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Double Team

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman
Director: Hark Tsui
Genre: Action
Year: 1997
Rating: 2 / 5

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. Together. In the same movie. As some illustrious colleagues of mine have pointed out, Mr. Van Damme has a certain fascination with his own derriere, and Mr. Rodman, as we all know, has a "thing" for his hair. Needless to say, in spite of these quirks, I decided that, being a hardcore Van Damme fan, I would give this movie a try, since I have seen all but two Van Damme films, even suffering through The Quest and Nowhere to Run. For true Van Damme fans, there are redeeming qualities to this movie. To anyone else, I would advise selecting Timecop or Bloodsport instead.

Double Team teams Van Damme, as special agent Jack Quinn, with Rodman, as munitions expert Yaz, in order to stop ex-agent Mickey Rourke, a reknowned international terrorist. The movie opens with Van Damme making a bold escape across national borders to a life of civilian freedom with his now-pregnant wife. Soon, however, things are disrupted when old nemesis Rourke surfaces, and Van Damme is called out of "retirement."

This is where Van Damme's trademark action scenes begin, though, unfortunately, they are few and far between. For a change, Van Damme plays a character who was not left at the door of a French convent, is not a twin, or has not devised some inane reason for his accent. (See fellow movie critic Matthew Milone for elaboration.) He does, however, still have his traditional choppy delivery, which actually seems smooth next to Rodman, who in his defense, is able to "hold his own" next to Van Damme. The hair does change color a few times, and there are quite a few basketball allusions, but the story moves along.

Double Team in the end fails because it does not deliver the trademark action sequences Van Damme fans have come to expect. The final sequence with Rourke leaves the viewer wanting, falling well short of classic Van Damme conclusions from Kickboxer, Bloodsport, and Cyborg. There are not even any memorable one-liners from the martial arts champ. Altogether, not a deplorable experience, but a little more Van Damme and a little less Mickey Rourke would have done wonders.

Jean-Cluade Van Damme..........Jack Quinn
Dennis Rodman..........Yaz
Mickey Rourke..........Stavros
Paul Freeman..........Goldsmythe

Certification: R for violence.
Running Time: 91 minutes.

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