DVD Review: ‘Double Impact’

2 minutes




Twenty years after its original cinema release, Sheldon Lettich’s Double Impact (1991) gets another DVD release courtesy of Second Sight Media. Double Impact (not to be confused with the awful Double Team [1997]) is commonly viewed as one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s best movies and tells the story of twins Alex and Chad Wagner (both played by the ‘Muscles from Brussels’) who are separated when their parents are killed by a gang, but reunite years later to take down the murderers.

There really isn’t much to say about Double Impact. The story (co-written by Van Damme) is fine, the acting is what you would expect from the genre and time period and the direction is pretty spot-on. The film predictably shines during its action sequences. Van Damme is at his round-house-kicking best, and the awesome Bolo Yeung is incredible as the quiet Moon.

Double Impact’s plot, while not terrible, does lose its way as it steps into the third act. Alex’s jealousy over Chad is never fully-realised, nor is the sexual tension between Chad and Alex’s love interest Danielle (Alonna Shaw). Because of this, the characters never feel properly fleshed out, and their character arcs are badly wedged in simply to move the plot along.

But of course, Double Impact was made and sold on one gimmick and one gimmick alone – Van Damme playing both of the twins. While I imagine this looked pretty impressive back in 1991, it hasn’t aged particularly well and looks a little bit dated when compared to classic double efforts such as David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988). That horrible black line that surrounds images super-imposed onto film is ever present and can be more than a little off-putting.

Double Impact is a perfectly fine film, and is easily one of the best to come out of Van Damme’s back catalogue. If you want a film to have whilst drinking some ‘manly’ beers with ‘manly’ friends, then you could do much worse than .

Just as a side note, Double Impact has been on general release already for quite some time now. If you do already own it, you won’t find anything new here. No re-mastering, no special features, no new edits – just the same film you’ve seen a hundred times already.

Luke Owen

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