Now, I don’t want to repeat things long corroded by the acids of banality and predictability, things teleported from an area once brimming with adequate measures of respectable discussion to a desolate and noxious area fouled by the miasma of iteration.
I’ll have it known I don’t desire a stroll in the echoes of reverberating tedium. I’d rather not tread those pathways, for they are murky with the grimacing pates of a thousand bores, some of them mid-howl with the cries we’ve heard many times before, cries that are easily ticked off the expectation chart.
It would revolt me to the basest emotions – those we share with a bunch of ancestral savages and the odd advertising executive – and would cause oodles of irreparable damage to the time-share of common sense I like to keep ‘round me every now and again. But I must, for context demands it, and context is a wily old beast not to be messed with.
Let it be said: epochs are rarely defined as rigidly and with as much verve as Jean-Claude Van Damme’s dance in Kickboxer. In but a Polaroid of time, the Belgian was able to establish meaning for millions; those young and those old, those rich and those poor, those who have seen Rutger Hauer’s seminal Blind Fury, and those dehydrated of such sightless ninja wonder.
In a swagger of hips and the quake of derriere aerobics, he injected a sublime syringe-full of esprit de corps into a mankind begging for such amenities. Children from the northernmost province of Scotland to the litters of infants slightly south of that region marveled at this statement. They asked questions of themselves, and threw out queries to each other, often along the lines of: “How can I get my pelvic bones to swish in such a hypnotic manner?”
It’s a benchmark. No, it is the bench! And we all sit upon it everyday. The bench of Van Damme is omnipresent – much like the stool of Treat Williams; only the former is all-encompassing, whereas the latter smells like Megadeth circa Risk.
This is relevant because, after Kickboxer orated its excellence to the cinematic community, after its electromagnetic pulse of influence abated, Van Damme made a film by the name of AWOL (also called Lionheart in some quadrants of the planet).
Now this was at a time when he was surfing a breaking wave of kudos, the crest of which rose much higher than metaphor allows. But his ever-cautious intellect made sure he had scuba gear in hand, on the off chance his next move took him deep under the oceanic surface, to a place where mermaids touch intimate sections of Tom Hanks’ coitus utensil. That aqualung never once proved pragmatic, as AWOL kept afloat via an unusual coalescence of breaststroke and backstroke.