Every Jean-Claude Van Damme Movie Where His Character Dies

Actor and martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme is definitely no stranger to onscreen deaths. Following in the graceful footsteps of action movie legends and fellow martial artists Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Van Damme has leveraged his athletic prowess and natural charisma into a career that spans more than 50 movies. Since the '80s, Jean-Claude Van Damme has "died" in about a dozen of these films.

Van Damme is perhaps best known for his role as Kurt Sloane in 1989's Kickboxer, in which the actor not only performed his own stunts, but also choreographed the fight scenes himself. Not surprisingly, Jean-Claude Van Damme's professional kickboxing record from 1977 to 1982 is 18-1 - all of which were victories by knockout - while his amateur record stands at 41-4. Apart from his Muay Thai and Karate training, his trademark flexibility and balance were developed during his teenage years practicing ballet, an art form that requires tremendous athleticism and grace. In hindsight, Van Damme was an early example of the advantages of cross-training in professional martial arts. More importantly, in almost all of Jean-Claude Van Damme's movies, his multidisciplinary background allowed him to truly embody the badasses that he portrayed onscreen.

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In 12 of Jean-Claude Van Damme's films, his work as a fight choreographer and stunt coordinator laid the groundwork for the spectacular deaths of 12 different characters. Because of how Van Damme frequently plays indestructible characters, many of these deaths worked well in terms of surprising viewers. Here's every movie where Jean-Claude Van Damme's character dies.

Black Eagle (1988)

How did Van Damme die in Black Eagle

Jean-Claude Van Damme's first onscreen death was in Black Eagle, in which his skills were pitted against fellow '80s action movie legend Sho Kosugi. Van Damme played the role of antagonist and KGB operative Andrei, who gets slashed to death by a boat propeller that drags him underwater in the ending of Black Eagle. This is the only movie that features both Sho Kosugi and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Kickboxer 2 (1991)

JCVD Kickboxer 2

Technically, it wasn't Van Damme who "died" in the sequel to Kickboxer. During the brief return and death of Van Damme's Kurt Sloane in Kickboxer 2, the character was played by body double Emmanuel Kervyn. Indeed, the sequel infamously sees franchise antagonist Tong Po (Michel Qissi) murdering Kurt Sloane, in a scene reminiscent of the original movie's opening. The reason Van Damme didn't reprise his iconic role in Kickboxer 2 was because, at the time, he was trying to distance himself from action roles to expand his acting resume.

Universal Soldier (1992)

Private Luc Deveraux from Universal Soldier is another one of Van Damme's recurring roles. In the movie that kicked off the Universal Soldier franchise, Deveraux gets shot to death by Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren). Though Deveraux's body is later shown inside a bodybag, he gets resurrected through an experimental procedure, setting the stage for one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's iconic franchise roles.

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Maximum Risk (1996)

Maximum Risk Van Damme image

A product of Jean-Claude Van Damme's deep connection with Hong Kong cinema, Maximum Risk was martial arts film director Ringo Lam's Hollywood movie debut. In Maximum Risk, Van Damme played two roles: the twins Alain Moreau and Mikhail Suverov. Though Alain Moreau survives Maximum Risk, Van Damme's other character Mikhail Suverov dies when his body goes through a windshield during an intense car chase. Maximum Risk is part of the notable trend in Van Damme's career in which the actor played several dual roles.

The Order (2001)

How did Van Damme die in The Order

The Order is another movie that saw Van Damme playing two roles at once. However, unlike in Maximum Risk, The Order does not feature Jean-Claude Van Damme's twin characters, but rather two unrelated characters connected by destiny. During The Order's 12th century prologue, Van Damme's character Charles La Vaillaint dies by being slashed with a knight's sword. Meanwhile, during modern times, his character Rudy Cafmeyer survives.

Replicant (2001)

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Another film by Ringo Lam, Replicant sees Van Damme playing yet another dual role. As the serial killer Edward Garrotte, Van Damme gets shot to death by Detective Jake Riley (Michael Rooker), and Garrotte's body is even shown getting burned inside the room where he dies. However, the Replicant, which is also played by Van Damme, survived the movie.

Until Death (2007)

Did Van Damme die in Until Death

Until Death casts Jean-Claude Van Damme as detective Anthony Stowe, who tries to turn things around for his life and career. Stowe gets gunned down by former cop and drug dealer Gabriel Callaghan (Stephen Rea). Van Damme isn't exactly known for his acting chops, but he was praised by some critics for his performance in Until Death despite the movie's generally negative reviews.

Related: Every Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Peter Malota Fight

The Expendables 2 (2012)

expendables 2 van damme villain

The reason Van Damme wasn't in the original The Expendables is because, Sylvester Stallone didn't yet have a clear concept for Van Damme's role in the movie. Following the first film's success, Van Damme agreed to become the villain in Expendables 2 as the aptly named Vilain. During the film's climax, Barney Ross (Stallone) chokes Vilain with a chain and uses it to pull him into a knife, stabbing Vilain in the stomach. Ross even decapitates Vilain's body offscreen, and the character's last appearance is when his head is thrown on the ground.

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

How did van damme die in universal soldier day of reckoning

The final movie in the Universal Soldier franchise, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning saw Van Damme reprising his role as Private Luc Deveraux. Curiously, just like in Expendables 2, Deveraux dies by getting stabbed in the stomach again. This film marks the end of one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's most famous recurring roles. Notably, both The Expendables and Universal Soldier franchises star many of the prime candidates for the best villain in Van Damme's last action movie.

Enemies Closer (2013)

Van Damme in Enemies closer pic

Hailed as a modern revival of old school direct-to-video action flicks, Enemies Closer is one of Van Damme's more well-received efforts. In Enemies Closer, former Navy SEAL Henry (Tom Everett Scott) kills Xander (Van Damme) in an explosion. While Xander laughs maniacally and escapes the scene on a boat, Henry throws a flare in the water to ignite the flowing gasoline, causing Xander's boat to explode.

Swelter (2014)

How did Van Damme die in Swelter

Swelter tells the story of a group of criminals regrouping 10 years later following their casino heist. In Swelter, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays a criminal named Stillwell. While fighting Kane, (Daniele Favilli) Stillwell gets stabbed in the stomach.

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Pound of Flesh (2015)

Did Van Damme die in Pound of Flesh

In Pound of Flesh, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays ex-black ops agent Deacon who tracks down the thieves who stole his kidney before he could donate the organ to his dying niece. Though Pound of Flesh is not Jean-Claude Van Damme's final movie, it's the last one in which his character dies. One of the organ thieves Drake (Darren Shahlavi) stabs Deacon to death in the abdomen (yet again). Deacon and Drake die, but Deacon gets his wish when his kidney gets used to save his niece.

2022-09-11T17:57:11.000Z

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