The reinvention of Jean-Claude Van Damme is igniting itself again. In recent years, we’ve watched The Muscles From Brussels evolve from ’90s B-movie punchline to awesomely evil Expendables 2 villain to truck-straddling viral video superstar. You should also check out his touching turn in the amazing JCVD, where he plays himself as a broken-down action star. And now we’re really worked up over learning that we’re among the fans who’ll get to see Welcome to the Jungle on the big screen in February.
Now we get Van Damme starring in the upcoming corporate-drones-gone-wild farce Welcome to the Jungle–and even though it’s a comedy, don’t sweat a thing. JCVD delivers at least one haymaking roundhouse kick, and he still over-enunciates in that endearingly clunky accent.
Adam Brody (The O.C.) co-stars as a desk jockey forced into a team-building wilderness retreat that’s overseen by ex-Marine and outdoor survival expert Van Damme. Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital), Megan Boone (The Blacklist), Eric Edelstein (Shameless), and Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers) are among the other workers who get dragged along. When everyone ends up stranded on a deserted island, the proceedings quickly morph from Office Space to Lord of the Flies with only Van Damme there to karate-punch sense into the various transgressors. The catch is that he may be the first to completely go out of his mind.
Jungle’s trailer is packed with nervy, non-p.c. gags about cannibalism, urinating on a corpse, spear-tossing paper-pushers, Asian “tiger moms,” and an actual tiger. All this bodes well for the movie proper as does, of course, its top-billed action hero. You may find yourself rewinding the part where he taunts his new students by declaring, “Welcome to Big Mama Nature’s house.” We sure did.
Welcome to the Jungle (finally) hits theaters and video on demand on February 7th. That’s after almost a year of waiting–but now Van Damme is waiting for you. He’s always there for you.