Jean-Claude Van Damme was the last of the Cannon action superstars when he emerged at the end of the ’80s. After round house kicking the popcorn buckets out of the hands of theater goers in Bloodsport, Cyborg and Kickboxer, Van Damme wasn’t going to vanish when Golan and Globus split up. He was going to keep kicking butt in the ’90s as his star rose in the Planet Hollywood universe. He was getting so big on screen, the question came up of who on the planet could be a real challenge to JCVD. The answer was simple: JCVD. Double Impact gave fans the ultimate fight of Van Damme versus Van Damme. Double Impact also gave moviegoers who weren’t serious Van Damme fans a reason to enjoy his films.
How did we get two Van Dammes and why would they fight each other? Well the story begins when the twins were still babies. Their father is having the proudest day of his life when his project the Hong Kong Victoria Harbour tunnel opens. Things are looking bright as they head home after the ceremony with their bodyguard Frank Avery (The Devil’s Rejects‘ Geoffrey Lewis) driving behind them. Except they realize that isn’t Avery’s car nearby. Before Avery can help them, the couple’s car gets attacked by Triad hitmen led by Bolo Yeung (Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport). Avery gets their in time to save the twin babies from Bolo. During their escape, the twins get separated. One ends up at an orphanage run by French nuns. Avery takes the other twin and hides in France to protect the kid from the people who hired the hitmen. The two twin grow up to be different children. Alex is a street tough who works on the fringe of the criminal underworld. Chad is a lot less tough as he works with Avery at a Los Angeles fitness studio. One of his clients is Julie Strain. Avery hasn’t forgotten about Alex and gets news from a PI in Hong Kong about a possible match. He decides it’s time to tell Chad the truth of their past and fly to Hong Kong to reunite with Alex. Don’t worry about packing tissues for when Chad and Alex reunite. Avery seems to only bond the twins with the promise that they need to get revenge for their parents although this turns into revenge for what Bolo and his buddies do to the twins.
Double Impact: Special Collector’s Edition celebrates the twin buttkicking action. Double Impact remains one of my favorite JCVD movies for quite a few reason. The first is that the movie allows Geoffrey Lewis to play a rather heroic and nurturing character. His entire career seemed to be based around making him the creepy goonish guy who was going to beat up Clint Eastwood. Here he is saving the twins instead of being the backstabber who had their parents whacked. He gets a chance to prove that he can do more than be a fierce weasel and delivers. The film has a great reason why two kids of English parents would have French accents even though they were raised differently. Bolo Yeung is a complete badass with guns or his fists. On top of all of the action, the scene where Chad hooks up with Alonna Shaw is a classic in creative ways to sneak in the topless scene. Ultimately the film delivers when Chad and Alex battle.
Double Impact has the flavor of a Cannon film without the production budget vanishing in the final reels. Nothing feels make do on the screen. There are a few times when the twin effect is rather clunky, but this was the early ’90s before CGI smoothed everything over. When JCVD faces off against JCVD, things look real like if the Olsen Twins had thrown down.
If you only see one Jean-Claude Van Damme film, make it Double Impact since you’ll have received twice the USDA recommended levels of JVCD.
The video is 1.85:1. The new transfer will help you keep track if JVCD is Alex or Chad. The audio is LPCM 2.0 Stereo for both English and Spanish. You will clearly hear bones cracking when blows are delivered. The movie is subtitled in English, Spanish and French.
The Making of Double Impact (111 minutes) is a two part documentary about how the film came together with a lot of the cast and crew including both guys who served as body doubles for Alex and Chad. There’s a great tale about how during the production one of the cast became pals with Janet Jackson.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (53:57) are extra servings of JVCD.
Anatomy of a Scene (7:59) has director Sheldon Lettich break down a big action scene where the stars race across boats in a chase.
Behind the Scenes Featurette (6:58) is the vintage promo package with highlights and interviews.
B-Roll Selections (8:03) seems to be elements from the featurette.
Film Clips (4:51) are the big fight moments.
Cast and Crew Interviews (6:21) are from the featurette. You can cut your own featurette with these pieces.
MVD Rewind Collection Promo (0:24) has JCVD promoting the Blu-rays.
Trailers are from other MVD Rewind titles including JCVD’s Black Eagle and Lionheart.
Miniposter and Sleeve with old VHS rental stickers.
MVD Rewind Collection presents Double Impact: Special Collector’s Edition. Directed by: Sheldon Lettich. Screenplay by: Sheldon Lettich & Jean-Claude Van Damme. Starring: Jean-Claude van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alan Scarfe, Corinna Everson, Alonna Shaw and Bolo Yeung. Rated: R. Running Time: 109 minutes. Released: May 28, 2019.
Tags: Double Impact, Jean-Claude Van Damme, MVD Rewind Collection