Rated 3.0

So Bruce Campbell had My Name Is Bruce, and Jean-Claude Van Damme has, um, this. It’s hard—not least thanks to a jigsawed story and distractingly smudgy cinematography—to figure out quite what it is. Vanity project, and mockery thereof, and uncomfortably close inspection of the shit end of stardom’s stick? Yes. More interesting than Timecop? Certainly. His career now so left behind that he’s still straight-to-video in a straight-to-DVD age, the hard-bodied but weary-faced Monsieur Muscles From Brussels finds himself in quotation marks, with assets frozen, child custody lost, fame taunting and martial arts useless during a hometown hostage situation. Director Mabrouk El Mechri, who co-wrote the script with Frédéric Bénudis and Christophe Turpin, finds space in the morass to supply Van Damme with two quite different but equally stunty long takes, which he eagerly grapples into submission. It’s not really acting so much as scab-ripping, but still an astonishing performance.