4.7/10
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Double Team (1997)

An international spy teams up with an arms dealer to escape from a penal colony and rescue his family from a terrorist.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Yaz
...
...
...
Valéria Cavalli ...
Dr. Maria Trifioli
...
Brandon
Joëlle Devaux-Vullion ...
Stavros' Girlfriend
...
Kofi
...
James
Grant Russell ...
Carney
William Dunn ...
Roger
...
Moishe
Rob Diem ...
Dieter Staal
Ken Samuels ...
Stevenson
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Storyline

Counter-terrorist Jack Quinn misses his target, Stavros, on the eve of his final mission. From there, he is sent to "The Colony", a rebirth for presumed-dead assassins. He breaks free from there, and seeks the aid of Yaz, a weapons dealer, for his final battle with Stavros. Written by Orlandus Brown Jr.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a one-man arsenal... with enough voltage to rock the free world. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Colony  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,034,914, 6 April 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$11,438,337, 6 July 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mickey Rourke underwent a serious martial arts regime to obtain the physical appearance in the film, and to prepare for his fight scenes with Jean-Claude Van Damme. See more »

Goofs

In his e-mail message, Jack types "Stavro's". See more »

Quotes

Stavros: You know, Jack... I can call you Jack, can't I? I bet there's not a single night where you can close your eyes tight enough without seeing my little boy's face. I'm gonna give you a chance to know your son. If you live today, you'll get to know your son. And if you don't, I'll raise him as my own. You know, men are strong, Jack, but the tiger is stronger. Oh, one more thing, Jack. There's nothing wrong with stepping on a mine. It's stepping off that counts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 80's Dan: Automan (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Margherita
Written by R. Gamberini and L. Pavignani
Performed by Leareo Gianferrari
Courtesy of Butterfly Music SRL, Milano (Italy)
By Arrangement with Qualiton Imports, Ltd.
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User Reviews

Entertainingly overblown action marred by slapdash storytelling
11 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

The script for Double Team was originally called "The Colony" and by several accounts, it was actually quite good. Apparently, it went through many major alterations on its way to production until the final product bore little resemblance in tone and quality to the original script. Does this mean Double Team is a disaster? Not really, but its clear all the changes created some problems.

On the one hand, you have the participation of famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark and world-class cinematographer Peter Pau. They manage to create some of the coolest, trippiest, most fantastical visuals this side of a MTV video and better still, do so without the excessively choppy editing that usually accompanies "MTV-style" films. You actually get to appreciate the luxuriously-shot images, though the film is by no means slow-paced. Better still, it's one of the few Van Damme movies that realizes the best Van Damme movies are the ones which absolutely never rely on Van Damme's acting (or anyone else's for that matter) to carry the film along. It's all action, goofily entertaining plot twists, and sweet visuals. As an action-packed, overblown, eye-candy fantasy, Double Team works very well.

On the other hand, it's painfully obvious that Double Team used to have a smarter script which called for a far more subtle and serious approach. Had these "intelligent" elements been completely erased or dumbed-down for the final product, this wouldn't have been a problem. However, it seems that some of the more subtle plot developments were left in and they do NOT mesh well with Tsui's and the rest of the final script's "jackhammer" approach to the story. For example, at one point a prescription label left on the wall is supposed to be noticed by Van Damme's character who then uses the name of the doctor on the label as a clue. However, unless you're paying very very close attention you'd never know that. It's so small on screen, the label may as well have been blank. And the shot where the label is taken off the prescription bottle is far too quick and unclear. A single extra shot showing a closeup of the label would've cleared things up immensely. But it never happens. The film contains several instances like this where a single clarifying shot or an extra line of explanatory dialogue would've made things much clearer. The result is that what seem like glaring plot holes (even for this kind of movie) are in fact due to badly explained plot points. Such an obscure presentation might have worked on a quieter, more "intelligent" spy film where the audience knows they aren't going to be spoon-fed the plot. But after 40 minutes of terrible one-liners and ridiculous action, the last thing that should be required of Double Team's audience is to suddenly pay close attention to what's happening.

I don't know whether Tsui Hark was trying to keep in some subtle elements while reconciling it with the rapid-fire approach, or whether he just didn't care about such details and wanted to keep things moving (Probably the latter, as his subsequent movie, Knock Off, experimented with this abstract, to-hell-with-storytelling visual approach to the nth degree). Whatever the case, the result is a pretty wild but somewhat confusing action movie that could've been much better with minor changes.


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