Double Impact

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Double Impact
Double impact.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sheldon Lettich
Produced by Jean-Claude Van Damme
Paul Michael Glaser
Ashok Amritraj
Screenplay by Sheldon Lettich
Ismail Abdo
Story by Sheldon Lettich
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Steve Meerson
Peter Krikes
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Geoffrey Lewis
Alonna Shaw
Alan Scarfe
Philip Chan
Bolo Yeung
Corrina Everson
Music by Arthur Kempel
Cinematography Richard H. Kline
Edited by Mark Conte
Stone Group Pictures
Vision International
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
(USA & Canada)
20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • August 9, 1991 (1991-08-09)
Running time
107 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15,000,000 (U. S.)[1][2] or $18 million[3]
Box office $80,500,000[4]

Double Impact is a 1991 American action film written and directed by Sheldon Lettich, and written, produced by and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme in a dual role as Chad and Alex Wagner. The film was released in the United States on August 9, 1991.[5] The film marked Van Damme's second collaboration with Bolo Yeung (the first being Bloodsport in 1988)


The story begins with the opening of the Hong Kong Victoria Harbour tunnel by business partners Paul Wagner and Nigel Griffith (Alan Scarfe). Paul attends with his twin infant sons, Chad and Alex. However, after the celebrations, the family is followed home by a Triad hit squad on orders from Griffith and crime lord Raymond Zhang (Philip Chan). A shootout ensues, in which Paul and his wife are killed by Moon (Bolo Yeung), Griffith's henchman. Chad is rescued by the family bodyguard, Frank Avery (Geoffrey Lewis), and raised abroad. Alex is dropped off on the doorstep of a Hong Kong orphanage.

In the present day, Chad (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Frank are running a successful martial arts business in Los Angeles when Frank reveals a new "business" for the two of them in Hong Kong. Soon after arrival, they find Chad's long-lost twin brother Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Frank explains their shared past. It is revealed that Alex is immersed in the Hong Kong crime world ruled by Zhang, and has a girlfriend who works for Griffith’s company, Danielle Wilde (Alonna Shaw). After escaping the Hong Kong Marine Police for trying to sell foreign cars with electronics inside, Chad (mistaken for Alex) is taken in by the Triads to discuss the incident. During the interrogation, Chad learns about a drug lab in Causeway Bay.

Alex and Chad arrange to destroy the lab by planting C4 in the complex one night, but Chad's clumsiness triggers a massive gunfight. The lab is destroyed, but Alex loses any respect for Chad. Later, Danielle and Alex talk on a ferry and discuss a meeting that will take place soon in a night club in Hong Kong, with Zhang and other bosses in attendance. Alex, Chad and Frank endure their third mission to take down Zhang using Cognac boxes with C4 encased in them.

Zhang discovers that both Chad and Alex are not only twins, but the twins from 25 years ago. Danielle locates the document that she had been sent to recover, but is stopped and sexual harassed by Kara (Cory Everson), Griffith's assassin. Chad heads to the Hideout in a bar where Alex has a base, Chad has to rescue Danielle after fleeing from the triads. Due to incomplete phone call, Alex suspects Chad having affair with his girlfriend and gets drunk with anger and hatred. They have a fight when Chad brings Danielle on the island.

After a massive hangover Alex looks at the building as it is being raided by armed soldiers working for Griffith and Zhang, after locating Frank and Danielle they`re taken hostage on the Golden Glory ship's furnace room where they are tortured. Alex and Chad have joined forces and they infiltrate the ship and begin killing off soldiers. Despite ongoing tension between the twins, Chad and Alex eventually team up to start dismantling Zhang’s criminal empire. Towards the end of the movie, Zhang and Griffith kidnap Frank and Danielle to lure the twins into a trap. Alex then runs into Nigel's henchwoman Kara as he tries to save Danielle. Alex during the fight grabs Kara from behind holding her arm that has a knife which later results in Alex making Kara plunge her knife into her stomach instantly killing Kara. However, Chad and Alex fight their way through most of the henchmen sent to kill them and finally pursue and kill Zhang and Griffith. Chad and Alex decide to put aside their differences and become brothers once more.



