It's a shame really. They bring over these great action directors from China, give them the worst scripts imaginable, and tell them to make it work. "Double Team" had to have been a bet of some sort. It's so awful. So cliche. So off the wall ridiculous. So illogical. So downright stupid. So...much damn fun! There's no way in hell I would give this higher than a star and a half, but had you been here watching it with me, you would have seen a man with a shit-eating grin plastered across his face rolling on the floor with laughter. It's so bad, but its worth every second of viewing.
Jack (Van Damme), is the world's greatest spy. When he is pulled out of retirement to finally recapture his arch nemesis Stavros (Rourke) he finds himself possibly set up (in all honesty I'm not sure if it was a set up or not even though I watched the fucking thing and generally who cares) he is pulled out for 'being too soft'. Now Stavros has taken his pregnant wife hostage and is drawing him out, so Jack recruits the help of a gun dealer Yaz (Rodman) to put an end to it all.
Firstly, the film very much plays on the idea of a 'buddy cop' formula between Rodman and Van Damme. Turns out Rodman really doesn't show up til half way through and then the rest of the film you wish he never showed up at all. Their chemistry is lackluster and the jokes they do play with them are either about Rodman's ridiculous looks (his hair changes color almost every new scene) or its an underlying basketball joke. Whoopee. I like me so Van Damme, but they did not click.
On the bright side, Tsui Hark, in his American debut, does everything he can to make this movie action packed. Even the dialogue has rotating and whooshing cameras. This is actually a life saver on the film, because the story is so stupid, that the writers had to have been drunk, high, and held at gun point to finish the script in 30 minutes for it to have sounded good on paper. For the first half hour or so I was just dumbfounded by its atrocious lack of continuity or logic that I wanted to cry. Then I realized that it had to have been made this way on purpose. By the time I got to the Van Damme throw down with the tiger in the coliseum around buried land mines with a randomly shirtless Rourke heckling and Rodman whipping around on a motorcycle doing wheelies, I knew that this movie was going to be a favorite of mine. No I did not just make up that last sentence. Yeah. Makes you wanna see it to. I know.
This movie has to be taken with some serious sized grains of salt for one not to commit suicide during its play time. Go in with the right mind set though, enjoy the horrid idea behind it and Hark's slick action directing, and just let the rest go. Otherwise you'll have a brain hemorrhage. "Double Team" is not worth losing your life over.
BONUS PRAISE: Van Damme kicking a tiger in the face. Fucking classic.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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