In 2018, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays an angry father and a former bodyguard entangled in a plot where the good guys and the bad guys have blurred the line that separates them. A French film, of black genre, and thus a rare performance for the actor, who returned for us on this film and which inspired him a metaphor as only he has the secret!
Lukas : a Van Damme like no other
It’s dark, it’s gray and it’s raining, and in a dangerous Brussels the immortal JCVD will find himself embarked on a plot where he will have to save his skin and protect his daughter. It is the framework of Lukas, fifth feature film by Julien Leclercq, released in 2018 and two years after it was noticed Robbers. Moreover, as we do not change a winning team, the director directs again for Lukas Sami Bouajila and Kaaris, and to complete this already solid cast, it is the Belgian star of world cinema Jean-Claude Van Damme who takes charge of the leading role. Lukas is a former bodyguard who now works as a bouncer in nightclubs. Following the muscular exclusion of an aggressive client, Lukas finds himself under threat of imprisonment and the loss of custody of his daughter. He will therefore agree to collaborate with the police in order to avoid being prosecuted, but at the cost of infiltration into a dangerous Flemish criminal group …
One of the rare forays into French cinema for JCVD
A legend of action cinema of the 90s, Jean-Claude Van Damme never really stood out in a black thriller, all the more so in French-language cinema. Of course his films often have a driving dramatic element, but gravity in his filmography remains an exception. For Lukas, on a screenplay by Jérémie Guez and directed by brutal action and cold light specialist Julien Leclercq, JCVD immerses himself in the darkness of a detective film and delivers a performance different from those he had produced in the past. Lukas is tired, widowed, at first reluctant to pull out the muscles, and to embody the actor of Bloodsport and Full contact was obvious to Julien Leclercq, as he told our microphone :
In fact, the most beautiful shots in the film are the very close-ups at 100mm on him, they’re real cinema shots (…) He’s a huge star, he’s an icon on the outside, but on set, when we “cook” like that, in private, he’s a huge actor.
The actor himself, to approach this evolution in his career, has cracked a metaphor of which he has the secret. For him, life is like a dance, we move in life as if it were a great choreography, which would start strong like rock’n roll to evolve into a more peaceful dance, with the acceptance of maturity, of its problems, something softer, like a slow. A dance that ultimately improves, to perhaps become more fluid. We let you discover below how this 100% JCVD metaphor ends (from 3’09).