Friday, November 30, 2012
Okay, Serious Question....
It was always a bit of a running joke that in the "canonical" Jean-Claude Van Damme films of yore, his Belgian accent had to be painfully explained in some elaborate way. In Lionheart, he was a deserter from the French Foreign Legion. In Maximum Risk, he was a French cop. In Hard Target, he played a Cajun (admittedly, the film did take place in the Bayou). In Double Impact, one of his characters had been raised in a Belgian orphanage in Hong Kong. And so on. I daresay it was one of the incidental pleasures of these films.
So, my question is: Why on earth did filmmakers feel the need to explain Van Damme's accent while those who made Arnold Schwarzenegger's films so rarely did?
Both their accents were distractingly thick, so it couldn't have been that. Is it just that a Belgian/French accent sounds significantly less badass than an Austrian/German accent, and thus required a greater leap of logic? Or the fact that so often Van Damme's films were international co-productions, whereas Arnie's movies were as 'murican as plastic explosive-laced apple pie?
Or maybe I just missed the scene in Jingle All the Way where someone speculated on why the all-American mattress salesman next door sounded like a Teutonic killer robot from the future.