Double Impact (1991)
Directed by: Sheldon Lettich
Written by: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Peter Krikes, Sheldon Lettich, Steve Meerson
Starring: Alan Scarfe, Alonna Shaw, Bolo Yeung, Corinna Everson, Geoffrey Lewis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Philip Chan
DOUBLE IMPACT (1991)
Directed by Sheldon Lettich
After the death of their parents at the hands of their father’s business partners, 6 month old twins Chad and Alex are separated. Alex is placed into an orphanage in Hong Kong, whilst bodyguard Frank manages to flee China to France with baby Chad. 25 years later, Frank reunites the twin brothers in Hong Kong and informs them of their parents death and the men responsible – Nigel Griffith and Raymond Zhang. Chad and Alex must work together to avenge the death of their parents and rightfully claim what’s theirs.
In Double Impact, martial arts star Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the role of both Chad and Alex but although the characters look the same, JCVD performs the characters with unique personalities. Having grown up with Frank in France before relocating to Los Angeles, Chad is a karate instructor who’s led a relatively comfortable life. He’s soft, kind hearted, funny but can pack a punch if needed. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Chad’s idential twin Alex is a street-wise wheeler and dealer, smuggling German automobiles into the country and selling them to the locals. Where Chad is handy with his fists and feet, Alex is more comfortable with a gun or knife and he too knows how to handle himself in the brawling sense. JCVD goes one step further to differentiate the two characters, with Chad’s fashion sense more 80’s with bouffant hair whilst Alex has slicked back hair, chomps on a cigar and dresses as those he’s in the military – tight black t-shirt and jeans. Jean-Claude convinces as two seperate twins and it’s a joy to see him kick ass on screen once more against Bolo Yeung, who stars as Zhang’s scarred assassin, Moon. Fans of JCVD will recall Bolo and JCVD’s previous outing in Bloodsport, where Bolo starred as the feared Chong Li. Double Impact’s director Sheldon Lettich actually co-wrote Bloodsport, so having worked with them previously most likely led to their collaboration on Double Impact.
Storywise, the plot is rather simple as is the script, with the twin brothers getting to know one another and begrudgingly having to work together to avenge the death of their parents, with the help of Frank (Geoffrey Lewis). Whilst the plot has action and a hint of comedy as well as injecting fun into the proceedings, it’s rather slower-paced then Jean-Claude’s other action movies and doesn’t shine as brightly. However, it is decent enough in its own right, with a fantastic bunch of antagonists played by Alan Scarfe (Nigel Griffin), Philip Chan (Raymond Zhang), Bolo Yeung (Moon) and 6 times Ms. Olympia, Cory Everson.
The action scenes are well choreographed and a chase scene involving Chad and Alex’s girlfriend Danielle (Alonna Shaw) is pretty fun to watch. Incidents here and there build up to a huge climax where we get our JCVD vs Bolo Yeung rematch amongst other fight scenes. I’d have liked there to have been a few more action scenes earlier on in the film, but the end will leave action fans satisfied.
For martial arts lovers and action fans, DOUBLE IMPACT is one to check out, even if it falls short compared to the other movies.