Double Team

By Adam Lippe

10840995_profile_mbox_backgroundIncoherent for 80 minutes. And then there’s the ending.

Producer Moshe Diamant is responsible for bringing three great directors from Hong Kong to the US and giving them increasingly shitty Van Damme vehicles to make. John Woo made Hard Target. Ringo Lam made Maximum Risk. Tsui Hark (who is a better producer than director) made Double Team.

Much like one of Hark’s follow-ups, Time and Tide, it is nearly impossible to tell what’s going on in Double Team (though figuring out who is who is much easier with Dennis Rodman’s hair and the ridiculously over-steroided Mickey Rourke as the villain). The editing is fractured. The action scenes are utterly confusing and the dialogue is, even for a Van Damme film, awful. The plot makes no sense and 50% of the story goes nowhere. But then there’s the ending.

Van Damme. A baby carriage. The Rome Colliseum. Dennis Rodman. Land mines. A tiger. Mickey Rourke. A coke machine.

Van Damme and Rodman (a weapons expert) face off against the bulging face of Mickey Rourke in the Rome Colliseum. Rourke somehow has Van Damme’s baby in a wooden basket. Rourke has also set up land mines everywhere. When did he have time to do this, when the Colliseum is no doubt guarded at all times, considering it is a treasured landmark? Don’t ask questions… Van Damme couldn’t pronounce his own name if you asked him, he certainly couldn’t add logic to a movie. Rourke chases Van Damme and Rodman about, and Rodman accidentally steps on a land mine. Rourke sets the tiger free, and the tiger goes after Van Damme. Rodman finds a way, as all multi-hair colored weapons experts do, of dismantling the land mine. Van Damme outruns tiger. Tiger begins to go after Rourke. Rourke runs. Van Damme picks up baby. Rourke accidentally steps on land mine. Tiger approaches. Rourke looks scared. Rather than be mauled by the tiger, Rourke steps off the land mine. Special effects fire created. Van Damme and Rodman run, baby carriage in tow. Special effects fire approaches. Van Damme, baby, Rodman run down the hallways of the Colliseum. Special effects fire follows, “hot” on their trail. More running. More special effects fire. Van Damme, baby, Rodman spot Coke machine in hallway of Rome Colliseum. They hide behind it. Special effects fire goes all around them and explosion launches them outside the Colliseum amidst the rubble, and they have not a burn mark on them. Baby is a-ok. Coke machine is hero. Who is driving car? Oh no!!! Bear is driving!!!

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.