Directed by: Sheldon Lettich
So check this out. One day I get a package in the mail. I don't recall ordering anything recently so I'm a bit stumped. I get home and open it up and it's a Blu ray of Double Impact. My good bud over in Germany Ingo informs me that he ordered it for me and had it sent as a gift, just because. Because you know what? I love me some old school Van Damme any day of the week, and surprisingly, this was a film I hadn't seen since it's initial release. I can't be too sure why, but I think it's just because initially, maybe it didn't really leave an impression on me. Whatever the reason, as much as I like to revisit Van Damme's "Golden Age" of films (late 80's to early 90's), I never went back to check this one out. So this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
Double Impact, to put it quite frankly, is an action fans dream. It's like Van Damme, at the height of his fame, took everything we love about action films of the 80's and going into the 90's and jammed them into one single film, no matter how silly, cliche or ridiculous some of them are. Mix them all together and you have Double Impact, one helluva badass action film. Dated, enjoyable, fast paced and awesome. Plain and simple.
What Van Damme and frequent collaborator Sheldon Lettich have done is crafted an action film for action fans. Here's the thing. Van Damme knew what he and his audience wanted and delivers it ten-fold. Remember, this was at a point in his career when he had a little more leverage as far as films go. With that being said, he is credited as co-screenwriter as well as having come up with the story. Same thing with his film of the previous year, Lionheart. This was back in the beginning of his theatrical career when he and Seagal were going head to head for this particular target audience - Seagal had released the crime thriller Out for Justice this same year and was himself on a winning streak.
As cliche'd as this film is, it's a helluva lot of fun. Take for example the typical female hottie, because you know there just always has to be one. So she's in this film for a good long while and you think to yourself "Wow, no nudity? That's new". Until Van Damme has a "dream" in which this girl has sex with his twin brother. So yea, silly but predictable stuff. I have to give props to Van Damme and his frequent collaborator Sheldon Lettich though. Being as this was 1990 while it was being filmed, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been having to film with Van Damme playing duel roles, often in the same frame, but they manage to pull it off rather nicely. Yes, CGI was in it's infancy, but they pull the green screen effects off well as well as doing lots of "over the shoulder" stuff using a double.
As with Seagal, Van Damme's career has gone through many phases, with the early 90's being his absolute best output with classics like Lionheart, Death Warrant, Universal Soldier, Nowhere to Run, Hard Target, Timecop and Sudden Death if you ask me. Then some personal demons and Streetfighter: The Movie happened and it's always felt like he's been struggling to recover ever since. And while most consider Hard Target his best film, I find myself loving all of these particular entries equally for different reasons. I mean, they're all great for various reasons. For example, Double Impact is just a fun 90's action blast, while Sudden Death is Van Damme's Die Hard. Even a few of his efforts after this particular period are good, but not up to par with these.
Anyway, I'm done yappin'. For anyone looking for a good ol' piece of 90's action Badass Cinema, Double Impact is definitely one to track down. Thanks again to Ingo over at Hellford667 Move Reviews for the hook-up!!