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Sheldon Lettich
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw
Writing Credits:
Sheldon Lettich, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Twin brothers are separated when their parents are murdered but 25 years later they re-unite in order to avenge their parents' death.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English PCM 2.0
Spanish Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 5/28/2019

• “The Making of Double Impact” Documentary
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “Anatomy of a Scene” Featurette
• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• B-Roll Selections
• Film Clips
• Cast and Crew Interview Clips
• Trailers


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Double Impact [Blu-Ray] (1991)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 13, 2019)

With 1991’s Double Impact, Jean-Claude Van Damme goes all Parent Trap on us. As infants, Chad and Alex Wagner ended up orphaned after gangsters murdered their parents.

The boys got separated, with Chad in Paris and Alex in Hong Kong. Chad (Van Damme) winds up as a fitness instructor in Los Angeles, where he learns of his twin brother’s (Van Damme) existence.

Chad thinks he knows who killed their parents. He joins forces with Alex and pursues revenge, a task made more difficult by the ways the brothers struggle to connect on a personal basis.

If “two Van Dammes” doesn’t exist as the ultimate “high concept” story, what does? As gimmicky as the notion may be, it comes with the potential for fun – cheesy fun, maybe, but fun nonetheless.

Or at least that was the case 28 years ago. Let’s face it: the meathead muscle-bound action hero movies of the late 80s/early 90s haven’t aged well, and that factor makes it tough for Impact to become anything other than dated nonsense.

A look at Van Damme’s box office receipts surprises, as his reputation as a movie star doesn’t match with the lackluster ticket sales – at least in the US. During his “prime”, Van Damme’s biggest hit was 1994’s Time Cop, and even it only pulled in a mediocre $44 million in the States.

I suspect Van Damme’s movies did better overseas, and they likely came with fairly small budgets. Those factors probably allowed for them to make money, albeit on a modest level.

I can’t claim Van Damme’s films deserved a better fate, as they really do exist as dated cheese. Impact offers a concept more than a real film, and it never manages to do much with the material.

As I mentioned earlier, the “double Van Dammes” idea comes with some potential, but in the hands of co-writer/director Sheldon Lettich, the film gets no room to fly. Impact pursues only the most basic of plots, and it fails to bother to explore its characters in a satisfying manner.

Ala Patty Duke Show, Impact sets up its dueling Van Dammes as broad stereotypes and never manages to expand them. Of course, they’re opposites at the start, and eventually they come to bond – yawn.

It wouldn’t have taken much work to give them a bit more personality, especially since Impact comes with a not-insubstantial 110-minute running time. That should allow for some character development and narrative expansion, but the filmmakers show no interest in those traits.

Instead, they simply pursue the most basic plot points interspersed with mediocre action. While I find Van Damme to be a pretty lousy actor, I can’t deny his physical talents, and those can impress.

But not here, as Impact largely neuters Van Damme’s strengths. The movie’s narrative occasionally allows Van Damme to show off his martial arts skills, but these fade to the background too often and leave the movie as slow and dull.

I get the feeling those involved with Double Impact felt its concept would be enough to carry the day. It’s not, and even with two Van Dammes, the movie becomes a boring ride.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C/ Bonus B

Double Impact appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though it showed its age, the image usually satisfied.

Overall sharpness worked fairly well. Occasional soft shots materialized, some of which stemmed from the photographic effects needed to integrate Van Damme times two. Even with those, though, the movie remained reasonably well-defined.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or signs of digital noise reduction. As for print flaws, a few small specks popped up but nothing substantial.

Colors went with a fairly natural feel. They never became impressive or memorable, but the disc reproduced them with acceptable fidelity.

Blacks felt largely dark and dense, while shadows showed pretty appealing clarity. A product of its time, this turned into a watchable presentation.

Even for its era, the film’s PCM 2.0 soundtrack seemed lackluster, partly due to a restricted soundfield. The movie managed decent stereo music as well as acceptable spread to effects, but neither added a lot of involvement to the proceedings.

Audio quality also showed its age. Speech felt fairly natural, at least, with lines that could range a little edgy but that usually came across as concise.

Music lacked great range, and effects also failed to deliver much kick. Both of those seemed clean enough, as only a little distortion impacted the elements, but they never came across with notable range or power. This felt like a pretty mediocre mix.

The package comes with a mix of extras, and these start with a two-part documentary called The Making of Double Impact. Together, the two segments fill a total of one hour, 11 minutes, 32 seconds with comments from writer/director Sheldon Lettich, producer Ashok Amritraj, fight coordinator/actor Pjeter Malota, photo double Jeff Rector and Jerry Rector, writer/actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, and actor Cory Everson.

The programs discuss story/characters, the project’s roots and development, sets, locations and shooting in Hong Kong, effects used to create two Van Dammes, cast and performances, stunts and action, editing, and release.

With almost two hours at its disposal, “Making” manages to get into the film’s creation pretty well. While aspects of the program feel a bit on the fluffy side, we still find plenty of good notes and anecdotes.

23 Deleted/Extended Scenes fill a total of 53 minutes, 57 seconds. That’s a whole lot of cut footage – does any of it qualify as “lost gold”?

Not really. The scenes add a little exposition and some minor character notes along with a fair amount of extra action.

Though the latter sound appealing, they tend to feel padded and they slow down the movie’s already problematic pacing. Fans will enjoy this cornucopia of deleted footage but I can’t claim any of the sequences feel impressive.

With the seven-minute, 59-second Anatomy of a Scene, we hear from Lettich as he takes us through one of the film’s action sequences. Basically this becomes a mini-commentary, and Lettich adds a few useful notes.

Next comes Behind the Scenes, a six-minute, 58-second piece from 1991. Created to promote the film, it involves Van Damme and executive producers Charles Layton and Moshe Diamant. It’s fairly superficial, but it includes some good shots from the set.

Under B Roll Selections, we find an eight-minute, three-second compilation of behind the scenes footage. It provides a nice glimpse of the production.

After this we get Film Clips, a four-minute, 51-second compilation of… film clips. Cropped to 1.33:1, I guess these got used to promote the movie on TV, but they’re pretty useless in this context.

Three participants show up under Cast and Crew Interview Clips: Van Damme (3:38), Layton (2:12) and Diamant (0:30). From the same sessions used for “Behind the Scenes”, we get a few basics about the production. Don’t expect any real substance, though, and if you watched “Behind the Scenes”, you already heard most of these remarks.

We also find one trailer for Impact as well as promos for Lionheart, Black Eagle, Double Dragon, Nemesis, Showdown, Angel Town and Walking Tall.

Twice the Van Damme, twice the fun? Alas, no, as Double Impact never manages to exploit its nutty concept to become the fun action flick it wants to be. The Blu-ray brings adequate picture and audio as well as a pretty good collection of supplements. Impact never lands a punch.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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