|The movies of Jean-Claude Van Damme|
The actor's 10 greatest hits and kicks
By Bryan Reesman
When Jean-Claude Van Damme burst onto the international movie scene in the late '80s, he joined the ranks of Hollywood heavies like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unlike those cinematic icons whose films were littered with high body counts, big guns and explosions, but similar to the emerging Steven Seagal, Van Damme offered something different: visceral action and real-life kickboxing training. He came more from the Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris tradition. His early films may have been smaller in scale, but they packed a huge wallop, and he amassed a sizable female following. Van Damme would soon be starring in larger action spectacles himself, making a bigger crossover by the early 1990s and earning $7 million for "Street Fighter."
While things seem to have quieted a bit on the Van Damme front, the Muscles from Brussels continues to make movies, and in 2012 his two highest-profile films in years have emerged: the all-star "The Expendables 2," which arrived on video last week, and the new "Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning," the sixth film in the franchise (his fourth overall) and the third he has shared with co-star Dolph Lundgren. "Dolph is a real pro, and we have known each other a long time," Van Damme told MSN Movies. "We are friends, and he is a pleasure to work with. You can't explain chemistry -- it either works or it doesn't. With us, it works."
In honor of his cinematic accomplishments, we asked Van Damme to run down his 10 favorite movies along with his greatest hits (literally) from each. Expect more from Van Damme in the future. He answered our questions while on the set of "The Eagle Path," which he said "was a real dream [come true]. But life is built on dreams. Stay tuned; there is more to come."
(Universal Pictures/Lionsgate/The Cannon Group)