10/19/2011

Double Impact (1991)

Double Impact (1991)-* * *

Directed by: Sheldon Lettich

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw, Cory Everson, and Bolo Yeung












Alex (Van Damme) and Chad (Van Damme) are twins who were separated at six months old when their parents were murdered by gangsters. Alex became a ne’er-do-well in Hong Kong while Chad became a pretty-boy aerobics instructor in L.A. Convinced to go to Hong Kong to find out the truth, Chad meets Alex, and Yin meets Yang. The two men, despite being brothers, couldn’t be more different, and conflicts ensue. But it’s all in the name of getting revenge for their slain parents. But it’s going to take double the power to take down evildoer Moon (Yeung). Will you feel the impact?

Probably one of the better movies (of the five total) where Van Damme plays two roles, Double Impact has JCVD as the happy-go-lucky Chad, with his absurd pastel outfits and tiny pink shorts, as well as the gruff, cigar-chomping Alex. If you’ve ever seen The Patty Duke show in reruns, you know the “show the back of the other character’s head” style of portraying the two men. The movie wastes little time in having Van Damme do one of his trademark splits (while wearing a leotard, naturally). Chad is the fish out of water in Hong Kong (and the movie sports some great Hong Kong locations and photography), just one side of the coin that is Jean-Claude Van Damme.



This is also one of the many team-ups of Van Damme and director Sheldon Lettich. But at almost two hours, the movie overstays its welcome and is just too long. You know what they always say - double the Van Damme, double the running time. Though the movie drags at times, it also has just enough cool moments to make this a rollercoaster of peaks and valleys.

The rest of the cast is worthy too, as Bolo is here looking great, Cory Everson plays the bodybuilder who is also in the hard-to-find Ballistic (1995), and Alonna Shaw plays the eye candy - at one point the movie basically stops so it can become like a Playboy video for her. The movie naturally concludes in the time-honored steam factory, and characters even throw barrels at each other, a la Double Dragon. Double Dragon - Double Impact... coincidence? I think not...!

After the extensive running time, there is a freeze frame and the C + C Music Factory-like song, “Feel The Impact”, by Gen plays. By our estimation, Double Impact is kind of hit-or-miss. It’s a decent enough idea, but not enough to support such a lengthy movie.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett

28 comments:

Sir Phobos said...

Dude, I've been wondering where the fuck Double Impact was this whole month. Are you slow-building up to his greatest hits?

Especially since I just randomly decided to do a post about Van Damme's birthday, and I chose Double Impact as the video of choice. Coincidences like that are weird yet awesome.

As I was picking through Double Impact clips, it dawned on me that the movie might still be a lot of fun times. I remember the beginning where he's doing the splits for the nearly naked woman almost perfectly. The parts where he's supposed to be reacting to his twin are hilarious. I need to own this.

MarkusWelby1 said...

Just so you know...."I would never wear black silk underwear" priceless dialogue! One lives in Hong Kong...One lives in L.A.....both have french accents. Interesting. This one is a guilty pleasure that I still kind of enjoy. But when JVC drops the container on the guy, it was a direct rip-off of the end of Lethal Weapon 2!

Ty said...

Sir Phobos: You're right. We are saving some of his best movies for last.

As far as coincidences, we always seem to have synergy with friends and followers when it comes to watching the same movies! For Double Impact clips: Van Damme is always doing splits! He just about manages to sneak in a split in every movie whether it is necessary or not.

MarkusWelby1: Double Impact has always been a "Video Store Classic" that people seem to have fond memories of. There's plenty of JCVD silliness on display that we all know and love!

MarkusWelby1 said...

JCVD working in the splits is kind of like waiting for Arnold to say "I'll be back".....you just know it's going to be there eventually!

Ty said...

Haha, so true! It is a JCVD staple.

Jack Thursby said...

Yeah, now we're talking. This probably in my top three JCVD films after Hard Target and Universal Soldier. This might have been the first one I ever watched, at about aged 10 - it blew my mind that a martial artist would do a dual role. Does anyone know if another action film did this before Van Damme? I know Jackie Chan has done it since (Twin Dragons) but was JCVD really the first?

Ty said...

As far as we know, Van Damme was the 1st to do the dual role. He really ran with it because he did 4 more times!

Dr. Blacksteed said...

Was this the one where he dug that epic hole and then filled it back in?

Ty said...

I don't think this is the movie you're thinking of. Do you have any other clues?

force_field said...

