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– by David Kozlowski

I loved the martial arts films of Chuck Norris, Jeff Speakman, Jackie Chan, and Jean-Claude Van Damme as a kid, but man was the acting was bad (the stories weren’t all that great either). To this day I still can’t explain how in the world these films ever got made, much less made any money. The cynic in me wonders if maybe such films were merely money-laundering fronts for the mafia or the CIA… and I totally realize how stupid that sounds, and yet… what an idea for a movie or series, amirite? Too bad I didn’t think of it sooner.

In 2008 Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in JCVD, which asked the question: what if an aging, down-and-out action star walked into a bank robbery? It was a brilliant and surprisingly emotional black comedy akin to Being John Malkovich, which asked existential questions about life and legacy and success and failure — yes, we’re talking about a film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and it was kind of amazing. Seems that JCVD was a jumping off point for something weirder and awesome-r.

Related – Trailer For Amazon’s Jack Ryan Is Here!

Today we get our first look at Amazon‘s Jean-Claude Van Johnson series, which begs the question: what if Ridley Scott believed JCVD was real and ran with the premise? What you get is a retired action star who doubles as a semi-professional government operative. It’s maybe the most insane idea I’ve heard in years, and wow does it look like fun.

The fact that Van Damme is so willing to poke fun at his “career” and himself, while looking every bit the 57-year-old man that he is, is itself bold and intriguing. The action and the comedy shown in this trailer look spot-on too. The series totally embraces its idiocy and absurdity, which we all frankly need more of these days.

A final thought. Big thumb’s up to Amazon’s original programming slate, which already includes Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, and Sneaky Pete. Between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon it’s no wonder that theaters are struggling to put rears into seats when there’s so much compelling material on streaming services (to say nothing of the great basic and premium cable series and films too).

Can you believe that Jean-Claude Van Johnson is actually a thing and also looks hilarious? What keeps you sticking with the service? Let us know in the comments down below!

Jean-Claude Van Johnson hits Amazon Prime on December 15, 2017.

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SOURCE: Amazon Video

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.