Double Impact (1991)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
"When you find them. Bring back their bodies".
All of the action is watchable if never truly inspired. There's a good deal of hard hitting violence (the naive Chad takes his lumps before the story is over), and plenty of effective squib action - not to mention a hearty helping of explosions. The exotic Hong Kong setting certainly helps a lot, as well. One sequence is particularly striking, and you can see bits of that in the trailer. And there's a fairly satisfying confrontation between Van Damme and martial arts icon Bolo Yeung, who plays Moon, a goon who ends up with a fake eye and a nasty scar due to Franks' intervention back in the 60s.
There's a certain degree of entertainment in watching Van Damme play two distinctly different characters. Thanks to some reasonably effective movie trickery - body doubles, special effects, and the like - we get to see the twins interacting regularly. Philip Chan, as crime kingpin Raymond Zhang, and Alan Scarfe, as the nefarious Nigel Griffith, are decent action movie baddies in the classic tradition. Both the blonde Alonna Shaw (as Alex's girlfriend Danielle) and the athletic brunette Corinna Everson (as henchwoman Kara) add much sex appeal. The eternally solid and reliable Lewis is a tremendous asset to the story, lending it an appropriate amount of respectability.
"Double Impact" may not be memorable in the end, but it sure provides a nice diversion for the better part of two hours.
Seven out of 10.
There's nothing really great about Double Impact, other than the immortal tagline of "double the Van Damme, double the Van Damage", but it is a solid low-budget actioner. The script and acting are average to say the least, and the movie looks like it was made for fifty cents and a case of returnable bottles, but when it comes to action, Double Impact delivers the goods. The fights are among some of Van Damme's best, with good choreography and tight filming and editing. Also of note are the gunfights; I might be wrong, but I believe that this was the first Western movie to have John Woo-style dual 9mms (complete with slow motion). If you have a high tolerance for cheeseball antics (or just like to make fun of them), there's some good times to be had with Double Impact. I'm kind of sorry to say this, but given the current anemic state of action films, even middling stuff like this is much better than the crap that has been getting cranked out lately."
What makes this film is the always-enjoyable combination of Van Damme and director Sheldon Lettich. Lettich knows how to get the best out of Claude in the fights sequences, with a liberal and entertainingly cheesy use of slo-mo while Van Damme grunts and poses and jumps kicks his way through countless foes. The fights are so entertaining, and they more than make up for the wooden or ham-fisted acting of the cast, not to mention the brainless plot and cheesy dialogue.
This was written by Van Damme and really seems at times like an ego trip, with some of the lines and actions that characters have. It is entertaining in that sense. What is also funny about this film is the constant posing and muscle flexing from Van Damme. This is one of his most enjoyable films, because it is so fun, it brings back the fun feeling from his earlier film Kickboxer.
Overall this is one to watch and the fight between Van Damme and Bolo is the stuff of legend. ***
No viewing of Jean-Claude's films would be complete without this one where he plays both himself and his brother. Separated by 25 years, one (Alex) stays in Hong Kong as a smugger, and the other (Chad) is a fitness instructor in California. That's ladies fitness instructor in pretty blue tights. Hmm, is there something to his role as "Gay Karate Man" in his first film? California Jean-Claude returns to Hong Kong to join Honk Kond Jean Claude to regain what is rightfully theirs. Luscious scenery provided by Alex's girlfriend Danielle (Alonna Shaw). Hot breathing brought on by action between Danielle and Kara (Corinna Everson). The return of Bolo Yeung (Bloodsport) as Moon is a big big plus for the film.
Lots of action, lots of laughs, and a good time for all.