I wonder how the heck is that possible given the fact that the Belgium martial arts star is constantly shooting movies, sometimes several times per year.
He is also in the celebrity gossip news and as we have already mentioned he is very active on social media.
So for the sake of clarity once and forever, Jean-Claude is very much alive and he still participates in funny action movies. The direct to video action flick “Shepherd: Border Patrol” is one of them.
Shot entirely in Bulgaria for only 47 days and with a budget of $12 million, the movie has a lot to offer to the fans of the Belgium action star and to the b-movie lovers. Moreover, the flick has one important message to deliver: for the action heroes, the age is just a number.
But let me ask a question: Do you like animals and pets?
Well, Van Damme sure does. It is a well-known fact that the Muscles from Brussels adores animals. He is a proud owner and a friend of many dogs, birds, and cats.
That is one thing that Jean-Claude has in common with his character in the film. For both of them, the animals mean a lot.
The former cop with troubled past Jack Robideaux accepts a job in a border patrol unit in a distant town at the US/Mexico border and arrives there with his partner- a white pet rabbit.
As the movie evolves, it turns out that the rabbit belonged to his beloved daughter who died from a drug overdose several months ago. The men, responsible for the distribution of these drugs, are part of a former Special Forces unit and now they are trying to smuggle heroin through the US/Mexican border.
Jack is ready to do whatever it takes in order to do his job and at the same time to avenge the death of his daughter. The plot is ready and the action starts to roll.
The critically acclaimed director Isaac Florentine is a master in the “Non-Theatrical” action filmmaking and he is worshiped by the fans of the genre.
Directed such classics like “Savate”, “Undisputed 2” and much more, the man definitely knows how to create an action packed and thrilling experience.
Van Damme plays Jack Robideaux and he teams up with his fellow martial arts friend Scott Adkins who took the role of Karp- the main villain’s right hand.
One must admit that Scott has made a great villain in the movie.
Stephen Lord is in the role of Benjamin Meyers- the evil mastermind behind the whole drug operation.
Once again, Jean-Claude managed to arrange a small part in the movie for his real-life daughter Bianca Van Varenberg who has a tiny appearance as the daughter of Jack Robideaux.
This is a Funny Action Movie because:
Jean- Claude Van Damme looks strangely funny as the depressed, mastering karate, grieving for his daughter cop.
During the whole movie, he has only a few lines and one has the feeling that he may surprisingly decide do cut his veins at every moment. Even his pet rabbit in a cage is more sociable and cheerful than him.
Also, it is funny how an ex-cop transfers in the border patrol unit without applying for the position and most importantly without attending any kind of specialized training.
The movie has the clichéd action scenes that we all love so much like for instance the usual fight in the bar, where the good guy is challenged to kick a bunch of drunken asses, against his will.
After all, Jean-Claude may look slow and old but actually, he isn’t. He easily breaks several noses by performing some complex karate techniques.
The drug smugglers from the Special Forces Unit have at their disposal a very expensive and sophisticated internet technology ahead of its time for the needs of their drug business.
We witness several times the vicious leader of the group, making Forex exchange transactions, between the killings that he does.
The movie also has its mandatory funny taglines like for example the one that throws Jack’s boss Capt. Ramona Garcia: “Don’t mistake these tits for weakness, Jack”.
The flick tries in vain to be dramatic at times but it always ends up being just even more hilarious. The acting and the dialogue are amusingly bad and there are some spectacular shootings scenes.
Once again, Scott Adkins manages to deliver a great action performance and the final one on one fight between him and JCVD is pretty damn good. It is always a pleasure to watch such wonderful martial artists fighting each other on the screen.
“The Shepherd: Border Patrol” succeeds in his mission to deliver satisfaction from watching an action-packed Van Damme/Scott Adkins movie from the 21st century.
With some highly enjoyable action scenes and funny moments, this flick is definitely worth being part of one’s funny action movie collection.
I highly recommend this gem, which proudly stands in the Van Damme modern filmography, where we see a legendary action hero’s last stands. And in case you were wondering- the rabbit survives!
Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think about the movie. I’d love to hear from you.
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