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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 August 2017
This is one of those hilariously bad movies which really deserves a cult following of some sort. I never heard of it in 1994 at all, I was a huge fan of the video games, it being one of the very first side scrolling beat em ups in the arcades, spawning a series of sequels and ports to microcomputers like the commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum and later Sega and Nintendo (I even owned and played the Battle Toads and Double Dragon team up, one of the most difficult games on the NES).

I heard about the movie adaptation in some social media articles and blog spots discussing the backstory to the game which no one seemed to know about, that it was actually set in a post-apocalyptic future rather than a present day over run by gangs, which means it is closer to Mad Max than The Warriors as a genre movie (I always thought the game had been to The Warriors what Mortal Kombat was to Enter The Dragon).

The movie itself is about as ungritty as they come, featuring children, more than one stunt race sequence and all in all appearing like a tamer (no swearing or nudity) version of Police Academy and some ecological or green undertones (rivers catch fire, earthquakes, pollution, urban decay with policing restricted to certain districts and the hours of day light).

The martial arts are kind of on a par with Karate Kid, if even that, there is a tournament in the beginning which heavily borrows from the tournament fought in Karate Kid, or so I thought. An online review by James Rolfe suggests this movie was released between Mario Brothers and Street Fighter, which made sense, in terms of video games adaptations to the big screen. A lot more effort is made to honour the backstory (which barely anyone had paid any attention to, even doing more than was probably necessary to explain recurring boss fights or even the absurdly muscular appearance of some of the bosses) than either of those movies but while some of the acting attempts to strike a more serious note the action still comes off as more slapstick comic than I'm guessing was the directors intention.

This film could have been something other than a kiddy actioner, the backstory resembles that of mad max, fist of the north star or any of the robocop future lawless dystopias with gangs of punks but the producers/studio must have created something with a younger (larger) audience in mind. The special effects are awful too, more Roger Rabbit or (at their best towards the end of the film) Buffy The Vampire Slayer, than anything else.
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on 24 March 2017
Entertains for lovers of martial arts. Not everyone's cup of tea
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VINE VOICEon 20 August 2015
Since the Super Mario Bros. movie in 1993 video games have been met with fiercely negative reviews from critics who savage almost every single one of them based purely on their origins. I understand now that we live in an age where video games are movies in their own right, if not even more poetic and innovative than most movies themselves, but in 1994 they were not considered to have any literary or theatrical merit, and even to this day (with a second attempt at a Hit-man movie only just being released as I type this review) they still cannot seem crack the code on how to make a coherent and worthy adaptation.

Double Dragon is not the exception, it's the rule. The classic arcade game featured two dudes, Billy and Jimmy Lee, who walk to the right in an apocalyptic cityscape and beat-up thugs who have kidnapped their (apparently shared) girlfriend Marian. She obviously enjoys double (CENSORED). This could not and was not going to make a good movie.

With a writing team consisting of Paul Dini and Peter Gould any additions or expansions on this thin premise was welcome and the resulting movie is a live-action cartoon with way too many ideas for its budget or its director's abilities.

Double Dragon is an ex-treme-ly 90s flick. Martial arts movies for the kids became a big thing (or at least attempted to) in the early 90s after the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Drivel like Surf Ninjas and 3 Ninjas never managed to capture the edge that made the 1990 TMNT so good. Double Dragon almost gets there, but chooses goofy humor instead of darkness and pathos.

The year is 2007. Instead of suffering a dismal summer of an awful Die Hard sequel and a Simpsons movie with no laughs in it the people of New Angeles long for clean air and safety in the streets. The old city has been destroyed by an earthquake (another popular 90s trope) and gangs roam at night while smog smothers during the day.

Scott Wolf and Mark Dacascos play "twin" brothers Jimmy and Billy. They look nothing like each other. Tom Cruise could play Scott Wolf's twin easily, but the budget couldn't stretch to Cruise. They are also supposed to be 17-years-old despite being 25 and 29 at the time of filming. They are orphans looked after by Satori (Julia Nickson) who holds one half of a sacred amulet (yes, it's one of THOSE kind of plots) which can grant super powers to anyone with both halves.

A clean air industrialist (Robert Patrick) wants the amulet so he can take control of New Angeles, despite running a pretty tight monopoly already. And so the streets are raging as a final fight with a vendetta is unleashed upon the thugs of New Angeles. An overweight and blond Alyssa Milano plays a more dynamic version of Marian, wearing short shorts that barely cover her vagina. Robert Patrick manages to avoid embarrassment by being surprisingly game about the whole thing too.

