JCVD : Question about the ending

Question about the ending

Quite liked the movie as it's not your typical van Damme movie. Editing could be a bit better sometimes, but i don't understand why he is sentenced? There were witnesses that saw he didn't do anything right? Maybe i missed something..

Re: Question about the ending

During the hostage situation, he asked some money to pay his lawyer. He didn't need to do that, it was his own idea; that's why he is sentenced.

Re: Question about the ending

Exactly. He used the robbery as a way to extort money for his own purpose.

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people." - Orson Welles

Re: Question about the ending

I don't think he was extorting money for his own purpose. I'm sure he was well aware that he wouldn't be able to pay his legal fees as such - he was just trying to make the ransom demands believable.

But obviously, the prosecutors didn't see it that way.

Re: Question about the ending

It never was about making it believable. JCVD couldn't care any less about helping the robbers. He saw an opportunity to get the money to pay his lawyer and went with it. Obviously he would've used the "believability" as defense in court but it wouldn't hold up because it was his idea, and not forced on him by the robbers.

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people." - Orson Welles

Re: Question about the ending

very true but couldnt he have just said that the only reason he asked for the money was so that it was believable that he was robbing the bank so that the robbers didnt have too hurt anyone or use hostages when escaping, i mean he came into the bank too get money out, money that he has so in all honesty how can they put a guy too prison for being a very bad situation

Re: Question about the ending

True Soshka. In real life he wouldn't have went to prison. He was a hostage.

Re: Question about the ending

Real life isn't glamorous. These things happen in real life aswell, that's a fact.

Re: Question about the ending

I don't agree. I think that's what the movie was trying to get across, but I actually think the roundhouse followed by cheering was a more realistic ending then what the audience got.



"Weirdness was all he cared about. Weirdness and sex and plenty to drink."

Re: Question about the ending

Don't think so. Van Damme hasn't slept in two days, he's tired, exhausted, confused and ready to give up.

Plus, he's not been a genuine martial artist for 20 years. In his movies, he performs showy kicks that don't actually make contact. Not only this, but the cops - who still believe he is a suspect - would immediately tackle him and take him into custody.

That was one of the better moments of the film for highlighting the difference between reality and cinema.


'Before this war is over, the world will know that few stood against many.' - 300

Re: Question about the ending

It is a movie.. that is the story line

Re: Question about the ending

He didnt actually have any money. If you remember when he calls his agent and finds out that hes been overlooked for a film in favour of stephen segal he agrees to do another film instead but insists on an up front payment which is the money he attempts to collect from the post office. When he gets caught up in the robbery he realises hes goin to need his lawyers help not just for the custody battle but for the framing as well. Thats why he smiles as he walks away form the criminals and the phone coz he knows hes just pulled a fast one one the criminals.

Re: Question about the ending

So Van Damme is broke then? He was in such dire need for money that he just took any role? I remember him having a conversation with his agent about him getting payed 4 million out of a 6 million movie. What the hell does he do with all that money!?

Re: Question about the ending

That was money he would have gotten, but the role ended up going to Seagal.

I am not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.

Re: Question about the ending

why didnt he just say it was the robbers idea?

Re: Question about the ending

It was their idea to wire money to lawyers in the States who were working for JCVD ?

I am not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.

Re: Question about the ending



What you don'r realize about the ending of JCVD, is that when Jean Claude is arrested by the Brussels SWAT team and wisked away, the Belgian Police Inspector who was the hostage negotiator in charge of the police situation there, was trying to tell his police superior that they were making a big mistake in arresting Van Damme and when his superior tells the Police Inspector that Van Damme was arrested for extortion, the police inspector then responds to him, "But there was no real extortion! Don't you realize that?", but the superior ignores him and drives away. That proves that the Belgian Police Inspector/Hostage Negotiator realized what Van Damme was really trying to do and that he wasn't an accomplice to the attempted robbery/extortion in the mail office. I just saw the movie again today on DVD both in the original French language version as well as the English dubbed version in the Region 1 US Peach Arch Entertainment DVD release and in both versions, you can easily see that sequence that shows that the politicians and the higher police authorities ignored the truth and wanted to use Van Damme as a scapegoat and make an public example out of him, not withstanding the fact that the Belgian Police Inspector/Hostage Negotiator who was always there at the scene of the robbery since the very beginning, was the only one that could see what was happening and what Van Damme was doing in respect to the hostage situation and the robbery.

