Double Impact

Well I thought this would be funny because Jean-Claude Van Damme plays twins but it is not one of his better pictures in my opinion. It is not nearly as boring as Cyborg, but it is pretty generic and dull and shows few signs of the iconoclastic action pioneer that Van Damme would later become.

I guess he does an okay job of playing two different characters for such a limited actor but you would think they would do more with the twin concept. The opening scene where jean claude’s characters is only a baby is pretty well done, but then it skips to 25 years later and the happy keyboard music plays and it’s just your usual mistaken identity twin garbage.

Double ImpactAbout 5 seconds into jean claude’s first scene he’s already doing the splits, in colorful spandex, for an aerobics class he’s teaching. Then he goes to hong kong to avenge his parents death and happens to run into his brother and find out his parents were killed. That is how it always is with these twins, either their parents died or they got divorced and they try to get them back together.

The plot and action are real routine, just a bunch of exploding and running around in the streets like an old cop show and not even very much kicking. They do this kind of crap in Vancouver Canada every day, it is called syndicated action shows that nobody you know has ever watched. There is usually a magic car or a super hero involved though instead of twins.

Don’t get me wrong I like Jean Claude, its just that I prefer his more experimental surrealist period best represented by Double Team and Knock Off. Unlike Double Impact these are movies that you never know where they’re going next, because there is no logic to it at all. They are crazy and random, you don’t know when this motherfucker is going to team up with some computer expert monks or drop his baby off in a roman arena with tigers and land mines or run around pulling a rickshaw with Rob Schneider whipping him with a fish yelling “Move that beautiful ass!” Double Impact does not have that kind of magic though sorry.

This film was co-produced and co-written by Mr. Van Damme, as a stepping stone to his later work as a directing cinematist. So if you are studying the evolution of the artist it may be an important work to examine. But if you’re nto an academic and you would rather go straight to his best work I would definitely recommend the two hong kong pictures, double team and knock off.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2000 at 9:44 am and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

31 Responses to “Double Impact”

  1. Funny I just watched this last night, hadn’t seen it in 20 years. I thought it spas fun. Felt like Cannon Pictures to me. The Van Damme vs Van Damme fight was well done, better than REPLICANT, and Van Damme vs Bolo Yeung!

    Unfortunate artifact of the time, Van Damme calls his aerobicizing, satin under wearing twin the F word twice. And hits a woman while drunk. Very unPC. :(

  2. Vern, maybe it´s time to re-visit this one. Perhaps in some sort of comparison to Jackie Chans TWIN DRAGONS, am movie with the same concept. A sort of QUADRUPLE IMPACT? I think you might find new stuff to dig out. Pretty underrated movie in my opinion.

  3. You’re right Shoot, I definitely need to re-watch/re-review some of the JCVDs and see some of the ones I’ve skipped. Right now though I’m on a kick for more obscure would-be Van Damme types.

  4. Knox Harrington

    May 2nd, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    When you do get around to rewatching some of JCVD’s classics, a KICKBOXER Retrospective would be much appreciated.

    In fact, I think it’s essential to your career as a movie critic. Your reputation is at stake.

  5. I was sad to hear about Geoffrey Lewis’s passing today. We’re rapidly losing all of our old dependable workhorses.

    How did I not know until now that he was Juliette Lewis’s father?

  6. That is sad news. He has a pretty amazing body of work. DOUBLE IMPACT is a favorite of mine, but he is also great in NIGHT OF THE COMET, WAY OF THE GUN, and numerous other films. I will have to pour out a little liquor.

    I didn’t know he was Juliette’s father either.

  7. Wow that’s pretty crazy. R.I.P.

    I wonder how Clint must be feeling right now.

    Pretty cool that you bumped THIS particular review in his memory. Always loved him as Chad’s “Alfred” good old Frank. Only man capable enough to unite 2 Van Dammes.

  8. Oh man, I had no idea he died. RIP Geoffrey Lewis – I absolutely agree he’s awesome in Way of the Gun, and I also really liked him in Double Impact and Lawnmower Man. I think I read long time ago that him and Juliette were fairly estranged, and I’m glad they had a chance to eventually patch things up.

  9. Geoffrey is Juliettes dad? That makes so much sense. THE DEVILS REJECTS was the last movie I enjoyed him in.

  10. I chose this review because this is the movie that always makes me think of him. It’s a truly ridiculous motion picture but he never phoned it in and Frank ended up being the thing that holds the movie together. You knew neither of the Van Dammes were in any serious danger but when Frank took a beating, you felt the stakes rise. That’s what a great character actor like Mr. Lewis can do for your movie, even when your movie is about two twins raised separately in Paris and Hong Kong who both somehow grow up to be kung fu masters with Belgian accents.

  11. I never saw this one before and didn’t really know it existed. I guess I had heard the name and got it mixed up with Double Team (still never seen that one either). But I have been working through the JCVD catalog on Netflix so I watched this one yesterday.

    Surprised at the harshness of the review. It was a fun movie and not boring at all. It’s not up there with his best but definitely worth a watch. I thought it would be a lot funnier after the opening scene where he teaches aerobics and then almost bones his brother’s girlfriend. But it still had lots of good moments.

