1991 “DOUBLE IMPACT”

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1991 “DOUBLE IMPACT”

“Double Impact” is a martial arts/action movie directed by Sheldon Lettich, written by Sheldon Lettich and Jean-Claude Van Damme, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis (who has also starred in eight action movies with Clint Eastwood), Alonna Shaw, Alan Scarfe, Philip Chan, Bolo Yeung, Andy Armstrong, Wu Fong Lung and Corrina Everson and is based on Alexandre Dumas’ novel “The Corscian Brothers”.

As review by Wikipedia, the story begins with the opening of the Hong Kong Victoria Harbour tunnel by business partners Paul Wagner (Armstromng) and Nigel Griffith (Scarfe). Paul attends with his twin infant sons, Chad and Alex. However, after the celebrations, the family is followed home by a Triad hit squad on orders from Griffith and crime lord Raymond Zhang (Chan). A shootout ensues, in which Paul and his wife are killed by Moon (Yeung), Griffith’s henchman. Chad is rescued by the family bodyguard, Frank Avery (Lewis), and raised abroad in France. Alex is dropped off on the doorstep of a Hong Kong orphanage (Lung).

In the present day, Chad (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Frank are running a successful martial arts business in Los Angeles when Frank reveals a new “business” for the two of them in Hong Kong. Soon after arrival, they find Chad’s long-lost twin brother Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Frank explains their shared past. It is revealed that Alex is immersed in the Hong Kong crime world ruled by Zhang, and has a girlfriend who works for Griffith’s company, Danielle Wilde (Shaw). After escaping the Hong Kong Marine Police for trying to sell foreign cars with electronics inside, Chad (mistaken for Alex) is taken in by the Triads to discuss the incident. During the interrogation, Chad learns about a drug lab in Causeway Bay.

Alex and Chad arrange to destroy the lab by planting C4 in the complex one night, but Chad’s clumsiness triggers a massive gunfight. The lab is destroyed, but Alex loses any respect for Chad. Later, Danielle and Alex talk on a ferry and discuss a meeting that will take place soon in a night club in Hong Kong, with Zhang and other bosses in attendance. Alex, Chad and Frank endure their third mission to take down Zhang using Cognac boxes with C4 encased in them.

Zhang discovers that both Chad and Alex are not only twins, but the twins from 25 years ago. Danielle locates the document that she had been sent to recover, but is stopped by Kara (Everson), Griffith’s assassin. Chad heads to the Hideout in a bar where Alex has a base, Chad has to rescue Danielle after fleeing from the triads. Due to incomplete phone call, Alex suspects Chad having affair with his girlfriend and gets drunk with anger and hatred. They have a fight when Chad brings Danielle on the island.

After a massive hangover, Alex looks at the building as it is being raided by armed soldiers working for Griffith and Zhang, after locating Frank and Danielle they`re taken hostage on the Golden Glory ship’s furnace room where they are tortured. Alex and Chad have joined forces and they infiltrate the ship and begin killing off soldiers. Despite ongoing tension between the twins, Chad and Alex eventually team up to start dismantling Zhang’s criminal empire. Towards the end of the movie, Zhang and Griffith kidnap Frank and Danielle to lure the twins into a trap. However, Chad and Alex fight their way through most of the henchmen sent to kill them and finally pursue and kill Zhang and Griffith. Chad and Alex decide to put aside their differences and become brothers once more.

The direction, writing, production, editing and acting are above average. The fight choreography is very good and believable, with only one exception, towards the end, in a confrontation between Chad and Moon. This is the second time that Van Damme and Yeung have starred together in an martial arts/action movie, since 1988 “Bloodsport 1”. Because of the techniques and disciplines used by both actors, who are accomplished martial artists in their own right in private life, it would be very interesting to see an actual match-up between Van Damme and Yeung. The movie is available on DVD from a various sources and runs 110 minutes. The other movie Van Damme plays as two brothers is 1996 “Maximum Risk”.

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