Re: Question about the ending

@alanbobet,
I don't disagree, but someone above you said soemthing much more convincing about JCVD smiling when he walked away. I actually think he WAS extorting. What you said is idiotic.



"Weirdness was all he cared about. Weirdness and sex and plenty to drink."

Re: Question about the ending

Sorry to disagree with your remark that my explanation about the ending to JCVD is idiotic, since it's apparent that the answer is clearly in the film itself. The Police inspector/ hostage negotiator is the only one person who realizes that what Jean Claude did when he made his demands to the authorities while being with the bank robbers, was just a ploy to appease the robbers to save time and save himself and the captives, although you could also say that Jean Claude may have taken that opportunity to raise the money to pay his attorney's legal fees for the custody case and that could have been his mistake in doing so. But the police inspector realized this by investigating the matter and talking to Jean Claude's attorney and he tried to explain that in Jean Claude's defense to his police superiors when they arrested Jean Claude at the film's climax, but his superiors ignored him anyway. Check the film out again and you'll see it's there.

Re: Question about the ending

Sorry to say it was idiotic, I was drunk last night.

Anyway,
"you can easily see that sequence that shows that the politicians and the higher police authorities ignored the truth and wanted to use Van Damme as a scapegoat and make an public example out of him"

When is this part?



"Weirdness was all he cared about. Weirdness and sex and plenty to drink."

Re: Question about the ending

No problem about it, I understand. If you remember from the film, the police inspector/hostage negotiator goes to his superior's car, once Van Damme is arrested and whisked away by the SWAT team and tells him that Van Damne was not an accomplice to the robbery but his superior ignores him and says something to the effect that he doesn't care now that they got their man. It's obvious that the Belgian authorities wanted to make an example of Van Damne partially because of his celebrity status. That kind of situation also happens sometimes when celebrities here run afoul of the law and in some instances are treated more harshly than common citizens like you and I. Also remember from the film JCVD, that some of the Belgian citizens like the videostore clerk idolized Van Damne while others like the female cab driver resented Van Damne because of his celebrity status.

that's not the way it goes in Belgium

The ending is absolutely unreal

In Belgium, we have the law. But it differs from the USA.

Because of the situation he was in, he did this to convince the police it was him, he had to do it.

It's all about intent: did he intent to do this before he went in the Post office? No, it was circumstancial. Anyway, the money could easily be paid back by him.

Anything you do with a gun pointed at your head -against your will-, you cannot be accounted for. So the ending is stupid.

Another thing: NOONE in a Belgian prison wears these orange clothes. Maybe this was to familiarise the US people with the prison scene.
Excellent movie, horrible ending

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

How come none of you have mentioned the scene where they cops jump all over the black/mulatto hostage, and treat him like a criminal, even though he keeps screaming "I'm a hostage, I'm a hostage!" - all the other hostages are carefully being led away, except the black guy, lol.

By the way.. that girl at the end.. was that supposed to be his daughter? I didn't really get that at first.. and some guy told me it was Scarlett Johansson.. a bit annoying that she's not shown clearly.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

who else would it be.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

Yeah, I guess so.. still, a bit annoying that she wasn't shown clearly.. (but also annoying that the guy next to me whispered "Scarlett Johansson" too, lol)

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Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

i think that was just a reference to what the arab guy said at the begining about his people being casted as villians. just as the hostage situation was something out of a van damme movie art immitates life etc.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

Because that's not why... the guy had the same hairstyle as JCVD and sort of looked like him, the SWAT team thought it WAS VD, thats why like 5 seconds later you hear people start saying "oh it's not Van Damme"

That guy wasn't black at all.

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"Joey... do you like movies about gladiators?"

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

Well, maybe I need to see it again (which I'm gonna do as soon as it gets on DVD here.. sometime in June I presume.. sadly no cinematic release):


Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

If that was supposed to be his daughter, it made no sense to cross-cut a scene of her eating breakfast in the States. (I nearly typed "breakfast in America," but that's a Supertramp song.) I think that shot was supposed to show that she was far away from him. So who was it at the end? I have no idea, and it's very annoying that she wasn't shown clearly (even if it was meant to be his daughter).

(spoiler alert!)

My quibble about the ending is that it doesn't make sense spatially. One gunman (Arthur) is shot by the police, right after talking to Van Damme. He falls over, practically in JCVD's lap. Then some more shots ring out, and all of a sudden another gunman is holding JCVD hostage in a totally separate part of the building! Huh???