I've been reading your site for a while and as a longtime fan of vintage action movies I've wanted to see Death Wish 3 included for a while. I'm an Army journalist in Afghanistan and in one of my spare moments I wrote this just to see what you guys think:

Paul Kersey is a man suffering from his past. After the violent deaths of both his wife and daughter in the first two Death Wishes, Kersey returns to New York to visit his old buddy Charley. Sadly for Paul his friend is beaten to a pulp by local thugs prior to his arrival and Kersey is wrongly arrested for his murder. Luckily for old Kersey the precinct chief Shriker (played by legendary Ed Lauter) recognizes him from his initial spree ten years earlier and offers him a deal; waste the local punks who’ve taken over the streets. Kersey does this … and then some!
It sounds like a simple plot and it is. Whereas the first two films in the series attempted some semblance of seriousness, Death Wish 3 doesn’t even try. It’s a paean to all out violence, brutality and sheer ludicrousness on a scale almost greater than that of ‘Deadly Prey.’ In fact I’d go as far to say this is the king of all 80’s action movies.
Why? The sheer scale of deaths and violence are almost unmatched. Kersey’s ongoing battle with lead henchman Fraker is classic, especially when old Paul punches him in the face during their prison brawl. Everything expected of a Death Wish film is present, deaths of people ‘close’ to Kersey, gratuitous nude scenes, a rape and Bronson’s usual charisma.
What sets this apart mainly though is the climactic battle with Fraker and his hundreds of goons, decked out in the usual futuristic, punk-like garb. Lasting well over 20 minutes, it’s a non-stop onslaught of merciless killing which I’m pretty sure Michael Winner intended as a joke. Bronson kills hundreds of punks and the scene of him mowing down faceless vermin with a massive machine gun in broad daylight is beyond belief. This is why the 80’s were so great. There’s no thought to logic or comprehension, just mayhem. Describing more specific scenes is almost pointless, it’s best seen for yourself.
This is Bronson at his best. He doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t have to. The supporting cast is great, especially Martin Balsam as Bennett a jaded vet taking on the herd in his own right. Also Gavan O’ Herlihy excels as Fraker, who has no problems killing anyone, regardless of age or sex. But just watching Bronson kill punk after punk is what earns Death Wish 3 its title as one of the all time action greats. I’ve watched this hundreds of times since the mid-eighties and I never tire of it. If you’ve yet to sample this then there’s no time to waste. See for yourself what the 80’s and Cannon films were all about.

Dr. Blacksteed said...

Definitely an early 90's JCVD flick. Some goons had captured him or something and decided he should dig this giant hole, and then fill it up again. I seem to remember a nude Playboy-video-esque scene as well, which made me think it might have been Double Impact. Pretty sure it was one of his dual role movies.

Ty said...

Force_field: Excellent review of Death Wish 3! It is Bronson at his absolute best. The climax is insane.

Thanks for writing the review to us. Keep up your great work in Afghanistan too!

Dr. Blacksteed: Hmm, we will have to figure that out. Could it be Timecop?

robotGEEK said...

I know it wasn't Timecop for sure. Now I'm curious. lol.

Man, I haven't seen this in forever. I can't even remember if I liked it or not, mainly just remembering that Van Damme and Lettich were inseparable around this time. lol.

Great review man!

Ty said...

Thanks! I wonder what the movie is. It is an interesting mystery.

Real Queen of Horror said...

This is a movie I have seen! Van Damme has always been horrible actor in my opinion but an awesome martial artist. :P


Great review, you did a great job summing it up!

Ty said...

Thanks!

Haha, so true. His acting leaves a lot to be desired, but he definitely knows how to kick and punch the baddies!

Dr. Blacksteed said...

Yeah, it's definitely not Time Cop. What are the fabled 5, as in the five movies that he played double roles in? Maybe I can figure it out from there.

Ty said...

The 4 Double Van Damme movies are:

1. Double Impact
2. Timecop
3. Maximum Risk
4. Replicant

hellford667 said...

This movie has a lot to offer, never thought it was too long.
As I was a total JCVD fanboy back then, it could run 3hrs for all I cared. This really shows a bit f Hong Kong and I loved the Alex character, he is so good as a baddy somehow. Alos loved Geoffrey Lewis in this, and Bolo with a huge scra on his cheek, all togetehr its an awesome flick, top 5 for me Van Damme wise.

Dr. Blacksteed said...

It has to be Double Impact! I wish it was on netflix so I could stream it. Bear in mind that this memory is about 20 years old.

Ty said...

Hellford667: Bolo should be in every Van Damme movie!

Dr. Blacksteed: Would love your take on it! Interesting memory you have about this scene.

Sir Phobos said...

Legionnaire? I have no idea, but for whatever reason, that one popped into my head when you said dig a hole and fill it back up.

hoaks2 said...

Ohhhh classic. Memories!

Ty said...

Sir Phobos: Ooh, That could be the movie!

Hoaks2: Double Impact is a classic. So many memorable and silly Van Damme moments!

Dr. Blacksteed said...

No, not Legionnaire. That one was way later. I was 13 or 14 when I saw it, which would mean around 1994. Now I'm beginning to second guess myself. Was it in fact a JCVD flick? btw, what was your take on JCVD the movie? Reviewed it yet?

Ty said...

Hmm, we will figure this movie it out! I saw JCVD a long time ago. It was pretty good. We will have to review it one of these days.

Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

It's interesting you mention about Double Impact overstaying its welcome, because it seems like a lot of big screen actioners from that time period do that too, as if 88 minutes isn't considered big budget blockbuster enough, so they tack stuff on. Still, this is a definite action classic.

Ty said...

We totally agree with your comment! We thought that for years.

Thank goodness for movies the Crank and Crank: High Voltage which seem to be turning that trend around! There are a lot of 80s movies that have filler for the sake of filler! We are glad someone else noticed this.