Double Team | Chicago Reader

Double Team

This 90-minute Coca-Cola commercial—the finale includes blatant product placement we're supposed to enjoy as an in-joke—contains violence so big, loud, and frequent it makes no impact at all. Mickey Rourke plays a bad guy whose vengefulness toward Jean-Claude Van Damme is exacerbated by an incident that's pretty intense for a light actioner, because it involves the death of a child. In keeping with the child-in-jeopardy theme, Van Damme's wife, who's pregnant, gets kidnapped, but Van Damme and Dennis Rodman save the day. There's zero chemistry between the two men, though basketball fans may enjoy the self-references in Rodman's gestures and dialogue. Each potential thrill in this paint-by-numbers effort, directed by Tsui Hark and written by Don Jakoby and Paul Mones, is lost in a morass of glib choreography and busy referencing. I noticed reenactments of parts of Manhunter and the Prisoner television series early on but soon stopped caring what the movie's models were. And the only time I felt the slightest anxiety was when a tiger menacing one of the characters seemed to fall to its death, which forced me to stick around to make sure the closing credits contained the animal-safety assurance.

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