As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
So sayeth the Old Testament. Indeed, it turns out the best person to mold Jean-Claude Van Damme into a precise killing machine is another Jean-Claude Van Damme. With that wisdom in mind, we get Double Impact, wherein duplicate Belgian ass-kickers stare each other down and flex their oily biceps and taut buttocks for 110 minutes of pea-brained glory. As with Bloodsport, I don’t know how to rate this experience. To say that it’s stupid is like assessing the Grand Canyon as deep. Double Impact is profoundly stupid. If they gave out awards for idiocy, this movie might sweep the field like Ben-Hur. Still, damn it all, this experience is still thoroughly hilarious and completely entertaining. So, here we are…
The movie begins in Hong Kong, back in the 1960s. A wealthy businessman and his wife are the victims of a Triad death squad. Their identical infant boys are separated and smuggled to safety. Alex (Van Damme) is sent to a local orphanage, while Chad (Van Damme) heads to France with his dad’s bodyguard, Frank (Geoffrey Lewis). Despite one brother being raised in China, and the other in the French countryside, they both speak with thick Belgian accents. And they’ve developed similar butt-whoopin’ skills. You know, so what? Not every movie can be the friggin’ Maltese Falcon, okay? Let’s just pump the brakes on bein’ hyper-critical, you got it?
Besides, there are clear differences in these hunky studs. Giga-Chad dressed like Carlton from the Fresh Prince, and looks like a lunkheaded tourist in every scene. Meanwhile, Alex has slicked-back Pat Riley hair and a bitchin’ leather jacket. He has a permanent scowl that suggests the Imodium ain’t working. But let’s be honest: Jean-Claude has the acting range of chicken playing the toy piano. The biggest difference in Alex and Chad is what they’re wearing.
Anyway, Frank tells his adopted nephew they’ve gotta go to Hong Kong for a big business deal. Well, it turns out Frank’s a huge asshole: They fly across the world, go to a sleazy dive bar, where Frank drops an atomic truth bomb on Chad. Not only are they not really related, but Chad has an identical flippin’ twin, and he’s in this very bar! Chad and Alex size each other up, and…they don’t like each other very much. This is despite the fact they laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk–
Wait, damn. That’s my bad, y’all. I usually don’t “Nick at Night” so hard. Annnywayyy…Huey and Louie quickly figure out that the men who killed their parents are within reach. And, of course, they both have the ferocious roundhouse kicks to get some sweet, sweet revenge.
You can probably guess where it goes from here. I mean, if you’ve seen one movie with muscly twins whacking bad guys in the man-bits, you’ve pretty much seen ’em all. The good news is that with Double Impact, you get two scoops of everything: That’s double the slow motion kicks, double the cornball songs on the soundtrack, and double the scenes of Van Damme trying desperately to play two different characters, instead of different versions of the same department store mannequin. What’s that? You want the Van Dammes to fight each other? You got it, dude!
One movie screen can barely contain all this badassery. As you can tell, Double Impact is a surreal, wacky experience. It’s not just bad; it’s howlingly terrible. At the same time, as long as you’re comfortable laughing at this movie, and never with it, I can just about promise you a real nice time. In fact, Double Impact might fail as an action movie, but it scores a direct hit as a comedy.
110 min. R. Amazon Video.