Coming from 88 Films to UK Blu-ray for the first time, international superstar, Jean-Claude Van Damme is joined by Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke in DOUBLE TEAM!
This movie features some of the most insane action of JCVD’s career, being directed by Hong Kong movie-making legend Tsui Hark, and it’s OUT NOW limited to just 3000 numbered special editions. Order your copy on dazzling Blu-ray, from 88 Films and Amazon!
Action movie superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme is “Jack Paul Quinn”, a counter-terrorism expert. Alongside movie martial artists Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme ranks as having inspired tens of thousands of fans around the world to take an interest in martial arts training and films.
Coming to the attention of martial arts movie fans in films such as “No Retreat No Surrender” and “Black Eagle”, his breakout role in “Bloodsport” led to him becoming one of the biggest action stars of the early 1990’s. As a headline star, his theatrical box office success peaked with 1994’s “Timecop”. Well-publicised personal problems combined with the lacklustre critical or financial performances of movies such as “Streetfighter: The Movie”, “Replicant” and “Knock Off”, saw much of his subsequent work go “straight-to-video”.
By the new millennium, Van Damme appeared to have more control over his demons, remarried his third wife Gladys Portugues, and was even starting to garner critical praise as a dramatic actor for his performance in the film “JCVD”. He continues to be a hugely influential figure in the worlds of martial arts and movies, and has even revisited his previous hits in the “Kickboxer” reboots and “Universal Soldier” sequels.
Co-starring is American former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman, as eccentric arms dealer “Yaz”. Following a successful, colourful and often controversial basketball career, Rodman became a professional wrestler for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and also pursued a career in films. As well as appearing in this movie with Van Damme, he played the lead in the action comedy “Simon Sez”.
American actor, screenwriter, activist and former boxer, Mickey Rourke stars as the ruthless international freelance terrorist “Stavros”. Once touted as one of the most talented and exciting young actors of his generation, a tumultuous personal life has paralleled his career.
Roles in films such as “9½ Weeks”, “Rumble Fish”, “Year of the Dragon”, “Barfly” and “Angel Heart” brought Rourke worthy acclaim. A brief hiatus from acting saw him return to his first love, boxing. Upon resurrecting his acting career, Rourke has featured with mixed results in various dramas, thrillers and action movies. Some of his more memorable appearances include “Get Carter”, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, “Man on Fire”, “Sin City”, “The Wrestler”, “Killshot”, “Iron Man 2” and “The Expendables”.
French actress Natacha Lindinger appears as Jack’s wife “Kathryn Quinn”. From 1990 to present, she has appeared in dozens of mostly French-made films and television shows.
Acclaimed British actor Paul Freeman guest stars as “Alex Goldsmythe”, a custodian of the mysterious Colony. Freeman achieved international fame and acclaim as Belloq in the box office blockbuster “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. He has since balanced a career on stage, in film and television in both small and large-scale productions. Younger martial arts fan may recognise him as the villain, Ivan Ooze from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie”.
Having retrieved a truck-load of stolen plutonium, anti-terrorist operative, Jack Paul Quinn retires to spend his days poolside at his house in Nice, France with his pregnant wife Kathryn Rose Quinn. International terrorist Stavros, an old enemy of Quinn’s, resurfaces and the CIA wants Quinn to come out of retirement to track him down. Reluctantly accepting the assignment Quinn travels to Antwerp in Belgium, teaming up with flamboyant arms dealer Yaz.
Quinn’s ambush for Stavros at a local amusement park goes badly wrong. With the world believing Quinn is dead, he finds himself in “The Colony,” a mysterious high-security island prison. When he discovers Stavros is targeting his wife, Quinn hatches an elaborate plan to escape from the Colony so he can protect her.
Pure, High-Octane Insanity & Incredible Stunts
The action, and plot for that matter, is pure, high-octane, insanity! The opening credits play over a blockbuster of a chase with Jean-Claude Van Damme in an armoured articulated truck being pursued by what seems to be the entire army of a small nation. There are spectacular explosions and some incredible vehicular stunts.
