Don't be fooled by its action-ready premise; JCVD isn't quite the latest kickboxing carousal from the Muscles from Brussels. It's something even better: a sad, seriocomic meta-movie that may recall BEING JOHN MALKOVICH or one of Charlie Kaufman's many other ontological curios in the minds of some viewers. But, while both JCVD and MALKOVICH examine the strangeness of celebrity through the lens of absurdist self-referential filmmaking, and both films choose a fascinating, quasi-alienating aesthetic of vibrantly muddy mid-tones, JCVD dresses its dankness in glaringly blown-out lighting effects that acknowledge a topsy-turvy world in which artifice sits just upon reality. It also assumes the opposition of its Kaufman counterpart by being the one to look at fame from within (which is ironic, since it isn't the one that features people entering an actor's head and peeping though his eyes). Buzzily hilarious, JCVD is a personal, deeply felt film. Van Damme's delivery of a Fellini-esque soliloquy about the angst of fame could've resulted in the action star coming across as a cry baby. Instead, the speech, in which he breaks the fourth wall and expresses his ironic frustrations, is revelatory and heartbreaking.