Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors Review


Hearing that an ageing celebrity has signed up for their own ‘fly on the wall’ reality series is usually enough to worry even the most enthusiastic of TV reviewers and this episode of Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors certainly lived up to my turgid expectations.

We follow the busy schedule of Jean Claude Van Damme (hereafter known as JCVD), during the run up to his 50th birthday, as he films for his upcoming movie Weapon and trains for his much needed comeback fight.

This doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary, but seeing as though The Muscles From Brussel’s latest movies have all gone straight to DVD, there is a lot that he could gain from getting this right. The strain of this is clearly taking its toll on the man and he is soon bragging to the camera about his celebrity lifestyle and superior fighting ability. So much so, that he feels the need to summon his own son Kristopher to apologise to a fellow actor that he hit while recording.

Now in the normal run of things, this would seem a very admirable action, but seeing as though his colleague is a much younger, bigger and more intimidating adversary, JCVD is massaging his own ego rather than being polite.

The show would not be true to form without the appearance of his other family members using this tepid spotlight to publicise their own careers. Like the Kelly and Jack Osbournes of the past, this time round it’s JCVD’s daughter Bianca that is introduced to the masses. Under the premise that “She has it in her her genes,â€? Bianca prepares for a martial arts role in an upcoming Mortal Kombat film.

Its hard not to feel sorry for JCVD wanting to reclaim his youth, but when he is told that he needs to lay off of his signature roundhouse kicks for his own health, the celebrity mid-life crisis continues. This is surely a massive kick in the teeth (excuse the pun) and cements the reality that the former champion is finally passed it.

Is that an unfair comment? During JCVD’s 50th birthday celebrations, we see another side to the man and learn that his mood swings, frequent outbursts of tears and flirtatious nature are a result of his Bipolar disorder, which is dependent on medication to control. “I may be 50, but I will be a warrior, so I know my family will love meâ€? he cries.

As JCVD creeps ever closer to his all important comeback fight, you can’t help but feel sorry for the fallen hero. Hilarious to watch and with the warning signs of a man on the verge of mental breakdown, JCVD has possibly found his new calling to life. Let’s just hope he keeps it together in time to reach the end of the series.