Van Damme wanted to play twins to help change his image. "One of them is violent and the other is not, so the audience can see the contrast in my work," he said. "This picture has comedy, romance, a love story. So it is not all action and fighting. When I fight on screen, I blend dancing and fighting. Grace plus power is very nice.[6]

Van Damme said his real life personality was closer to Chad than Alex. "In real life I am not this cold, quiet guy who goes around kicking butt."[7]

Van Damme was paid $600,000 for his performance.[8]

Director Sheldon Lettich later recalled the concept of Van Damme playing twins "was so successful that other producers wanted him to repeat it. Even though it meant a lot more work for Jean-Claude, changing costumes, hair, and makeup numerous times over the course of a shooting day, he enjoyed the challenge of playing two distinctly different characters, showcasing a dark side and a more light-hearted side in the same movie."[9]

Critical and box office reception[edit]

Double Impact opened on August 9, 1991 to negative critical response where most critics cited it as yet another mindless action movie that only had the gimmick of two Jean-Claude Van Dammes.[10][11] Roger Ebert gave the film recognition for slick production values.[12] Despite the negative reaction, the film was a commercial hit and spotted at No.2. at the US box office.[13]

Double Impact (Original Soundtrack Recordings)
Film score by Arthur Kempel
Released 1993
Genre Soundtrack
Length 40:32
Label Silva Screen Records Ltd


The score by Kempel was released as the Double Impact Original Soundtrack Recordings on 1993 by Silva America. The soundtrack was released on CD contained twelve tracks with a runtime of 40 minutes.[14]

All music composed by Arthur Kempel.

Track listing
No. Title Length
1. "Overture (written by Paul Dable)"   01:16
2. "Dead Ringers"   01:24
3. "The Brother's Revenge"   03:38
4. "I Miss You"   00:55
5. "Battle at Sea"   05:47
6. "Causeway Bay"   07:19
7. "The Other Side of the World"   01:15
8. "Hong Kong Pursuit"   04:14
9. "Zang's Offer"   06:45
10. "The Brother's Reunion"   02:23
11. "End Title"   02:50
12. "Feel the Impact"   03:02
Total length:


In 2010, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were giving a martial art demonstration and Van Damme said hopefully one day he and Yeung will put a project together "Double Impact 2" and maybe Yeung will play a friend and not any enemy.[15]

In a 2012 interview promoting The Expendables 2, Van Damme mentioned that he would like to make another Double Impact movie with a more serious tone.[15] During the interview, he also gave a rough idea of the plot: "Two twins one is coming back from Asia to LA to help his brother who is a con-artist and pretend to be a big Hollywood producer and he's in trouble with the mob".[15]

A Double Impact 2 script has been written by Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich (who co-wrote Bloodsport and Double Impact). Van Damme said "Hopefully, somebody smart enough, like an agent or a producer, can put that back together...I'm excited about it, you know?"[16]


Chad is a film producer, making movies for a big company. Alex is going on holiday but has some problems with the Triads, because when Chad was in Hong Kong, he got a loan of money using Alex's face. Alex then goes to Los Angeles to find Chad and discovers he has gotten a girl pregnant, and that she is the sister of a big boss from South Central.[16]


  1. ^ "Hollywood's New Action Toys". The New York Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  2. ^ A Man of Action: Will Van Damme Have Schwarzenegger's Kick? DAVID WALLACE SPECIAL TO THE TIMES. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 Aug 1991: F1.
  3. ^ David Mills Washington Post,Staff Writer. (1991, Mar 17). Whomp--splat--hyah! The Washington Post (1974-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. ^, Retrieved 19 January, 2015
  5. ^ "Making an impact Van Damme's career profits from getting a kick start". Chicago Tribune. 1991-08-16. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  6. ^ Vernon, S. (1990, Sep 18). Action star van damme wants to keep shirt on. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  7. ^ Koltnow, B. (1991, Aug 16). Making an impact. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current File) Retrieved from
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference kick was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Evan Sathoff, "Badass Interview: Talking Jean-Claude Van Damme With LIONHEART Director, Sheldon Lettich", 5 Feb 2015 accessed 20 June 2015
  10. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1991-08-09). "Van Damme Doubles the 'Impact'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  11. ^ James, Caryn (1991-08-09). "Review/Film; With Double the Violence, Van Damme Plays Twins". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  12. ^ "Double Impact". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  13. ^ Fox, David J. (1991-08-13). "In the Wake of 'Terminator 2,' a Slow Season : Box office: With three weeks to go in the summer, it appears there will be no records set. But it may yet prove to be the third-best summer on record.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  14. ^ "Double Impact (1991)Soundtrack". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung (2010 and 2012). Van Damme talks about Double Impact 2 (2012). Event occurs at 0:00-2:24.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ a b "JCVD: 'Double Impact 2' Script Is Written". 8 August 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 

External links[edit]