Jean-Claude Van Damme finally show us some ‘Full Love’

“Full Love” Theatrical Poster

“Full Love” Theatrical Poster

If you’re a fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, chances are you’ve heard of the completed, but unreleased The Eagle Path (aka Full Love or Soldiers). The action drama is Van Damme’s first directorial effort since 1996’s The Quest. The project was shot on a budget of about $5 million (much of it, financed by Van Damme himself) on location in Thailand and eventually screened out of competition at the Cannes in 2010.

Audiences at the Cannes screening offered a mixed reaction (watch Van Damme’s intro). There were even some critics who compared the film’s more ‘out there’ sequences to 2001: A Space Odyssey or Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. Fans had to wonder: had Van Damme gone arthouse?

Van Damme was reportedly unhappy with his final cut. Rumors suggested he wouldn’t release the movie in the West, even on DVD, until he was able to do another edit.

But then, in mid-2011, the The Eagle Path suddenly appeared on Amazon.com’s UK website with a Blu-ray and DVD pre-order date set for June 20, 2011 by Revolver Entertainment. I pre-ordered the film myself (received this confirmation), only to receive a notification that the Blu-ray/DVD was getting pushed back to August. Then again to October 3, 2011. Finally, on October 4, 2011, I receive this in my in-box. It’s at this point that I never hear from Amazon.com again.

A year later, Impact reports that producer Moshe Diamont (Universal Soldier: Regeneration) has come onboard to help initiate reshoot for The Eagle Path. The reshoots were done to help clarify the story and beef up the action sequences, which were inspired by Garath Evans’ The Raid.

Around this time, Van Damme took to Facebook to assure fans of the status of the film: “The Eagle Path took longer than what I have expected but that is because I did some recent re-shooting with more ACTION scenes! The movie is going to be re-titled to SOLDIERS. Thank you for your patience… soon, wait for its huge première!”

2 years later on June 20, 2014, the film, now back to its original title, Full Love (see photo), premieres at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). Strangely enough, no reviews have surfaced regarding the film’s screening at the SIFF.

In 2015, “official” release dates started to show up on Imdb.com. “January 8, 2016” was the first date listed. It was later changed to “January 16, 2016” on both Imdb.com and Wikipedia. Just recently, the latter now has the release date with a “TBA” (to be announced) next to it. Given Wikipedia’s “written collaboratively by the people who use it” set up, the individual updating it is either someone (producer, production or distribution company) officially connected to the film or simply a “Van Damme Fan” who wants to make sure the info is accurate.

Whatever the case, “TBA” is most accurate word describing its release date. Amidst all of this confusion, loyal Van Damme fans are losing patience. A forum member who calls himself ‘lpstkd’ (via Vandammefan.net) had this to say: “Sorry to say, but at this point, Van Damme should give The Eagle Path Blu-ray to someone, and that someone [should] leak it on the internet. Enough is enough.”

Still, we should remain optimistic for an official release date. The big questions is: Will it be worth the wait? More importantly, do most JCVD fans even care at this point?

For now, we have the film’s original trailer and a few clips ( 1 | 2 | 3 ) to go by.

Updates: According to Van Damme himself (via FB), there’s a chance we may see Full Love soon. In fact, here’s the newly released Trailer:

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22 Responses to Jean-Claude Van Damme finally show us some ‘Full Love’

  1. HKFanatic says:

    “Do fans still care?” is a perfectly legitimate question to ask at this point, given how many years have passed. As a longtime Van Damme fan, I still maintain a healthy interest in this project. That said, I think I’d be most interested in seeing the original version of “Full Love” that screened out of competition at Cannes all those years ago – for the simple reason that an arthouse Van Damme movie with touches of Terrence Malick sounds way more interesting to me than yet another generic actioner with extra fight sequences inserted in (whether they fit logically or not), which is what I fear we’ll get with “Soldiers.”

  2. mike leeder says:

    having seen a number of the cuts of the movie over the years, through shooting, editing and various re-cuts
    “The reshoots were done to help clarify the story and beef up the action sequences, which were inspired by Garath Evans’ The Raid.’ the action scenes are not in any way inspired by THE RAID

    The thing is Jean-Claude made a movie that is very different to what you might expect from him, to me its got the feel of a Johnnie To movie, the action isn’t the focus, the drama and the characters are…. yes the version that screened in Cannes was heavy with the ecologicial message at the end

    The reshoots add more action and beef up the back story for the characters are fleshed out, and now i think it’s probably the most accessible version of the movie, and it works on all the levels

    But what people seem to forget, its Jean-Claude’s movie, he wrote it, directed it, edited it, and financed it, and its incredibly personal to him, he’ll release when he’s ready, not before

    • What are your initial thoughts, based on the various versions you’ve seen?

      And… maybe it was a careless mention on my part, but there were some clips online (they have since been deleted) that had some new corridor-like sequences (with military gear, kinetic camera work and over the top action…). With The Raid fresh in everyone’s mind – as well as its impact on action film in general – it was hard NOT to think The Raid when viewing this footage.

      Same can be said about The Raid influence regarding Zombie Fight Club.

      I totally understand that it’s JCVD’s personal film – he decides its fate. But I think what’s frustrating his fans is the fact that he gives it trailers, release dates, releases a poster, changes his mind, gives it new release dates, releases a new poster/new title, then changes his mind again… only to screen it at another film festival 5 years later, tease “coming soon” on Facebook… and now, gone again.

      Reminds me of The Beach Boys album SMiLE – a personal project of Brian Wilson – which was eventually released 40 years later (most of it, in raw form).

    • Kung Fu Bob says:

      Thanks for the extra info Mike.

