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Dwight H. Little
Jean Claude Van Damme plays a dual role as Alex and Chad, twins separated at the death of their parents. Chad is raised by a family retainer in Paris, Alex becomes a petty crook in Hong Kong. Seeing a picture of Alex, Chad rejoins him and convinces him that his rival in Hong Kong is also the man who killed their parents. Alex is suspicious of Chad, especially when it comes to his girlfriend. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Not very good but passable if you are in the mood for this type of thing
As mere babies, twins Alex and Chad are separated when their parent's are brutally murdered by Triads who had no further use for the twin's parents. One child is rescued by their nanny, the other by the family's bodyguard Frank Avery. Alex grows up rough in the orphanage where his nanny leaves him and becomes a criminal in the underworld, while Chad becomes a ladies' man and karate teacher under the guidance of Frank. After several decades, Frank finds Alex and reunites the two brothers in time to battle the same triads who are still in business.
The plot to this film opens with such violence in front of children that it alters the paths their lives were going to take. Surely this film shows the effects that young children witnessing violence can have in this case the children are so badly affected that they both grow up to become Jean-Claude Van Damme! Aside from this terrible event, they come together decades later just as those that murdered their parents are doing a big deal. Of course the whole plot is silly and the whole idea behind the plot is to present two Van Damme's as some sort of major selling point and I suppose for some it is. Ignoring a silly and rather irritating plot, this film does have plenty of trademark action from it's star(s?) and it is just about enjoyable on that level, even if there are plenty of better action films available to watch on a Saturday night in with beer!
Attempts to inject drama into the film with sibling conflict and love interests are wasted and just further bog down an already limp script. Of course part of the blame for the lack of dramatic involvement must lie with Van Damme, who's delivery is as reliable as ever and this is not a compliment. His characters are given very different hairstyle because we can't rely on Van Damme's performance to be able to tell them apart. However I will be fair to him and say that he has moves and delivers two very enjoyable scenes towards the end (one in shadows, the other with a drum). Shaw makes for an annoying love interest in the time honoured manner all she does is scream. Lewis is a well known face but cannot life this to be anything more than it is. Van Damme's performance is dwarfed by a laughably bad turn from Alan Scarfe as the main villain so hammy it should have been between bread.
Overall this is not a very good film but, did you expect it to be? I came to expecting people to be kicked in the head and for the star to do the splits and talk with an accent and that's what I got. There are better films out there and it is far too basic to be really enjoyable but it has some good fights and exciting action albeit not enough to support the whole film. Worth seeing if you're just looking for an undemanding action movie to fill an hour or two.
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