the martial arts action movies it spoofs.

The best farce is indistinguishable from that which it makes fun of - and this is exactly what we have here. I really think the viewer needs at least a smattering of JCVD movies in their mental rolodex to fully appreciate the antics. JCVD classics include Bloodsport, Lionheart, Cyborg, Timecop, The Quest, Maximum Risk (his best overall action movie?), Double Team & Knock Off. There's obviously more, but these are my highlighted movies. Knock Off really is a delineating film, after which JC had a public fall from grace, and most of his films since then have been mid budget at best. There is one exception, 2008's JCVD that I have to believe is part of the reason this amazing TV show exists. That film is far more serious, but does a lot of play on fiction vs reality in JC's life, and certainly has it's comical moments. It's also a movie that shows VD's acting chops - I mean, who knew that his skill as an actor would improve as he aged?

Just like the writing, JCVD's acting in this show is subtly amazing! He plays all the scenes to near perfection, and the moments he replicates screams or poses from old films are absolute comic gold. This also speaks to the direction, and like everything else, there is a clear vision that everyone here bought into.

So what is this show? VD stars as himself, aged and retired - but we learn he has a lost love. In trying to rekindle that flame, we also learn that JC is a retired special operative for a secret organization where he is known simply as Johnson. In order to chase his flame, he comes out of retirement - both to make a movie, and to be a real life hero. But nothing in this show is anywhere near reality. It is all heavily stylized, with everything leaning toward humor. Between all the flashbacks, dream sequences, fight scenes and random action - we take an unpredictable journey with JCVD and the rest of the cast. Which is excellent, and worth mentioning that while VD is the star, this show belongs to both he and Kat Foster, almost in equal measure. Her character is also fully explored, with her own individual scenes - that are just as funny as any part of this show. They are a good team, and really play well off each other.

Obviously this show was made for a fan like me - I love JCVD. I love his movies. Many may be unintentional comedies: Bloodsport, The Quest, Knock Off. Here the comedy is very intentional, but comes at the viewer in much the same way as his old movies. I also feel with JC's legacy, he deserves this project, success, and hopefully a second season. He has aged pretty well, and his acting is at an all time high! I'm not saying he's De Niro or anything, but atm I'd way rather see JC's next project than De Niro's!

With comic brilliance, clever writing, solid production, a great cast and ultimately an amazing first season - what can I say? 10/10
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Brilliant dialogues and show!
neo-karoshi17 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
It is a nice show.

JCVD was always a black ops, acting being his cover. He gets back after retirement.

Some scenes are great. Timecop vs Looper in the pilot being my favorite so far.
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Simply the best and most genial series of the year, congratulations JCVD and Amazon Prime for the quality gift to the lovers of the seventh art.
Adriano Torres19 December 2017
Fantastic, revolutionary, unbelievable, perfect and great. Every second of this series is special. The premise is not new, but the way it is conducted was totally different, really the idealizer of the series delivered a perfect and very interesting script for Jean-Claude Van Damme, and it was a gift that fell like a glove, because JCVD is brilliant, Van Damme gives short of interpretation, he also plays a double role here, reminiscent of some of the classics he has done in the past such as Double Impact, Maximum Risk and Replicant. If you have not seen it, have to see it. If you did not like Van Damme, leave your opinion formed aside and all your prejudice, and let Van Damme enter your heart. Van Damme definitely shows, once and for all that he is the best actor in the considered action movie, he really can act from drama to comedy to action to fiction. This series are all genres of movies, and one more thing.
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Last Action Hero Returns
martindougli19 December 2017
So, here's the question: Is this LAH remake better than the Looper remake of TimeCop? Watch with delight.
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Jean-Claude Van Johnson for Review
magow-0115 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A fun idea that is too easily exhausted, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, premiering on Amazon Prime on Friday, finds action-movie veteran Jean-Claude Van Damme ridiculing his own image in the service of a six-episode comedy series. In this show created by Dave Callaham (The Expendables), Van Damme is, by his own description, a once "super-famous" star who has settled into semiretirement and a funk: He misses the love of his life, a woman named Vanessa (Kat Foster). Restless and irritable, he decides to revive his career as an international spy who uses the code name "Johnson." His handler in these missions is The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad, whose cover is as Van Damme's mostly useless movie agent.

It doesn't take long for Van Damme/Johnson to be sent on a mission to track down some "bloodthirsty drug-runners" while working undercover as an actor in a martial-arts remake of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you're giggling at that setup, I think it's because these ideas work better in print than in execution. There are some well-staged action scenes in the opening episode - Van Damme still knows how to throw and take a punch, even if, in his late 50s, he's no longer "the master of the splits" - but you don't come to this show for bloodlust or nail-biting suspense.

The whole international-spy thing gets repetitive fast. Kat Foster is awfully appealing as her own sort of intelligence agent whose cover is that she's Van Damme's hairdresser - it's easy to see why the action hero still pines for her. That on-again, off-again romance isn't very sustaining, however. The show is likable - no more, no less.

Jean-Claude Van Johnson is streaming now on Amazon Prime.
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myblackstar-8354022 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Very good ways in this film,good work,nice to see good actors and action,a film cool and with spark,a revival of good moments needed in the actual cinema,wish you the best lucky with this film,real cool and full of action and a history that have you entertained till the end.great.
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As a Van Damme fan in my childhood,
alexbb-5315419 December 2017
I was looking forward to see Jean-Claude in JCVJ.

In short - the good things about JCVJ:
  • JC displays some nice acting (e.g. as the Time Cop guy)
  • some episodes are fun

The not so good things about JCVJ:
  • some scenes/episodes are too long and boring
  • fight scenes of female cast are quite bad
  • JC looks most of the time really unhappy/bad - a litte bit like a depressed drug addict - some laugh/grin from JC and the series would have been much better.

Overall a 4/10 - I don't think there will be a second season, although with a better/smarter script and a re-energized JC this could have been a success.

@JC - more JChan slapstick, witty dialogues, and fast paced fights, with a less "depressed" action star could do the trick for JCVJ.
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Fantastically written with near flawless execution
beavis_el_bunghole1 June 2018
Honestly, I am a harsh film critic and find the writing to always be the worst thing about films. But, the writing of this show is top notch. It blew me away and is far better than any other show i have watched from amazon probably all the network and cable shows. The irony is great and I believe I laughed out loud in every episode; let me tell you, it is very hard to get more than a chuckle out of me. The wit here is almost flawless. The execution of the edits and the direction are so well done. And the dialogue is mostly fantastic with perfect satire and pastiche while creating a truly emotional finale that is well built and hard earned and unexpected. Not to mention the perfect tightrope of sincerity walked by the actors who all deliver confidently and robustly, as though it were a big budget affair. You wouldnt know some of them arent star actors . Truly.

Amazon is CRAZY to cancel this gem. They have so many insultingly garbage shows with bad acting and worse writing that get slapped together for second and third seasons. Thank god jcvd season 1 is so well written and planned that it works as a standalone without need for season 2.

Amazon, shame on you for torching this fine piece of sincere emotional comedic satire. It is the only show you have that delivers. And it never resorts to filler. I cant say enough about this show. I love it.
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