Back in the day before we had Marvel vs DC or Fast and the Furious we had a certain number of heroes. We had Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. To some of us, those guys were OUR superheroes. They were larger than life.
Now let’s take a look at one of their movies. The movie people recognize as the one where Van Damme plays twins. No, not Maximum Risk. The one where Van Damme says he would never wear black “seelk” underwear – Double Impact.
Synopsis: Twin brothers are separated when their parents are but 25 years later they re-unite in order to avenge their parents’ death.
Now in this one, we get two sides to Van Damme. One is the nice, funny guy who is sensitive and loves the ladies and the other is the cold, mean, cigar-chomping, ass-kicker who always wears black. At the time Van Damme wanted to show his acting chops and there is even a scene where he inevitably fights himself but afterwards both Van Dammes let out some things that have brewing. Chad wants nothing to do with Alex and even threatens to swim back home. Alex lets out how lonely he was and how no one helped him out as he was growing iup. It’s actually a pretty effective scene and you feel bad for both characters (See kids, you don’t need a whole back story or a prequel to explain characters, sometimes one scene will do).
As far as the action goes, it’s pretty damn good. It plays more like a John Woo movie when he made Hard Boiled (If you haven’t seen that, check it out). You get a really good combination of gunplay and martial arts mixed in together. The camera also sits still in the movie so you’re not totally lost with who’s winning the fight. One of the cool things that shows you the personalities of the twins is their fight scenes with villains. Alex (the “bad twin”) fights a dude with spurs in a darkly lit scene and is more of a street fight than fancy kicks. Chad fights Bolo Yeung (the bad guy, Chung Li, from Bloodsport) in a very lit scene and throws five (!) spin kicks. So you can see the contrast between the two.
Double Impact definitely holds up well. Some things in the movie are a bit dated, like Van Damme punching an 80’s style phone (but I’m sure the phone was costing him a fortune in minutes, plus he was probably getting charged extra in roaming fees out on that island). Van Damme does have a lot of movies in his career you can actually look back and enjoy like Bloodsport and Kickboxer but if you’re wanting more Van Dammage, Double Impact should be the one for you.