Double Impact
R2 - United Kingdom - Second Sight
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (17th August 2011).
The Film

From the late seventies through to the early nineties, action films became extremely popular. Starring the likes of Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme, these movies were made with one thing in mind. Out and out violence. Studios and filmmakers threw out the importance of a good script and the importance of acting skills, instead opting to concentrate on the actual action/fight scenes, a move welcomed by a young male crowd who knew exactly what they wanted when they went to the cinema and knew what they were going to get if they recognised particular actors on the posters, or in the trailers. Although not as popular as they once were, these actors are still churning out several films a year (even if they are direct to video) and the likes of Wesley Snipes and (bizarrely) Cuba Gooding Jr have joined their ranks. The late eighties and early nineties were the heyday of these guilty pleasures with the likes of Under Siege, Kickboxer, Bloodsport, Nico and Universal Soldier among the best of the bunch. Double Impact came in 1991, and this time, we got two Van Dammes.

In the film, Jean Claude Van Damme plays two main characters, Chad and Alex. They were twins seperated at birth when their parents were brutally murdered by members of a feared Hong Kong criminal gang. The pair are re-united by their family bodyguard (Geoffrey Lewis - The Devil's Rejects) twenty five years later so that they can avenge their parents death. Although Chad and Alex are completely opposite personality wise, they must team up against Kara (Cory Everson - Natural Born Killers) and assassin Moon (Bolo Yeung - Enter the Dragon) to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

The story is your typical revenge one and everything about the movie shouts cheese but, as with most Van Damme movies, there is something wholly enjoyable about the whole experience. Bolo Yeung is excellent as Moon, the assassin, and seemingly it was Van Damme who demanded Yeung play the bad guy after the rapore they had built up together on the set of Bloodsport. This does show and Yeung is the perfect bad guy with a look alone that would turn the toughest of men into stone (let alone his martial arts skills). The dialogue is hilariously hammy with such classics as "I hear all sorts of bullshit everyday, pal. You want some advice? Take your fancy clothes and your black silk underwear and go back to Disneyland" and "Why, because he looks like me? I'm going to change that" but it all adds to to the charm. The action is rather standard for Van Damme with some enjoyable fight scenes that show his skills. At the end of the day, Double Impact didn't set out to win any awards or become a piece of socially relevant, thought provoking cinema. The film is what it is: cheesy fun. If you're a fan of Van Damme, you'll dig it. If you aren't, you won't.

Video

Second Sight have give Double Impact an anamorphic transfer in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. As a catalogue title, the picture quality is perfectly adequate. Whilst it won't set the world alight with it's grain and lack of sharpness over newer movies, it is certainly better than that of VHS.

Audio

As with the video, the audio quality is adequate for a catalogue release. We get just the one option here, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track with some seperation but nothing to write home about. There is no damage as such and no background hiss; dialogue is clear at all times and volume levels consistent. What would have been nice here though is a 5.1 track as found on the Columbia TriStar UK release. Unfortunately, despite the large number of deaf/hard of hearing people in the UK, Second Sight have decided against the inclusion of any subtitles.

Extras

Nothing at all, not even a trailer.

Overall

Get the beers in, invite your mates around, and enjoy it for what it is. Do note that the previous UK release from Columbia Tristar has a 5.1 audio track and some extras though.

The Film: C+ Video: C+ Audio: C+ Extras: F Overall: C

 


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