While he was never really gone, Jean Claude Van Damme had a sort of resurgence after the release of his brilliant film JCVD which shifting into even more excellent work including his scene stealing turn as the villain in Expendables 2. Now he is trying something a little different and taking on a comedic role with his latest Welcome to the Jungle. Along for the ride he is bringing a great cast including Adam Brody, Dennis Haysbert, Bianca Bree, Rob Hebel, and Megan Boone but can it keep his streak alive or will this be the final kick in the face?
Welcome to the Jungle follows a group of unsuspecting office workers who find themselves stranded on a desert island when a corporate retreat led by unhinged former Marine Storm Rothchild goes horribly wrong. Now the co-workers must battle nature and each other to survive! Before getting into this review let’s make it clear that this is not really a Jean Claude Van Damme film, but he does deliver in a way like never before. From the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves he knocks it out of the park. It’s not so much that he was delivering some sort of powerful performance like with JCVD, but instead he parodies himself with a no holds barred nature that is flawless. For those hoping for the usual martial arts action be warned there really isn’t any, but the scene you do get is worth the entire film. The rest of the cast do a fine job with the ridiculous nature of the whole film. Everything starts off fairly generic, but once they get to the island it heads into various silly over the top and unbelievable directions, but only adds to the absurd fun of it all.
This is film isn’t breaking any new comedic ground, but manages to entertain mostly thanks to Van Damme’s fun absurd performance. He has really found a grove with this turn in comedy and his villain role that opens up new things that he will hopefully embrace for years to come.
Step into the jungle and grab your copy of Welcome to the Jungle when it hits stores on February 7th.