An MVD Collector’s Edition
I cannot imagine myself going to see a movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme much less going to see a movie when there are Jean-Claude Van Dammes.
In “Double Impact” Belgian martial-artist plays twins Alex and Chad who were separated at an early age after a family tragedy. When their businessman father and his wife are gunned down in Hong Kong, the tragedy isn’t that the parents died. It’s that the twins survived.
Van Damme is a short, power-built Belgian, whose Flemish-accented acting is one reason not to go to the movies. We meet him when he is (are?) grown-up twins (brought together by family employee Geoffrey Lewis) who team up to avenge their parents’ murder. Chad’s an effete, Californian karate instructor. Alex is a tough, smuggler raised in Hong Kong. Let me just say that as bad as it is to have two Van Dammes, it is even worse when the fighting is awful.
The movie has a budget and production values worthy of a lesser James Bond movie. It is shot on location in Hong Kong and includes a villain (Belo Young) who is much cherished by martial arts fans. There is even enough money in the budget to dump two Mercedes-Benz touring cars into the harbor.Alex is involved with some crooks who are, inevitably, smuggling drugs while Chad is more of an innocent. But by coincidence (?), both have amazingly grown up to be world-class martial arts experts.
The movie has slick production values and a few clever lines and illustrates the Principle of Evil Marksmanship. This principle is that in the movies the bad guys can never hit anything with a gun, and the good guys can hardly miss. The villains typically fire thousands of rounds from machine guns, after which the heroes roll out of the line of fire and squeeze off a few well-directed rounds from their handguns, killing an enemy with every shot. The scene like this in “Double Impact” has to be seen to be believed, as countless rounds are poured into a car from numerous hidden assassins, all of whom somehow fail to hit anyone who is going to be needed later in the movie. (Now this is clever direction and financial expedience).
Van Damme speaks English almost without an accent, is very good looking and projects less inner complexity, and seemingly thoroughly comfortable with his feet above his head, a position many martial arts experts often find themselves in. I do want to clarify that I am not a fan of this kind of film and that of course colors the way I review it. There are those who love this film and there reviews are the opposite of mine and that is quite all right. The beauty of the movies is that there is something for everyone and this special edition is classy.
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.85:1 aspect ratio
English Surround DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
English, Spanish, French Subtitles
The Making of Double Impact: Part 1 (HD, 53 mins) + The Making of Double Impact: Part 2 (59 mins) [A two part feature length retrospective documentary about the making of the film featuring interviews with star and co-writer Jean-Claude Van Damme, director and co-writer Sheldon Lettich, producer Ashok Amritraj, co-star Cory Everson-Donia, co-star and fight coordinator Peter Malota and ”Chad” and ”Alex” photo doubles Jeff Rector & Jerry Rector]
Double Impact: Deleted / Extended Scenes (SD, 54 mins
Double Impact: Anatomy of a Scene (with Director Sheldon Lettich) (HD, 8 mins)
Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition.