All aboard! Keep all hands and feet inside the time machine at all times. This week we embark on a journey thru time to pay visit to several films that will leave you questioning your very eyeballs. In a series I’m calling “Double Vision”, we will be covering action films featuring twins. Or actors playing twins anyhow.
The year is 1991. Jerry Springer began conducting paternity tests on midget clansmen. The Terminator got a sequel. Vanilla Ice writes an award winning “Ninja Rap” and Sonic the Hedgehog began running all over the damn place. All this and Jean Claude Van Damme played vengeful brothers in “Double Impact“.
Young Chad, Jean-Claude Van Damme, has grown up the ward of his uncle Frank, Geoffery Lewis, who owns and operates a fitness club in Los Angeles. One part for aerobics and another for karate. Working in the fitness club with his uncle, in both aerobics and karate, has afforded Chad all the benefits of each. Ass whoopin’ kicks and top notch split flexibility.
One day, after receiving some important info from a contact in China, Frank sits Chad down and informs him that Frank isn’t his uncle at all. Frank worked as a bodyguard for Chad’s father when he was just an infant. During this time Chad’s father designed and build a tunnel that connected Hong Kong with the mainland of China. His business partner Nigel Griffith and secret underworld financier Raymond Zhang put out a hit on Chad’s parents. With them out of the way Griffith and Zhang would inherit the tunnel. Why? Don’t ask me.
Frank shows up moments too late and narrowly escapes with Chad as the hitmen fire at him. The head hitman and underling of Zhang is a man named Moon, played by Bolo Yeung. This makes the second time JVCD and Bolo Yeung squared off against one another.
But that’s not all! It turns out that Chad has a twin brother names Alex who was raised in and still lives in Hong Kong. It’s now Frank’s idea to take Chad to Hong Kong, meet Alex, lead the brothers in a war against Griffith and Zhang and take control of their birthright — the tunnel.
Once Frank and Chad reach Hong Kong they meet Alex who is less interested in what Frank has to say. He understand how difficult it will be to take out Zhang with all of his hired guns and crime resources.
While they are getting to know each other and forming a plan, days pass and the film turns into a combination of a “fish out of water” comedy with Chad in Hong Kong eating exotic food and what not, and an “odd couple” drama with Chad trying to win over his long lost brother. This is no easy task. Alex grew up on the streets and has resorted to less than legal business means to get by. He’s one tough cookie.
But forget all that. The brother make their presence known. First they stealthily break into one of Zhang’s cocaine manufacturing facilities and blow it sky high. Lol, it’s always cocaine isn’t it?! Then the brothers make an assassination attempt during a meeting between Griffith and Zhang at one of Zhang’s nightclubs. Alex and Chad, pretending to be the same person, bring several cased of “Cognac” to the party per Zhang’s request. But these aren’t your beverage bottles of the French tonic. They’re bombs!
Griffith and Zhang catch wind of what’s going on and escape the explosions, but not before they learn about the twins. Now knowing who was behind the drug bombing, Zhang’s forces track the twins and devise a plan to lure the brothers in so Zhang’s top enforcers can rub ‘em out. How will they do this? By kidnapping Frank and Alex’s love interest Danielle.
Alex and Chad follow to a docked cargo freighter. As Griffith gets his kicks by torturing Frank, the brothers slowly make their way to the engine room where their loved ones are being held. But before the final boss battle, each brother must defeat Zhang’s enforcers. Chad fights and electrocutes Moon, while Alex takes on Kara, Corinna “Cory” Everson, a She-Hulk muscle woman.
The end of the film parallels the fights with the enforcers, as the twins each separately hunt down the conspirators. Alex beats Zhang before dropping him to his death from the top of a crane. Chad manages to misdirect Griffith long enough to get the drop on him, and by that I mean Chad drops a cargo container onto him. The End.
