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DOUBLE IMPACT

title: DOUBLE IMPACT
year: 1991
cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis
rating: ***

If one Jean-Claude Van Damme was never enough, here's the movie for you: a decent action flick beginning with two infants separated during a bloody shootout in Hong Kong… Their father did a favor for a mobster who didn’t need his services any longer. Thanks to Geoffrey Lewis as a bodyguard turned uncle, one of the brothers, who winds up a pretty boy karate instructor to rich, horny women in Los Angeles, is saved. But he’s drawn back to cutthroat Hong Kong where he meets his shady twin, an arms dealer who couldn’t be more different. Together, along with Geoffrey Lewis and of course a beautiful love interest, they take on the mob boss who killed their parents, and even with two Dammes, it won’t be easy. The best scenes involve the milquetoast brother getting tougher through various fights, especially with the iconic ENTER THE DRAGON badass Bolo Yeung (fitfully scarred-up from the opening scene, making him even more intimidating). But the crooked brother, who had so much promise as a rogue maverick in the beginning, becomes but a jealous whiner as his put-upon lady starts preferring Abel to Cain. It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and there’s an abundance of insert/close-ups that lead one to believe the budget wasn’t too high. But the characters are interesting enough to care about and it’s the fights that matter, occurring enough to appease hardcore karate buffs.
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