There were a lot of twin movies being made around the time that Double Impact came out. We had Big Business, Twins, and Dead Ringers just to name a few. Double Impact is slightly better than those movies, although that still doesn’t mean that it’s really all that good.
The plot: After the murder of their parents, a set of twins are separated to keep them safe from a horde of scummy bad guys. 25 years later, one twin is a slick LA aerobics instructor and the other is a greasy, cigar-chomping smuggler. Together with their bad ass uncle (Geoffrey Lewis), they team up to avenge their parent’s death.
While no one in their right mind would call Double Impact Jean Claude Van Damme’s best movie, it’s nevertheless a seminal film in his career because it marked the first time that JCVD played twins. After Double Impact, Van Damme went on to play twins and/or dual versions of himself in Maximum Risk, Replicant, and The Order. Double Impact represents the best of the dual Van Damme formula although admittedly, that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot.
The murder of JCVD’s parents is pretty strong stuff as both baby JCVD’s are heard wailing in the background while their mother’s head is getting blown off. Unfortunately, nothing else in the movie matches the violent intensity that this scene delivers. Sure, one guy gets electrocuted, another gets his hand crunched in a combine and the main villain gets squashed, but it’s nowhere near what you’d expect from a 90’s Van Damme flick. The action sequences aren’t choreographed all that well and lack the punch (and kick) of some of Van Damme’s best work. The fight scene where both Van Dammes kickbox the shit out of each other starts out alright, but it’s ultimately undone by some shoddy low-grade editing and obvious stunt doubles.
The flick is also way too top heavy with plot and goes on for far too long than it really needed to. (Did the world really need a 110 minute long Van Damme movie?) The best part of the movie though is when the villain’s musclebound lesbian bodyguard “frisks” Van Damme’s big-titted girlfriend.
Van Damme is OK at playing twins I guess. Neither one of his performances are really any good, but I guess you can’t really complain when you’re getting two Van Dammes for the price of one. Bolo Yeung was great as the villain in Enter the Dragon and he does a good job here playing yet another bad guy and Geoffrey Lewis has some fine moments as the duo’s crusty uncle. I also got a chub from seeing Julie Strain as an aerobics student.
Van Damme returned the next year with Universal Soldier.