Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DOUBLE IMPACT (1991) - 2/5 stars

Double 7
Release: 1991
Director: Sheldon Lettich
Writer: Sheldon Lettich and Jean Claude Van Damme (screenplay), Sheldon Lettich and Jean Claude Van Damme and Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes (story)
Cast: Jean Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw, Corinna Everson, Phillip Chan, Alan Scarfe, Bolo Yeung, Andy Armstrong,
Soundtrack: Arthur Kempel
Claim to fame: Twice the Van Dammage
Rating: 2/5 stars

"You want some advice? Take your fancy clothes and your black silk underwear and go back to Disneyland."

If someone who is actually a fan of Jean Claude Van Damme tells you that one of his movies sucks, then it definitely sucks. I've seen nearly every film in Van Damme's filmography so believe me when I say that "Double Impact" is certifiably crap.

Double 4

Nothing says low-budget, early 90's martial arts flick like pleated pants

It starts out promising enough: twin Van Damme babies are separated at birth. One grows up to be a hard-ass gangster in Hong Kong. The other (named "Chad," I kid you not) grows up to be a...LA aerobics instructor.

Much hilarity ensues during the opening 20 minutes, thanks to Van Damme doing the splits in spandex for a group of adoring females and "Chad"'s wardrobe in general. He arrives in Hong Kong wearing hot pink short shorts (with his socks pulled up high) and a turquoise polo shirt.

Double 2

I'll let this screen grab speak for itself

Which begs the question: how in the hell was this movie made in 1991? I refuse to believe it. With fashion like that, and the cheesy pop tunes that play on the soundtrack, I have to believe that this movie was made in 1987 and kept on the shelf for several years.

Double 5

"Hey Uncle Frank, there's a club if you'd like to go.

You could meet somebody who really loves you."

"Double Impact" also claims that the twins are only 25 years-old - Van Damme was 31 in 1991. I know you had a babyface back in the day, Jean Claude, but you're not fooling anybody.

Now so far what I've described sounds like a guilty pleasure kind of flick, but unfortunately as the movie goes on "Chad" becomes less of a, well, Chad and the two brothers' identities blur into each other. By the climax of the flick they're both the same action star tough guy. Yawn.

Double 6

Two Van Dammes means we have to watch Jean Claude beat the bad guys twice,

which is one time too many

Also, much of the film is under-lit; I lost track of how many scenes were completely bathed in darkness. It makes for one visually drab movie, and it's a shame that they didn't truly take advantage of the Hong Kong setting.

Then there's the ridiculously overblown sex scene - which only occurs in a character's mind! - that puts Cinemax to shame with its balletic grinding. Ugh, pass on "Double Impact" unless you absolutely worship Van Damme.

The presence of Bolo Yeung only serves to remind me that I'd rather be watching the far superior "Bloodsport."

Double 3
"Double Impact" presents a rematch between Jean Claude and Bolo
but you're better off preserving your memories of their first encounter

1 comment:

  1. I agree - it started off promising enough with the effeminate Van Damme, but once the actual fighting started it just got really lame.

    Van Damme! We need more movies with you in spandex.