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