    One thing that really bothered me – when Bolo clean and jerks the oil barrel over his head, I was expecting JCVD to do a sweet flying kick to his defenceless face (with the barrel then falling and crushing him). I was pretty disappointed that did not happen.

  12. Hallsy, what country are you from? We aren’t lucky enough to have Double Impact on Netflix in America.

  13. I’m afraid to re-read this review, but when I watched DOUBLE IMPACT more recently I really liked it and was especially impressed by Van Damme’s performance as both the dorky young Van Damme and the cooler Van Damme.

  14. I’m in the Cayman Islands so we get Caribbean Netflix here. It’s had a really good selection lately – much better than back home in Canada. There is a lot of JCVD and Scott Adkins on there now (I just watched Assassination Games, Kickboxer, Double Impact, and Expendables 2). On my list to watch I’ve got Universal Soldier 3&4, El Gringo, Dragon Eyes, Ninja 1&2, Welcome to the Jungle. We don’t get some of the Netflix co-productions that I would like to see (Peaky Blinders mainly) and Spanish movies don’t have English subtitles (really annoying because they have Redeemer on there but only in Spanish with Spanish subtitles). But we get some good things like Better Call Saul the day after it airs. So all in all, I would say I really get my $10 worth each month.

    Oh and I forgot to mention my favourite part about Double Impact – the freeze frame ending of the dorky Van Damme flashing the OK sign. Classic.

  15. Vern, I feel like you’ve underrated Van Damme, especially as it relates to Steve Segal, and I think it’s time you write a book. lol

  16. Caribbean Netflix. That sounds quite exotic.

  17. They also added quite a few Seagal DTV titles lately. I just don’t think I can bring myself to watch any of them. I would rather just read Vern’s reviews.

  18. I completely agree, Sternshein!

  19. Entertainment News/Gossip Site: Outlaw Vern confirms Van Damme book! Purportedly titled TAKE A CHANCE: THE FILMS OF JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME or VAN DAMMAGE: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP BEING A WEINER AND LOVE THE FILMS OF JCVD*

    *rumored titles may not actually be verified by anyone…

  20. I love DOUBLE IMPACT – just a shit-ton of fun and JCVD at his most awesomely egotastic.

    What is it about JCVD and twins, anyway? and why do we love it when he plays two cats so much?

    I’m hoping he plays twins again soon, maybe in the third KICKBOXER flick, KICKBOXER: DURAND, DURAND.

  21. I haven’t seen Double Impact since I was young but I remember a couple of things.

    1. The bad guy is also the police chief in Hard Boiled (and then I realized he was the police chief in Bloodsport).
    2. Van Damme shoots two guns while rolling on the ground. It was almost like he was trying out for Hard Target
    3. I like how Van Damme has been linked with Hong Kong even though he never really made a Hong Kong movie against some of the biggest Hong Kong movie stars. Thought didn’t he make a movie with Simon Yam?

  22. Simon Yam was in WAKE OF DEATH with Van Damme. For some reason it looked like every cool Hong Kong director had to go through Jean Claude to get to Hollywood in the 90’s; John Woo, Ringo Lam and Hark Tsui all did a movie with the Belgian bunny.


  24. I remember Wake of Death being a big disappointment. The same goes for Maximum Risk. However, I think some of that was not realling understanding Ringo Lam as a director compared to John Woo as a director.

  25. MAXIMUM RISK is a lot better than be people seem to remember.

  26. Double Impact Blu-ray

    Double Impact Blu-ray (Collector's Edition) (1991): Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sarah-Jane Varley and Wu Fong Lung. Alex and Chad, twins separated at the death of their parents. Chad is raised by a family retainer in Paris, Alex becomes a petty crook in Hong Kong. Seeing...

  27. Hey Felix, thanks for the heads up on the new Blu Ray. I gave it to myself for my birthday yesterday and it was excellent. Cheesy action doesn’t normally get the kind of lavish special edition treatment that cheesy horror gets, so the TWO-HOUR documentary on this one was a real treat. I tend to think of action as more mercenary than horror, but this one felt like a family affair, with Jean Claude bringing in lots of his own friends who all treated the film like a labor of love. Everybody clearly had a blast making the movie and it’s charming to hear how much Van Damme still loves it to this day. Lots of great stories and personalities on this thing. I am extremely happy with my purchase.

    Things I learned:

    1. Michael Douglas’s production company produced both this and STONE COLD!

    2. The origin of the Van Damme name.

    3. Van Damme is friends with lots of weightlifters and goes horseback riding with Chad McQueen.

    4. Van Damme hires people through sheer serendipity. Many of these people have since had decades-long film careers because they ran into him on the right day at the right time.

    5. Oliver Stone seriously considered Van Damme to play Alexander the Great!

    Seriously, you guys. Buy this disc.

  28. No problem, Mr. Majestyk.

    Saw STREET FIGHTER again last week. Raul Julia sure chews up scenery here.

  29. I should’ve written a new review last time I watched DOUBLE IMPACT, because I strongly disagree with myself from 20 years ago. Last time I was particularly impressed by Van Damme’s dual performance, contrasting his boyish early-in-KICKBOXER persona with a grim, gritty tough guy. Don’t listen to this Vern-in-2000 asshole. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is a pretty good one.

  30. This might be the most thorough record of Vern’s opinion on a movie with which we have ever been gifted.

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