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Jean-Claude Van Damme Does The Splits Between Two Volvo Trucks And It's Spectacular

Two speeding trucks, a sunset, some Enya, and the Muscles from Brussels.

Over the past few months, Volvo has been promoting its trucks with a stunt campaign that's run the gamut from the president of its truck division dangling from a crane 65 feet over a Swedish port, to seeing if a hamster can drive a 15-ton truck up a dangerous, snaking quarry road.

This time the carmaker decided to go epic. In "The Epic Split," Jean-Claude Van Damme stands straddling two giant trucks, traveling backwards, on a closed runway. The Muscles from Brussels deadeyes the camera as his voiceover gives a nod to his struggles and hints at what's to come.

"I've had my ups and downs. My fair share of bumpy roads and heavy winds. That's what made me what I am today. Now I stand here before you. What you see is a body crafted to perfection. A pair of legs engineered to defy the laws of physics. And a mind-set to master the most epic of splits."

Director Andreas Nilsson shot the spot in one take, after the production team rehearsed for three days, with just a 15-minute window to catch the morning light. The Volvo team assures us, there are no wires and no CG, just Van Damme doing his thing (they do note that "there were some safety precautions/measures involved, however those installments are not visible in the video").

The stunt may have been set up to "demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering," but it also clearly illustrates the ongoing awesome of JCVD.

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37 Comments

  • Octopus Creative Design

    Got to love the Damme. Great advertising concept though, even better than his Coors adverts I think!

  • Matt

    This was shot with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the spit position from the beginning and then the drivers inched closer together driving forward. Then, they reversed the footage to make it seem like they were backing up. They did a great job shooting it though because the end of the film had to be the beginning which is the close up of his face.

  • Guest

    Lol! IF you know physics you know that would be impossible. Basic physics from the age of 10.

  • pelham

    This is transcendent. I've watched this about 20 times and I'm saving the URL. It's touching, inspiring, and I feel like cheering Van Damme. And Volvo, for that matter, for making this.

  • Michael

    If you have ever driven an articulated vehicle in reverse, you know that the steering is reversed. In other words, unlike a car, if you turn the steering wheel to the right, the trailor goes to the left. This adds another layer of complexity and danger to the stunt. Kudos to Van Damme, the truck drivers, and Volvo.

  • Barbedwiresoul

    I thought of this also. Counterproductive like. However, further intuition tells that the back wheels could end Van Damme's career, not to mention his life.

  • meyepme

    They are definitely turning, this was probably shot at either 30fps or 60fps. The full range of motion in the wheels cannot be captured in that small number of frames which creates the illusion of the wheel either moving in the opposite direction or not moving at all. Even if you up the fps the human brain can only receive approx 30 fps anyhow.