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A famous action hero/martial arts star comes out of retirement to assume an alter ego as undercover private contractor named Jean-Claude Johnson.

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Jean-Claude Van Johnson movie full length review - Could make a great series

Jean-Claude Van Johnson has one of the best pilots I've ever seen. Pilots are almost always a little bit clunky in terms of satisfying the need of setting up the story, characters, and tone of a perspective series.

Jean-Claude Van Johnson has none of that clunkiness. The best part of Jean-Claude Van Johnson is that it doesn't feel much like a show at all, but rather a nice-looking, extremely well done short film. A show with this particular premise--Jean-Claude Van Damme as a version of himself that is secretly Black Ops--could have felt like a terrible spoof, or a really bad fan film that just happens to have JCVD as the star. But, given the talent involved, and one of the strongest performances Van Damme has ever delivered, this instead feels like something really unique and special. It's satirizing Van Damme's career to a large degree, although it's not mean-spirited or overly joke-heavy.

Just like one would expect from anything starring Van Damme, there are some great action sequences, ones that are well shot and extremely entertaining to watch. The fight scenes here aren't long, and they are mainly here to serve story purposes, but they should be satisfying for fans of the actor. For something that obviously doesn't have the budget of something that would be on network or cable, Jean-Claude Van Johnson is visually impressive all around. The cinematography is great, the production values look better than almost any television show on at the moment, and every single scene is edited with a very strong sense of purpose. There's no awkward filler to be found. Every scene, even the straight-up comedy scenes, build a certain amount of tension in terms of whats going to happen next.

As much as I loved Jean-Claude Van Johnson as a solid pilot, all 30 minutes aren't perfect, especially some of the dramatic relationship material which is extremely clichéd. In fact, the relationship drama seems like something that would be the worst subplot of a lesser Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. However, it's easy to forgive those moments simply because of how fresh, funny, smart, and exciting the whole production is a a whole. Even for people that aren't Van Damme fans, Jean-Claude Van Johnson is definitely worth watching. 8/10