  3. mike leeder says:

    there are scenes with the main characters in military uniform in the opening and flashbacks but no OTT action…..the reshoots were i think shot about same time as RAID was shooting and yes they head through a corridor or two but thats about as coincidental as it gets

    i was piloried on the Van Damme forum because i had enjoyed footage i’d seen earlier and a different cut to the one that was shown at Cannes, ie because it didnt get the reception anyone wanted ,

    its a very different Van Damme flick, its a movie that makes you think, its a dysfunctional flawed hero who even in redemption makes mistakes

    unfortunately a lot of the clips put on line don’t work out of context, a lot of the release date info on imdb is posted by fans

    comparing it to SMILE is quite accurate, its a movie i think people need to approach with an open mind

    • I wouldn’t mind seeing both cuts for sure, but I doubt that’ll ever happen. Appreciate the extra details. All I have to say is: “We’ll see it one of these days. He’s gonna be sorry. Right, fellas? Sure we will….”

  4. hank says:

    I care. I want to see this so bad. I hate that the rumored Jan 2016 release date was another fluke. Also I’m much more interested in ambitious failures (which is what I’m guessing this is) rather than generic dtv mediocrity (the vast majority of the non-Hyams related JCVD projects lately).

  5. stteve says:

    i attended the screening in London and believe he is really having trouble getting distribution of this what i think is a real poor movie! i am a real fan of Van Damme but hes really dropped the ball making this.

    i uploaded the vid from Soho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkX20HTqv64

  6. mike leeder says:

    the reshoots and re-edit of the movie, make it work a lot better then the movie that screened at Cannes or in London, there’s a big action sequence that opens the film, and the new editor Noonz did a great job of straightening out and cleaning up a lot of it

    Its a very personal project to him, and i think he’ll admit that its perhaps too personal, in the Behind Closed Doors series he touches upon some of the mistakes that were made, i hope he does release it soon, but i also hope people approach it with an open mind

    While i think so many of us , myself included would love to see him do one more slam bam martial arts movie, he has his own vision and he follows it, this is one of the projects that probably if any other actor was in it, people would take it very differently…..

  7. Kung Fu Bob says:

    Well Mighty Peking Man, I appreciate the article as I knew very little about the film. I only saw one episode of the Behind Closed Doors TV series, but a friend was telling me about THE EAGLE PATH, and I’m intrigued.

  8. Cmf says:

    I’m lucky to have actually seen the Cannes 2010 version and what I can say is that the intentions were good (I’d be more than happy with an arthouse movie) but the treatment was not what it set out to be and felt too much nonsensical, not mentioning techanical areas left to desire. The so-called “ecological message” wasn’t really a message but an experimental sequence that was just “pasted” over the movie with nothing to do wth it. So in fact the film had more to do with the work of Alain Resnais in “Last year in Marrienbad” than Terrence Malick’s (I don’t think repeated slow-mo shots in the grass is enough call it “Malick-like”). Actually it’s not what what I was coming for but the action was the best stuff in the film, as well as JCVD’s performance (the rest of the cast had to work with amateur dialogue and lack of direction and sense). I wish I could support it more but really it felt amateurish and immature (not talking about some of the “psychological” plot points) in many levels.

  9. Paul Bramhall says:

    “in the Behind Closed Doors series he touches upon some of the mistakes that were made”

    From 1:06 😛 –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW5-5wDUmms

    Wish there was a clip showing the full segment.

  10. Nick bastable says:

    I’ve been a fan of van damme since i was 8 and and i seen the dvd on amazon gutted to see it was no longer available i’ve been waiting for years now tried to search it on websites no luck. So i see on imdb January 16th 2016 release date i was like yay go to my local supermarket not there search on websites not there how long do we have to wait seriously i’ve seen trailer for it looks good but it’s taking too long now

  11. Ken says:

    One of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had was attending the Toronto Film Festival showing of “JCVD” in 2008. It was a terrific night – and the festival audience responded to the film with off the charts enthusiasm. The film’s director was present – but Van Damme couldn’t make it. He was in Thailand shooting his dream project, “Full Love”. and sent his regrets via a brief film clip from on the set. It would have been great if he’d been able to feel the love and enthusiasm that was in the auditorium that night. Anyway, like many people in that audience, I was eager for “Full Love” to reach theaters. Now more than seven years later we’re still waiting. And I guess it’s possible most of us never will see it. I’m sorry Van Damme’s dream project has proved to be so frustrating for him. Wish it could have all panned out more smoothly. Still love the guy, though – and wish him well always. I’ve turned several of my friends on to his recent “Pound of Flesh”. One of his best ever. But I guess “JCVD” will probably always remain his out of left field pinnacle. All those years ago I did a blog post on the guy, focusing on that fantastic Toronto Film Festival evening.
    Here’s a link: http://canadianken.blogspot.ca/2008/11/jcvd.html

  12. Johann says:

    Awesome reading. Thanks a lot =)

    Well I think to be honest, we should just forget about this movie for a while “5+ years already” and let it be. Who knows maybe once day it will be release and we will be surprised =)

    Cheers,

  13. Dida says:

    I am also a big Van Damme fan, but let me get this straight.

    So, the movie is finished right now? Is JC happy with the final version that was shown in Shanghai. Maybe Mike knows? If I am correct JC is just looking for a distributor, right or is there still something else going on? Is he going to edit it again?

    Thanks.

  14. Elena Khan says:

    Honest to say, I saw the movie priviews and i must say that i have never seen such a brilliant action ever by jcvd before after JCVD-2008!
    If you come across knowing where the movie will be released or not, please let us know. Thanks.

  15. peyman says:

    hii guys! kickboxer vengeance was released, and full love 2014 not release yet!!! this movie when finally coming out and release????!!

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