Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maximum Risk (1996)

Seen: On our big screen/projector set-up, one half of a Jean-Claude Van Damme double feature dvd with Double Team.

After a long day of working all I really wanted was a good, stupid action movie, and thank goodness we've got several Van Damme movies lying around that I've never seen. In Maximum Risk he plays twins (which he totally loves to do apparently!) separated as babies, one (Mikhail) raised by a Russian mob family and the other (Alain) remaining in France. When supercop Alain is shown his surprise brother's corpse, he sets out to solve the mystery of his death. He travels to New York, where he is usually mistaken for his twin, and uncovers a plot that starts with the mob and goes up through the FBI. There are a lot of people just asking to be high-kicked, and he helps them out. Also he and his brother's hot girlfriend (Natasha Henstridge) start dating. That's not weird, right? Part of the mourning process to date someone who looks exactly like your dead boyfriend?

Opening with a killer car chase and laced with shoot-outs and destructive battles (including a slippery fight in a sauna in which you can ALMOST see Van Damme's junk!), Maximum Risk's action scenes more than make up for its totally stupid and nonsensical plot. Like, remember the crazy chase through the Paris streets and you're like "Whaaaaaa?" and remember that part in the bank elevator where Van Damme and that Lundgren stand-in are just wailing on each other?! This movie is awesome. Plus Van Damme looks super handsome, and we see his butt! Not that that's anything new. Natasha Henstridge's boobs also make an appearance, in a very uncomfortable-looking bathroom sex scene.

Ummm so the story is hard to follow and there are a shit ton of characters, several of whom aren't really necessary. That cab driver/aspiring novelist? Blegh. And everybody moves around too much. BUT Van Damme and Co. sell it with their earnest dialogue delivery and all the asskicking that goes on. It's a really fun action movie, I am not being ironic. It's stupid, yes, but that doesn't make it any less fun! Makes it better, really.


Pair This Movie With: More Van Damme? Universal Soldier is pretty rad. Or District B13 for more French action? Ooooor Little Odessa for more NYC Russian mob stuff.


  1. I remember a time, a long time ago, when I used to watch a JCVD film almost every month. Those days are sadly gone! ;)

    I do love Double Team!

  2. Dan: Haha that sounds like an important time in your life! I still have a lot of his films I'd like to see. Just found out about KICKBOXER and DOUBLE IMPACT, it's very exciting! DOUBLE TEAM is my favorite so far just because it's so incredibly ridiculous.