by Ryan Arthur
Three of the world's worst actors combine for one of the more recent (and more lame) action suckfests.Ladies and Gentlemen, your starting lineup for Double Team....
"Who's scummier, Rourke or Van Damme?"
Playing Jack Quinn, the hero, a man who's son has been kidnapped and left in the center of the Roman Coliseum, surrounded by landmines and a big, prowling tiger. His biggest hit was TimeCop, which made a scrawny $44 million in the box office. In this movie, you can practically see him counting down the minutes until he can do his next line of cocaine. He is the Muscles from Brussels, the Belgian Waffle, Jean-Claude Van Damme!
Playing Yaz, the wacky sidekick, from professional basketball, professional wrestling and professional media manipulation. He's married Carmen Electra, married himself, and wrestled with Hulk Hogan. He's changed his hair color more often than you've changed your underwear. He's the Worm, Dennis Rodman!
And playing Stavros, the villain...he's had more kinky onscreen sex than Sharon Stone, and he'll bathe whenever he damn well feels like it, so shut up and let him smoke his 849th Marlboro of the day! He's Harley Davidson himself, he's Mickey Rourke!
Man, with a buildup like that, this movie's bound to be good, right?
Ye gods, no.
This movie bites it. It's not just the preposterousness of it (and believe me, a fight in the coliseum with land mines and a tiger is pretty frigging preposterous), but it's the fact that the hero and the villain just can't act for shit. Seriously. Van Damme is comatose, a blank expression on his face in practically every scene. You can tell he was all coked up during filming. There's no fire, no emotion, not even in the action sequences. Rourke...is Mickey Rourke. The guy's done some decent work (he was in Diner!) but seems to settle for softcore crap and Z-grade action flicks. Put the two of them together and it's like sitting down to watch football after Thanksgiving dinner. You're gonna snooze, wake up two hours later and hit the can and not care about missing anything.
Oddly enough, and I can't believe I'm saying this, it's Rodman who shines here. Oh yes, everything he says has some sort of basketball connotation to it, but look at him. He's into it, he's having fun and really getting into the role and the film. The performance may be pretty lame, but compare him to his two costars and he looks like Sir Laurence Olivier. It's not enough to make me want to sit through it again. Even the stuntwork and fairly crisp direction from Hong Kong director Tsui Hark (who would later reteam with Van Damme - for reasons not known by people with common sense - in the equally awful Knock Off) can't save it.I'll skip the cliches ("Double Team fouls out") and just say if you actually even think about watching this, I challenge you to a duel in the coliseum. You bring the tiger, I'll bring the landmines. And then I'll kill you for even considering wanting to watch this movie.
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originally posted: 01/25/99 13:40:55