Double Impact

1991, R, 118 min. Directed by Sheldon Lettich. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Cory Everson, Alonna Shaw.

REVIEWED By Kathleen Maher, Fri., Aug. 16, 1991

Well, what should we discuss here to commemorate the opening of yet another Van Damme movie weeks before it heads off to the TV sets of those with very strange viewing habits? Though by no means an expert, my favorite aspect of Van Damme movies is the obligatory sentence to explain his accent. This time, it's a little tougher for these creative geniuses because they have to explain how these twin boys, separated at birth (okay, so they were six months old) in Hong Kong, grew up to have identical western European accents. The boys' parents were brutally murdered by a schizophrenic gang who were all cold efficiency killing mom and dad but when they tried to kill the boys, oops, the infants got away. Seems the nurse grabbed one and the family's mercenary bodyguard, Lewis, grabbed the other. The nurse dumped her kid at a French orphanage. The merc raised his to be a karate champ at a health club in L.A. The accent? “We went to France,” explains Lewis with conehead logic. One brother grows up to be a dashing smuggler, the other is a dork and it's a tribute to Van Damme's acting ability that it's frequently impossible to tell which one is which. I could go on, I'm having a pretty good time at this, but I think I'll save my usual rants about homophobia, racism, and generally insensitive stupidity for a movie that attracts an audience that reads film reviews.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Sheldon Lettich Films

March 22, 2019

More by Kathleen Maher
Incident at Oglala
British filmmaker Apted makes a carefully reasoned, yet passionate statement about the legal system that has ensnared American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier.

July 10, 1992

Titicut Follies
Wiseman filmed conditions in the Bridgeport Mental Hospital with a bare minimum of crew and equipment, which resulted in a devastatingly candid view of life behind the high walls of a state mental hospital for the criminally insane.

July 10, 1992


Double Impact, Sheldon Lettich, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Cory Everson, Alonna Shaw

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle