Double Team

Double Team


Director: Tsui Hark

Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Dennis Rodman

Jack Quinn (Van Damme) is one of the top spies/assassins in the world, but the wants to get out of "the life" to protect his wife and unborn baby. To do so, he must complete one last assignment -- kill the international terrorist Stavros (Rourke). Quinn fails and ends up in "The Colony," a prison for washed-up spies that also doubles as a thinktank for stopping terrorists (huh?). Anyway, Quinn finds out that Stavros wants to kill his family, so -- of course -- he makes a daring escape and hooks up with an eccentric arms dealer (Rodman) to take out Stavros.

I try to watch movies at least twice before reviewing them, but getting through Double Team was a chore; my finger was itching to press the fast-forward button for most of the movie. Even though it looks nice, Double Team is just a boring movie from start to finish. The whole futuristic prison subplot is overused and stupid, and the way Van Damme gets out of there is laughable (let's just say it makes the gadgets MacGuyver makes look like something out of James Bond by comparison). There are a couple of good action sequences (including one similar to the "save the newborn baby" in Hard-Boiled and a fight scene choreographed by Sammo Hung), but the finale (which involves a crappy-looking CGI tiger) is just plain horrible. All of the leads -- especially Rodman in his "acting" (if you can call it that) debut -- stink and they all look like they were just doing the film for the money (which is probably true). Why Tsui decided on this movie for his Hollywood debut is beyond me (though, in Tsui's defense, I heard that the studio did do a lot of last-minute editing without his approval) and why he worked with Van Damme again on Knock-Off is beyond belief.

This movie was so bad that it was actually not released to theatres and put out straight to video in many overseas countries, where normally, US action pictures (even the bad ones like Judge Dredd) do good at the box office -- which should tell you something. Avoid this one like the plague.


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