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Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - DOUBLE IMPACT

double impact review
Two JCVDs for the price of one.


Review by Michael Vaughn

Directed by: Sheldon Lettich

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Alonna Shaw, Corinna Everson, Geoffrey Lewis, Alan Scarfe, Bolo Yeung, Philip Chan

double impact bluray

MVD Visual/MVD Rewind Collection. Available now.

I love big dumb action movies, so when I heard MVD Rewind was releasing the early '90s Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Double Impact I was excited. I actually had never seen this one.

Alex (Van Damme) and Chad (Van Damme) are twins separated at birth when their parents are savagely killed. 25 years later Frank Avery (Geoffrey Lewis) reunites them in order to seek revenge.

double impact review


Going into Double Impact I was hoping for a high kicking, punch flying, non-stop orgy of action. What I got was Meh. I kind of hoped that the film wouldn’t have taken itself quite so seriously, playing up some humour with its premise. Something like Last Action Hero did.  Alas it doesn’t, and what we get is an alright but standard action plot and just OK action scenes that feel like they could have been much better.

Sadly, a lot of Double Impact has not aged well, namely its overt homophobia. Alex slings homophobic slurs several times and the film falls back on the 'predatory lesbian' trope in the form of ultra butch Kara, an assassin for hire. In one tasteless scene she sexually harasses Danielle (Alonna Shaw) the bland but good looking girlfriend character. The message is clear - she’s gay and dangerous to pretty straight women. Thankfully this is a character type you seldom see any more in cinema.

It’s also hard to root for Alex when he’s an abusive woman beater. It’s one thing when the bad guy acts like an awful prick but it sends weird messages when it's one of our heroes.

double impact review


A so-so plot aside, the film is perfectly serviceable in terms of mindless action, though as I said, it's just alright. It currently holds a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it's not hard to see why. Instead of a fun action flick we get a dull outing with bland action scenes and ugly stereotypes and we're left wanting a lot more from this double Jean-Claude fest.

MVD delivers a host of new features for this film along with a retro VHS inspired slipcover. A great blu-ray for a so-so action film.
Extras:

The Making Of Double Impact (53mins); Deleted/Extended Scenes (SD 54min); Double Impact: Anatomy of a Scene (8mins); Original Trailer; Collectible Poster.



Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”


His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @castle_anger.





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