Guns and grenades are the main course on the menu when the chaos commences in an Antwerp fairground. Quinn gets to throw in a couple of leaps and kicks, mostly performed by Van Damme’s stunt double. The genuine article gets to display his more familiar kickboxing style when he catches up with Mickey Rourke’s Stavros in a maternity ward.
The Muscles from Brussels’ Innovative Home Workout
Imprisoned in the Colony, the man from Brussels flexes his muscles in an innovative home workout using a door frame, bed sheets, a bucket of gravel and his bathtub. I wonder how many fans have tried to emulate it?! He is just as clever in fashioning his escape plan culminating in an aerial stunt sequence that could be straight out of a Bond film.
HK-Style Fight Action Vs. JCVD’s Kickboxing
Elements of the Robert Rodriguez movie “El Mariachi” and a little wire-fu seep in when Quinn encounters a pair of assassins in a hotel. Hong Kong action performer Xin Xin Xiong, who fans will recognise as ‘Club Foot’ from the “Once Upon a Time in China” films, brings that unique Asian screen-fighting style to the fore against Van Damme’s familiar kickboxing. It’s choreographed and shot with all the energy you would expect from a director like Tsui Hark.
NBA Star Dennis Rodman Moves & Kicks Well
Dennis Rodman gets a little more involved in the action as the film builds towards its climax. Considering his size, he moves and kicks really well.
Fight Finale: Berserker-Mode Activated & Mickey Rourke in Fine Form
The finale itself achieves the almost impossible by raising the already high level of lunacy. If you ever wanted to see Van Damme fighting a tiger in a gladiatorial bullring filled with explosive mines, this is the film for you!
Mickey Rourke is in fantastic shape making for a formidable opponent, and acquits himself well in the hand-to-hand combat. Van Damme is doubled by an obviously shorter stuntman who fires off a few jumping triple kicks for him, but fans also get to see plenty of the star himself.
“Double Team” certainly serves up plenty of bang for your buck. I lost count of how many times Van Damme dove away from an explosion in slow motion!
Tsui Hark often has many flamboyant flourishes in his films, and with this Hollywood debut, he lets rip with everything that he has at his disposal. The results are mixed, but if one action scene doesn’t satisfy you, don’t worry another one will be along shortly. It’s a real buffet of ballistic fights, shootouts and stunts.
The “Double Team” tag suggests a buddy-cop type of movie, pairing Dennis Rodman with Van Damme. It’s a bit misleading, as this really is a JCVD film with Rodman not properly joining the fun until the last third of the film. The former basketball player is surprisingly entertaining as Yaz, effectively playing a cartoon arms-dealer version of himself, and he handles the fight scenes admirably.
British actor Paul Freeman brings a touch of class to proceedings as a custodian of “The Colony”, evoking memories of the classic sixties television series “The Prisoner”.
It’s a shame this film often gets a short shrift (it won four Razzies!). If it had been a Hong Kong movie starring Chow Yun Fat, I have no doubt it would have been much better received. As it is, this is a fun action movie featuring some of the most exciting and explosive stunts to feature in a Van Damme picture.
- “Who does your hair? Siegfried or Roy?” – Quinn
- “I dunno man. When I get you I see nothing but trouble. What the hell! I kinda like trouble!” – Yaz
- “You’re crazier than my hair stylist!” – Yaz
- Sammo Hung, Remy Julienne and Xin Xin Xiong all contributed to the action scenes.
- Mickey Rourke underwent a serious martial arts regime to obtain the physical appearance shown in the film, and to prepare for his fight scenes with Jean-Claude Van Damme.
- This was Tsui Hark’s English-language directorial debut.
- The film’s conclusion is set in Rome’s Colosseum, the setting for the famous end fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris in 1973’s “Way of the Dragon”.
- Whilst the film implies that the climactic fight between Quinn and Stavros takes place in Rome’s Colosseum, the scenes were actually filmed in and around the Arles Amphitheatre in Southern France, which also featured in 1998’s “Ronin”, starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno.
Film Rating: 7/10
Order your Blu-ray copy of this insane, high-octane, JCVD action thriller, DOUBLE-TEAM from 88 Films and Amazon!
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