JCVD is known for what he can do with a flying roundhouse kick and a split punch to someone’s sack.  What often gets overlooked is that this guy is one HELL of a dancer.  I recommend watching the clip below first and then reviewing the rest of the article below.

I was inspired to write this post by a Chuck Klosterman article on Grantland, if you don’t read Klosterman, start doing so…and live life.  His article was a second by second breakdown of some BBC footage of Edgar Winters playing Frankenstein live.  In the same fashion as Klosterman did, I am going to breakdown arguably the best 3 minutes of dance you will ever see from JCVD.  This post will make more sense if you watch the clip first.
In the movie “Kickboxer,” JCVD plays a displaced ragin cajun fighter (as he always does), named Kurt Sloane who loses his brother to a vicious kickboxer named Tong Po.  JCVD gets his revenge, big time…but along the way, he needs to train and get help.  His “master” decides that Kurt can only learn so much about fighting in the dojo and that it is time for Kurt to experience fighting in a more “real way” so he encourages Kurt to have a about 20 or 30 shots of whiskey at a local bar and that is when the MAGIC happens.

0:00 to 0:24 – Kurt realizes he’s not in Kansas any more, or Baton Rouge for that matter but is comforted by the screeching Thai Blues playing on the jukebox so he sits down to mix with the locals.  The locals already don’t like what they are seeing from this “wide-eye” and you can start to see peace breaking down.
0:25 to 0:36 – Following his master’s lead, Kurt takes a shot of what appears to be jet fuel, initially he has no reaction to this but suddenly he acts as if someone knifed him in the solar plexus.  His master knowingly laughs, as if to say, “haha you stupid wide-eye, you never drink jet fuel straight up without a chaser…I chewed some broken glass in the parking lot so I am good.”
0:37 to 1:01 – Fade to MANY jet fuel shots later, the master is holding (as you would expect).  Kurt on the other hand is is completely stewed, the good news is, the jet fuel is going down like water now – water that needs to be gulped down in three chokes, but water nonetheless.  Further, Kurt goes on to say that he thinks the jet fuel is “good stuff” and asks his master what it is, the name of the jet fuel apparently is “kiss of death”
1:01 to 1:26 – things start to get weird, when your master and combat manager asks if you are a “good dancer” it’s unnerving even if you are Leaving Las Vegas drunk, as Kurt is at this point.  Kurt takes a second to soak up this request, but then he starts to feel good about it and the master goes to the juke to pull down some trashy Thai James Brown cover, and proceeds to play wingman for Kurt by scooping up some local talent to join in the dance off that is about to take place.  The locals once again are angered, now even more so by this “wide-eye” who is pulling down a piece with a local lady.  It is starting to become painfully obvious that Kurt is going to be doing a dance of another sort very soon.  By the way, Kurt’s shirt is basically a thong for his torso.
1:27 to 1:39 – Hot DAMN this is a fine Thai jam, Kurt is REALLY feeling this tune – it’s as if he is going to make this dance floor his own.  Ooooh and wait a minute, I have a fine-looking lady here with me.  He just FEELS his way into this rhythm and beat, he doesn’t just go for it right away – he eases into it, like a man putting on a comfortable shoe.  But he is already feeling it too much, additional locals have taken notice, in fact a man that may be a Gang lord or some other type of important local magistrate looks particularly bothered by the good time Kurt the wide-eye is having in his favorite watering hole.
1:40 to 1:50 – Why dance with one fine lady when there is another one right here…c’mon sweet thing, you have seen what I can do. Join us on this stage of sensuality and freedom.  Hold on, let me frame my package for a second.  Ok, now we’re cooking.
1:51 to 2:09 – Master has decided that the locals need to be stirred up a bit more, it’s time to test Kurt.  Can Kurt score with two local ladies at once, while kicking the crap out of every local dude in this town?  It looks like we are about to find out.  Meanwhile Kurt is completely killing it.  Not only is he having a great time, which is obvious, but the two ladies may also be having a good time.  Kurt is dancing with as much enthusiasm as he had the first time he made love, and his two partners aren’t used to this sort of vigor from a dance partner, but they are holding their own.
2:10 to 2:11 – Kurt MAY think that he is having sex, but he is in fact still dancing – even though there are two women nearby, it’s an overstatement to say that he is dancing “with them” more, he is dancing “near them.”
2:12 to 2:17 – Kurt snaps out of his tantric love trance and begins to pace the room, with vigor.  The ladies are starting to get more interested in Kurt by the second.  He is making all the right moves, and he knows it.
2:18 to 2:22 – Master is pacing the room, at this point he is starting more than a bar fight – is he trying to overthrow Thailand?
2:23 to 2:31 – I hope you aren’t surprised that JCVD did a split here.  Let me save you the suspense, he is going to do it again in this scene.  He does this split in nearly every movie he has ever made, so to be surprised by this move is to show your ignorance of JCVD movies.  But back to Kurt – the ladies see this move, and they have no idea what to think, he has officially blown their minds.  However this move is the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The locals simply cannot allow a wide-eye to come in here, fraternize with the ladies and lay down mind altering dance moves in front of everyone.  Violence is the only answer here.  Now we can handle this like gentlemen or we can get into some gangsta shit.
2:32 to 2:42– a fight ensues and Kurt wastes no time dropping into a split toss.  Followed by a right cross from the split position.  The master is watching with a mixture of disgust and confusion, probably at the gratuitous split move to open things.
2:43 to 2:51 – It seems like the world of Muy Thai fighting revolves around broken glass, which is why it’s no surprise that a local proceeds to break a beer bottle after a vicious roundhouse kick from Kurt probably killed his friend.  Oooh wait, from off camera comes another brigand who hugs Kurt.  Kurt promptly answers with a reverse head but that sounds like a freight train hitting a pillow.  An additional brigand is dispatched with a volleyball serve to the chin.
2:52 to 2:58 – Maybe it’s time to get knives involved?  Kurt has already killed or maimed 6 people in about 20 seconds?  The magistrate disagrees, he wants to see where this is going – and the town had too many dudes that couldn’t do anything anyway, so let’s let Kurt “trim the fat” a bit.
2:59 to 3:02 – I feel like it took way too long to get our first flying roundhouse kick in slow motion?  Wait, there is a Koi pond in this bar?  What the hell kinda place is this anyway?!
3:03 to 3:05 – Another fatality, the Gang lord has seen enough, its time to go all in.  Kurt’s Master now expresses some concern, well maybe you should have thought of that before you incited “Occupy Thailand” in this bar?
3:06 to 3:16 – Kurt is a little woosy, but he still has enough in the tank to deliver a face cracking double air split to two dudes that almost looked like they were posing for getting hit by a double air split, but maybe it was just coincidence?  Either way, Kurt needs another drink.
3:17 to 3:25 – there is way to much shit on this table…I need my jet fuel baby, let’s clean things up and focus.  Yeah, that hits the spot – things are starting to look up, I just killed a bunch of guys and I might be in a threesome later- just another day on the farm here in Thailand training for a death fight with Tong Po.
3:26 to 3:32 – the answer is yes, there are prisons in Thailand and yes, you can get a full-blown sun tat on your chest and walk the streets shirtless.  This ex-con put his arms down as if to challenge Kurt.  Let’s pause here for a second, didn’t this guy notice that Kurt was pretty much “fully engaged” in battle, there was no need to bang the table -I would have just gone after Kurt.  Well, back to the action, it looks like the table banging was a bad move, Kurt dispatches the ex-con swiftly with a well choreographed double arm pull into the table, and double deft touch to the head ending this guy’s day and probably his life.
3:33 to 3:44  – Kurt waves off the ex-con and is starting to show his contempt for the patrons of this bar and decides its time to leave with his master.  The master however had already decided to head out of the bar.  It appears he was really shaken by the gang lords decision to enter the fray.
That concludes the dance scene.  So we see a great example of so many of JCVD’s signature moves; slow mo flying roundhouse kick, the double air split, the split toss and split punch, it’s all here.  However what makes this scene his piece de resistance was his dancing.  JCVD really showed his moves, I particularly liked the way he took a few seconds to frame in his package and I also thought the tantric sex trance had an impact.
You may think that this is a “one hit wonder” and that JCVD really only danced this one time so to call him a dancer on this basis is short-sighted.