Here is the part where I say whether or not “Double Impact” is a good movie or not. Well this won’t take long. It isn’t bad, but I can’t say that it’s good either. It’s a competently made film with decent special effects, fights and acting. However it isn’t the most original action movie I’ve ever seen. The same could be said about most late 80s and early 90s action movies, but bare with me.
“Double Impact” is about twin sons who grow up and avenge their parents death. Whether it’s avenging a murdered father, or mother, or brother or wife, that concept is in plenty of action movies. The question becomes “How does Double Impact take that idea and expand upon it?”. Well… there are twins…
Yeah that doesn’t do a lot for me either. More than anything it’s down right strange watching two JCVDs walk around talking about wearing silk underwear. The film even has to stretch to explain why both brothers happen to have the same accent even though they grew up on opposite ends of the world. Alex was dropped off at a Chinese monastery run by French nuns, while Frank had sent Chad to a reform school in France. I guess if you are born in Belgium that means you’re French to the rest of the world. It amazes me how often films feel the need to explain why JVCD has an accent. Action movie fans don’t really care, and if JVCD disserves an explanation than why not Arnold? Why not Stallone?
There is one last thing I want to point out. The tunnel is the birthright of Alex and Chad. What a strange thing to fight over. I mean, I guess you could put up a toll and make yourself some money. But honestly, who gives a shit about a tunnel?
When all is said and done “Double Impact” isn’t bad, but it’s also rather forgettable. I would only recommend it to die-hard fans of Van Damme. Otherwise you can pass this one over.
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes our ride on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Things are only going to get better… or strange from here, so until next time, Semper Fi!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
Growing up in the 90’s there’re a few movies a boy must watch before he becomes a man…
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Well maybe not Timecop or Demolition Man, but damn if Timecop doesn’t grow some hair on your chest then maybe you should rethink your life. Now I’m not going write all about the issues this film contains, mostly its the plot holes this film fosters. If your not one to pickup on plot holes while watching movies, this film is a bit different. They pop out like a sore thumb and you will not be able to shake them off your mind. One without spoiling anything is brought up in the beginning. A character states time travel isn’t possible in the future. The reason is because it hasn’t happened yet. Okay, that’s fine I accept that. But then in the film Van Damme goes into the future. Before I go into a rage and reason why this could and could not happen, the simple fact is they state he can’t, then they shouldn’t have written that into the film if they’re going to go against what they said. Another is the vehicle they use to time travel disappears, but in a very odd fashion they come back in one. So how is that possible?
Man! I said I wouldn’t talk about those damn issues yet I did. How does that lying feel to you Timecop? How does it sit with you?
Okay this isn’t a rant, but a review so I’ll stop myself from making that jump.
What this film is but pure fun and enjoyment. It’s a Jean-Claude Van Damme film, with
JVCD high kicks!
And JVCD Mullet!
This is the kind of film you watch with your buddies laughing and poking fun at. Timecop has a interesting story that might seem generic but at the same time it’s somewhat special. Time travel mixed with an evil politician who uses the program for his own gain. Ron Silver plays the politician McComb, he is the highlight of this film. Definitely my favorite part of the cast. Mia Sara plays Melissa. JVCD character’s wife. I’ve always liked Mia Sara and she looks really beautiful here but something about her voice kills me. It’s soft and seems to carry no emotion. This is the only film she seems to do this in and it ticks me off, a shit ton. Since we’re on the topic of what ticks me off, lets look at the biggest problem with this film. For me I’ve always thought it had possibilities that never came. For me it would of been fun to have more of the past then the present.
Particularly in the beginning with the Civil War scene. I find this to be the stronger part of what could of been. I wish the film took place during this time period, but instead we only got a small taste of it. (Watch the TV spin off series if you as well wanted that) What we got was a race to stop the politician and the generic subplot of the dead wife. Even with that, all is good.
The film is still enjoyable. I mean how can it not? Jean-Claude Van Damme and time travel. Come on!
If you enjoy Van Damme films then you will enjoy Timecop!