Netflix is a fantastic place to find overlooked gems, underrated classics, and other films and shows that people may otherwise miss. Say what you will about streaming services and their impact on movie theaters. While that is definitely a topic of discussion, getting acquainted with old classics is a great thing. Definitely helps make streaming worth it. And now, as if to prove my point, a fun Jean-Claude Van Damme movie is available on the streaming giant and you should check it out pronto.
The film is called Maximum Risk, and it showcased Jean Claude Van Damme as identical twins. It is a decent movie, but other critics do not seem to agree. Released on September 13, 1996, Maximum Risk holds a low Rotten Tomatoes score and only made $14.5 million during its theatrical run, making it a severely underrated movie that not everyone will be on board with. Still, it may be worth a watch for those who have not seen it. Especially for those who enjoy a good Jean-Claude Van Damme flick.
Helmed by Hong Kong director Ringo Lam and written by Larry Ferguson, Maximum Risk features Jean-Claude Van Damme as both cop Alain Moreau and his long-lost brother, Mikhail Suverov. After Mikhail dies unexpectedly, Alain discovers that his brother was affiliated with the Russian Mafia. What follows is a series of events that will change Alain and his perception of his family forever. The movie’s original title was The Exchange, but was later changed to Bloodstone. Maximum Risk may not be the best or catchiest of those titles, but it is definitely the most ’90s-sounding of the bunch. In that sense, it totally works. Personally, I prefer Bloodstone.
In addition to his dual role in Maximum Risk, Jean-Claude Van Damme was also the big bad of The Expendables 2 and starred in movies like Woman Between Wolf and Dog, Universal Soldier: The Return, The Shepherd: Border Patrol, Kung Fu Panda 3, and countless other films. He is an action staple and a damn good one at that. But he has branched out into family movies, with his upcoming turn in Minions: The Rise of Gru being the next family-friendly flick in which he set to star. He is more versatile than many people realize, and anyone who scoffs at his name should check out all of his stuff before they pass judgment on his entire career.
But if his extensive resume does not impress you, maybe his other skills will. Many may already know this, but Jean-Claude Van Damme isn’t just known for his many acting roles. At one point, he was also a martial artist and fight choreographer. He has also directed two films, starting with The Quest back in 1996. The second, an action drama titled Frenchy (formerly called Full Love, Soldiers and The Eagle Path), is set to be released sometime within the next year or two. It features Van Damme in both the director’s chair and the lead role, which should be great.
Jean-Claude Van Damme has also been nominated for numerous awards, some of them flattering, a handful of them not so much. In 1988, he was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star. The film that put him on the ballot was Bloodsport. Later, in the early 1990s, he was nominated for three MTV Movie Awards for his roles in Double Impact, Nowhere to Run, and Hard Target. But he has also won a Bollywood Movie Award for International Action Super Star, so it all kind of evens out.
Other Jean-Claude Van Damme projects that warrant your attention include the aforementioned The Expendables 2 and in a 2016 episode of the Netflix series Sense8 titled, “Happy F*cking New Year.” He also starred in a pilot for an Amazon series called Jean-Claude Van Johnson where he starred as a fictionalized version of himself who was both a film actor and a secret agent.
If you are interested in watching the film but don’t know when it hits Netflix or how long it will be there, here’s what you need to know: Maximum Risk hit the streaming giant on April 1 and will be available to watch for as long as the big wigs deem necessary. Catch it while you can!