Well think again.. in the video clip above at :21 seconds in after we see an extreme closeup of some dude’s ass, just look for the European guy wearing a wrestling singlette to a break-dance competition.  Stay with it (particularly to 2:17ish), we get a lot of JCVD as an extra in this scene and that proves my point – this guy isn’t just a fighter, he is one hell of a dancer too.
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3 Responses to JCVD’s Tour de Force performance, but not as a fighter…as a dancer.

  1. Lutz says:

    Absolutely hysterical. Watching the clip is funny, but reading the play-by-lay is even better.

    First of all, how does Kurt’s trainer know what song to pick unless HE himself has a solid understanding of James Brown karaoke acts?

    Second of all, Kurt’s female companions had zero hesitation dancing. Not a second thought at all. Must be the shirt.

    Third, he is in completely dancing in his own world. I would have loved to have seen the rehearsals for this thing. Director: “Uh, Jean-Claude, we need more pelvic thrusts. Give me more pelvic thrusts!”

    For some reason this scene wasn’t as ridiculous when I first saw the movie as it is now. But all part of the JCVD mystique.

    All dancing aside though, I have a new respect for JCVD after watching “JCVD” the movie and his turn in Expendables 2. Nice to see just a ‘little’ range beyond splits and front palm punches.

  2. John says:

    Lutz – you nailed it. The JCVD mystique is almost beyond description; when you watch one of his films you somehow just gloss some of this stuff over. It took me like 3 viewings of Hard Target to realize that his jerry curl in that movie was completely unnecessary.

    Was glad Sly picked him up for Expendables 2 – that was the right move. Did I hear word that Seagal may be seen in Ex3?

  3. Lutz says:

    Rumors: Seagal, Snipes, Chan, Cage…

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