Jean-Claude Van Johnson full movie review - Enjoyable for a Certain Demographic
NOTE: The following review is intended to aid those who are 'on the fence' regarding whether or not to view this show.
After nearly two decades of perusing the IMDb, this is the first time I've felt compelled to write a review. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, I feel somewhat betrayed by several of the current reviews on this site. And secondly, for once, I feel my input may actually be of some use for others who are sitting where I sat an hour ago, trying to decide if they should spend the time to watch it.
The betrayal, as astutely noted by the previous reviewer 'Eddie_weinbauer', lies in the fact that it is abundantly clear to me that the majority of the current (13) reviews were made by people associated with, or payed for, by peoples somehow connected to this production. Now, I'm one who has no truck for conspiracy theories, but this is not a 'theory'. I know the hallmarks of fraudulent internet reviews all too well, having spent many years working for one of the largest video game companies... OK, the largest (yes, EA, and yes, I'm still in therapy). A company that when it wasn't buying off professional reviewers, engaged in these sorts of shenanigans ad nauseum. I won't waste your time, dear reader, analyzing them to point out their earmarks. But I, for one, am certain this is true.
So before I watched this, I scanned the reviews herein for their scores, and quickly decided this was clearly a 'must watch'. After having viewed it, however, I felt more betrayed than I have since Roger Ebert stabbed my proverbial back when he sent me to the theatre to see 'Beloved', which he endlessly gushed over throughout his '4 Star' review (Roger: You knew full well that nobody should have seen Oprah doing THAT). Don't get that reference? Then get on your knees and give thanks to your entity of choice. You too, atheists.
With that out of the way, let me briefly summarize this show. Personally, I was mostly bored during the pilot episode. It's well filmed, and professionally put together, and those are the good points. Basically, it's an absurdist (not in a bad way) show that aims to provide nostalgia in the form of a throwback to 80's Van Damme action, coupled with modern comedic elements. I must tell you that action is not my cup of tea, as my eyes typically glaze over ten seconds in. But it was interesting to see what the man can still do at his age... and in that he was mighty impressive. Unfortunately, now that I know this, I have no need to see him do so again.
The comedy, however, left me unmoved. When watching a comedy, I hope to have a slight smile on my face for the majority of the episode, interrupted by an audible chuckle or two. For this pilot, my visible stupor was only altered by a smile or two. I did not find the writing clever or witty. In fact, I'm fairly certain I could have written this episode, and I'm not a comedy writer... for good reason. The acting itself was adequate for this genre, but it will not lead to any Belgian accented acceptance speeches at future Emmy's.
So if I was so unimpressed, you ask, why did I still give it a '6'? Well, call me Don Quixote, because even though this is the internet, I still believe 'nuance' has a place here. And because I'm confident there many people who WILL enjoy this show, and one of them might even be a female. But generally speaking, with its competent action scenes and light humor, I imagine this will appeal to the adolescent (in mind or heart) males who, at some point in their lives, have chosen to watch a 'straight to video' Van Damme movie. Because, by God, this MUST be better than them.