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‘Double Impact’

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
August 09, 1991


Sheldon Lettich
Jean-Claude Van Damme;
Geoffrey Lewis;
Alan Scarfe
Under 17 restricted

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What's worse than a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? Two Jean-Claude movies. What's worse than that? One movie with two Jean-Claudes in it.

In "Double Impact" the Belgian martial-artist plays twins Alex and Chad, separated at an early age after a family tragedy. But when their businessman father and his wife are gunned down in Hong Kong, the tragedy isn't that the parents died. It's that the tots survived.

Maybe you haven't heard of the Claudester, roundhouse-kicking star of "Bloodsport," "Kickboxer" and other actioners. We're talking a short, power-built Belgian, whose Flemish-accented acting is one reason not to have a free-market economy. His thespian moves start when the grown-up twins (brought together by family employee Geoffrey Lewis) team up to avenge their parents' murder. Chad's an effete, Californian karate instructor. Alex is a tough, cigar-chomping smuggler raised in Hong Kong. It's time for bustin' heads.

Or is it? There's one thing worse than a movie with two Jean-Claudes: A movie with two Jean-Claudes and bad fighting. The filmmakers save the fighting for the end. Then, despite split-screen techniques, fancy body doubling, and the best bad Asian around (Bolo Yeung), the action is nonexistent. They should have called this "Negative Impact."

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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