Some stories are so wild, you have to read through them twice to really believe them. Action legend Jean-Claude Van Damme would have to agree, as he’s become a part of a caper so wild, people will probably want to write movies about it. As it turns out, the “muscles from Brussels” was a little too popular in France this week, as people were so attuned to his presence on a random street that he accidentally distracted people from an audacious jewel heist.
What was supposed to be a visit to the optometrist for Mr. Van Damme turned into a bit of a crime story, as reported by TMZ. The chain of events went as follows: a “grey haired man in a suit” nabbed an estimated $2.4 to $3.5 million in jewels from the “high end jewelry store” Chaumet, and made his getaway on an electric scooter. The robbery was conducted at knifepoint, and thankfully no one was harmed, leaving our culprit to escape. As a cherry on top of this scenario, the thief was able to escape under the cover of celebrity eye care, as Jean-Claude Van Damme was leaving his appointment, just as this criminal was on the move.
Now I know what you’re thinking: could Jean-Claude Van Damme have been hired to distract from this gigantic act of thievery, a la The Thomas Crown Affair? Well, obviously there’s no good reason to expect that he was, so we can dismiss that thought pretty quickly. Though I wouldn’t blame you, as that movie did have some pretty creative lessons in how to pull off a perfect cat and mouse heist.
However, if you’re wondering about how this case came to an end, it’s a pretty happy conclusion. Two unnamed subjects were apprehended by authorities in connection to the crime, and it was all thanks to surveillance cameras stationed in the area. Also, a substantial portion of the jewels were recovered, which is good news for the folks at Chaumet. So it sounds a little less like a Thomas Crown Affair scenario, and more like a potential A Fish Called Wanda situation, depending on if there’s any of the remaining jewels stashed somewhere.
In reality, it’s a more cut and dry case that sees Jean-Claude Van Damme playing an inadvertent part in a robbery that’s been mostly foiled. Though, if you’re an aspiring screenwriter who wants to with Mr. JCVD, you could probably write a meta-humorous script where he turns into an amateur sleuth, trying to solve a robbery that happened while he was out grocery shopping. Who says crime doesn’t pay?
It still pays to be a fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, as he can not only be seen in The Last Mercenary, but he’s also a voice in Universal’s long-awaited sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru. Unfortunately, you’ll have a bit of a wait for that film, as it’s been moved to July 2022. However, that just means you have more time to research your upcoming movie outings through our 2021 release schedule.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.