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

It was his daughter. Why would it be anyone else? All of his troubles in the film revolve around his custody battles. When she is shown watching him on television, it is when he is convicted in court. Then you see him in prison and he has a full beard, signifying that at least some time has passed. This could be weeks or even months later, it's not explicitly stated. He tells his mother that he is giving karate lessons, and he wouldn't likely do that immediately upon his arrival to jail. Those scenes take place some time later.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

"it made no sense to cross-cut a scene of her eating breakfast in the States."

Can't agree. The point of the cross-cut (I thought) was to show her watching JCVD on television seeing him refuse to say anything as he was leaving the court ... he understood how much his rants had humiliated her, she said so in court, so he tried to keep it under control.



Mel Gibson's remake of The Life of Brian wasn't NEARLY as funny as the original.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

So much of the movie was little bits of social commentary like that but I guess being from outside Belgium I didn't consciously realize that the guy was supposed to be a minority. But pseudo-subconsciously I think I got the point with my mind lumping it in with the whole middle easterner thing alluded to at the beginning.
And now that I think of it I think that's what the guy was supposed to be, some sort of middle eastern guy like the guys at the beginning talking about how in movies they're always the bad guy except in Van Damme movies.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium

How could he prove he was being held at gunpoint? The witnesses (hostages) were in another room.

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium


How could he prove he was being held at gunpoint? The witnesses (hostages) were in another room.


Yep, and Arthur would have cleared him, but they killed him. The other guy wouldn't have wanted to help Jean Claude.

"The eyes, Socrates, go for the eyes."

Re: that's not the way it goes in Belgium


Anything you do with a gun pointed at your head -against your will-, you cannot be accounted for. So the ending is stupid.

He wasn't forced to transfer funds to his lawyers account (the thieves actually tried to stop him from doing that).

I think the point here is that Van Damme saw an opportunity during an extremely difficult situation to beat the noon deadline. He found a way to satisfy the thieves, convince the police and accomplish the goal he went there for in the first place. He surely never expected to be able to keep the money, it was just a ploy to keep his lawyers on the custody case until the robbery was over.

This issue is the most complicated aspect of the whole film. It's a situation where technically he was in fact guilty but no rational person would punish him with any severity... BUT the film makes it clear he was facing a malicious prosecution.

Re: Question about the ending

You're taking the ending way too literally/seriously. It was mostly just a tongue in cheek commentary about the justice system works as well as the media (with him just laughing at the reporter's question at the end).
The whole movie is pretty symbolic so don't take it too literally.

Re: Question about the ending

You weren't paying a lot of attention were you? the 465thousand dollars went to his lawyers in the US

Re: Question about the ending

the ending were so that the scene where he sits in prison,and his daughter comes to visit him could take place

Re: Question about the ending

The real fatal flaw in the film - aside from his ludicrous punishment was the fact that woman with the son, who got out, didn't bother to tell anyone that Van Damme was not one of the robbers - even after her son was released.
The movie was outstanding but the ending fell apart.

Re: Question about the ending

So did Van Damme's lawyer refuse to return the money and then they decided to convict Van Damme?

Re: Question about the ending

I think that a lot of the comments on this thread are focusing on why was JCVD in prison at the end, and whether that should have / could have turned out that way. Focusing on that aspect is missing the key message of the story: he had been estranged from his daughter, that had occurred for a lot of reasons but the one that mattered to him was what she said about how his actions in public reflected back on him, and through him, on her. She was young, and speaking from a position of hurt and anger, so she may have over reacted but the result was the separation of her from his life.

He clearly decided NOT to fight the case when the robbery was over and the police chief / authorities saw him as using the situation of the robbery to serve his own needs (having the money wired to his lawyers, whether it was later paid back or not). He went to jail to serve time so that he could try to make amends for his previous behavior which had so upset his daughter.

That doing so would later bring her back to him had not entered his mind. All he knew was that she was gone, by her choice, because of his actions, and that he was going to take the wrap for what he had done to HONOR her.


The very last thing that he does is to hit himself on the head with the phone receiver. It was an act of shock of so many things all at once: she came back, I"m stuck in jail now, the pain of being forcefully separated by jail is offset by the joy of seeing the possibility of her love returning to his life.

The monologue helps us to prepare for this moment. We see his re-evaluation going on, during the robbery, and his self doubt. The imagined "hero's victory" when he takes down the last robber is an evidence of the very actions his daughter had become so upset about, and that things don't go at all like what he imagined show us how this ending is not going to be "as per usual".


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