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Double Team
  Year: 1998 "I think this wig improves my chances with the ladies."
Dennis Rodman and Jean-Claude Van Damme
  Director: Tsui Hark  
  Action: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Xiong Xin-Xin  
  Cine: Peter Pau Tak-Hei  
  Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke, Paul Freeman, Xiong Xin-Xin  
The Skinny: So awful that it qualifies as some sort of a camp classic. Tsui Hark's first American film was surprisingly not his last. Jean-Claude Van Damme continues his attempt to destroy the careers of previously good directors.
by Kozo:
     Yikes! Following in the footsteps of John Woo and Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark makes a move to Hollywood. Sadly, he does it exactly the same way those two guys did: working with Jean-Claude Van Damme. The latest Muscles from Brussels epic features Van Damage as Jack Quinn, a counter-terrorist agent on the trail of evil bastard Stavros (Mickey Rourke). To take on this truly heinous arch-villain, Jack joins forces with flamboyant arms dealer Yaz (Dennis Rodman). Through keen teamwork and bad acting, our two heroes save the world and exchange largely crappy buddy banter.
     A swift kick to the head might be more enjoyable than this extravagantly silly exercise in inconsequence. Tsui Hark loads the film with silly visuals and a healthy dose of manic energy. The result: mind-numblingly weird. Double Team gets credit for a couple of cool concepts, but the overall script is just terrible. Van Damme possesses the acting ability of gnarled driftwood, but his performance is raised to Olivier-like levels thanks to the presence of Dennis Rodman, who should be snaring more rebounds instead of attempting to branch out. This film is illogical, nonsensical, and incredibly cloying at times. Only the action proves somewhat digestible, though it's sometimes too ridiculous to be involving.
     Things of note: Tsui Hark's usual action director Xiong Xin-Xin has a nifty cameo as a guy who takes on Van Damme, and Mickey Rourke surprises with his bizarre buff physique. Rourke is amazingly in shape for his villain role, but the muscles look weird on him; he almost looks like a super-deformed Japanimation character. At the very least, the action will satisfy Van Damme's fanbase, though it's doubtful that this film will earn him any newer fans. Tsui Hark probably won't gain any new fans either. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Tsui lost some fans thanks to Double Team. (Kozo 1997)
Availability: DVD (USA)
Region 1 NTSC
Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
English Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1

image courtesy of Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen