That said, I finally broke down after two years and rented it based on all the positive stuff I've heard, and I'll say I'll have to go with the flow on this one - it's surprisingly good! Van Damme looks a bit older but he's still in great shape and has more energy than your typical 14-year-old. The problem was that his acting has usually been so stiff that it's hard to root for him as the good guy (watching SUDDEN DEATH I actually was hoping the bad guys would win) - not the case with this movie.
No, believe it or not, Van Damme actually displays an amazing, intriguing, and very believable performance (or is it one?) playing the moronic and childish clone. Michael Rooker, the other reason I broke down and rented this movie, has some really great scenes like when he gets so angered by a call from the psycho-killer that he throws the phone on the ground and smashes it into a million pieces. Rooker also looks a great deal younger and in better shape than in THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS or THE BONE COLLECTOR, playing a more youthfully-minded loner as opposed to a tired old sheriff or something. While this film has a really familiar concept, a lot of those "oh god that's dumb!" moments, and some pretty unmotivated fight scenes (why have the scene where he beats up all the government types in the abandoned building - why were they even there in the first place?), it's really good considering they had a great deal less than $10 million to make this movie, about half of what it would cost to even hire Schwarzenegger to do a film. Take this movie and the extremely similar THE 6TH DAY and run them side by side, and it's almost sad how much better Van Damme's acting is, how much better the cloning concept is handled, and how surprisingly "fresh" everything seems.
Van Damme really does a good job and actually made me care about his character (the clone one, anyway). The best scenes in the movie though have to be Van Damme as the evil twin cutting a swarth of destruction around the city - like kicking old ladies, shooting corpses, or (my favorite) when he shoots the driver of a stopped car he's running past in an intersection FOR NO REASON! If actions spoke louder than words, Jean-Claude would have at least one Academy Award.
Well worth a rental for anyone actually interested in this movie enough to find themselves reading this.