By all rights the movie is terrible, but there's an infectious vibe to the eccentric production design and cinematography, and some of the matte paintings and establishing shots are quite impressive. James Yukich (his name creates an appropriate onomatopoeia) has no real vision of his own and lets the chaos take whatever shape it naturally wants to be. You either go along with the low-brow cheese that it is or you'll hate it. Personally I was never once bored by it nor did I really dislike it. The crudity of its assembly (half of the dialogue is ADR) and the tacky synth score helped turn it into a surreal, almost auteur experience. But why on Earth Yukich figured that "Altogether Now" by Scouse band The Farm made for a fitting end credits song is beyond me. It doesn't match the film at all!

Since the day of its release and the resulting internet notoriety over the years I have always been curious about the big screen bomb of Double Dragon, but honestly it's not that bad.

I don't believe that Double Dragon has had a widescreen release on home video since the Universal laserdisc in 1995. Despite being a budget label 101 Films has done a surprisingly good job here. DD re-eally does look like FILM, and I am guessing that this master was taken from a well-used but decent condition theatrical print instead of the negative since there are several cigarette burns between reel changes. That said, it frequently looks very good and the grubby nature of the print adds to the hallucinatory quality of movie. It was actually recorded in DTS but the Blu-ray features simple LCPM stereo. There are zero extras but I am just happy that the movie has had a decent home video release and perhaps now it can find an audience that appreciates its outlandish charm.
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on 17 January 2003
"This high octane action spectacular crackles with the energy and classic humour of the heroes"
This quote perfectly summarises the film. From the camp costumes to the literally unbelieveable plot this film is fun for the whole family. The brothers (of different races) produce some of the best perfomances ever seen, seamless blending amazing stunts with humour and even moving emotional scenes. With a cast comprising of Robert Patrick who takes a step up from Terminator 2 to a higher profile and more challenging role - testing his acting abilities to the max and Alyssa Milano, the film is simply spendidly well acted. The mind-blowing special effects are a sight to behold indeed. I was left flabbergasted by them.
Buy it
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on 10 August 2013
absolutely brilliant film love love love a bit of cheese great for movie fanatics that love b movies or cheesy movies
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on 11 July 2003
This film is a cinematic masterpiece. It has everything you could possibly want; A-list academy award winning actors like Mike Drascosascosascosascos, some excellent and believable kung-fu scenes and the most impressive special effects in history. Also this film teaches you a lot of lessons. For instance not many people know that it is scientifically possible for twin brothers to be of different races. I think they should have had Whoopi Goldberg play their mother in order to reinforce this message.
The acting? All top class - the academy awards are well deserved.
The plot? Very cleverly done. It is so complicated that only an elite group of individuals (the producers) realise it exists at all.
The set design? Immaculately done. I really like the "druggie's dream" use of colours.
Altogether, definitely the best action movie of all time and maybe even the best movie of all time. Makes movie like The Godfather and Schindler's List look like rubbish.
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on 10 June 2016
Glad to have this as collection,worth watching again and again.
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on 14 February 2016
Excellent film. Wanted to replace video in my collection.
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on 4 February 2014
In the years following the great Los Angeles earthquake, two orphans are raised and trained in martial arts by Satori, who also happens to be the caretaker of one half of a magic amulet.

When the evil Koga Shuko finds the other half, he immediately goes on the attack to take Satori's piece and claim the power contained within the amulet.

Only Satori's two boys, Billy and Jimmy, can stop Koga from reaching his goal.....

The video game was simple, walk from left to right and beat up anything in sight. It was fun and provided many hours of entertainment on my holidays.

22 years later, and i finally get to see the movie. i'm a fan of dodgy movies, especially video game movies, because they provide entertainment, even though they are poor.

But hands down, this is the worst video game adaptation I have ever seen. The saving grace here is Patrick, at least he puts in something of a performance when he isn't turning into a piece of folding paper.

The two leads are awful, plain bad. If you thought Ryu and Ken were bad in Streetfighter, they are like Pacino and De Niro in Heat compared to these two.

There's not enough action in this, no references to the game, and all the humour is laid on too thick to be funny.

If you like bad movies that are really bad, then give this one a whirl. It's no surprise that this has never been on TV in the UK.
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on 21 June 2016
Very Happy with my purchase
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