Friday, March 14, 2008

Double Trouble

The Action Mutant…
‘s twin is an asshole!

Double Trouble

review by Joe Burrows

When it comes to male Action heroes, there are summarily two categories of them: the weary, based upon reality ones (Willis in Die Hard, Bronson, Seagal to a certain extent) and the puffed up, larger than life characters (Schwarzenegger, Stallone, etc.) Normally, we can deal with one of them in a film or possibly two from each category teaming with each other. Now, two puffed up guys teaming together normally doesn’t work (One word…Tango. Next word…Cash). Now, two puffed up twins teaming together in the same Action film…sheer lunacy. However, whereas Van Damme x2 in Double Impact was done through the technology at the time, Double Trouble was lucky enough to have the real thing…the Paul brothers! How immense is that?

The Plot, as it was:
David Paul plays an L.A. cop who is after the killer of his partner. He finds out that his partner was getting too close to finding out about a diamond smuggling ring, headed up by rich white guy Philip Chamberlain (Roddy McDowall). He wants in on the case but he can’t go alone (lest he go on a rampage by throwing people through walls or something) as his chief (James Doohan) decides to team David with his jewel thief twin brother Peter! See, twin bro Pete wants to avoid jail time and, since he has something the bad guys want, it’s only natural that he is teamed up with David. Of course, Dave’s the straight laced, by the book cop and Pete’s the wisecracking “black sheep” of the two. What do you think will happen, huh? If you honestly can’t answer, stop reading this and go run out into traffic.

Don’t shoot me…I’m only the reviewer!:
It should only take people about 5 seconds to realize that Double Trouble will not be referenced at MENSA meetings or be on any AFI lists in the near (or far) future. However, the film has such a sublime stupidity it is hard to not giggle at the very least. For example, David (always clad in an Oakland Raiders half sweatshirt and tight jeans, with an insane mullet to compliment the outrageous ensemble) enters his apartment with a noticeable poster of Rambo III on the wall. When he settles into some barbell reps, his grunts are so animalistic that his comely next door neighbor smirks at the idea that some sexual activity is afoot. Then, there’s the scene where Chamberlain becomes annoyed with his head of security, which leads to the man getting shot on the spot by company assassin Bob (Bill Mumy) and replaced by the person next to him! However, despite a top name B movie cast that’s obviously slumming for the weekend (David Carradine makes a one scene cameo as a prison snitch, for example), it’s the two leads that make for the unlikely show. Their acting is wooden, their movements awkward and their appearance is totally out of place. It’s the last of those that adds a goofy assurance to the film, despite the fact the concept’s as old as Scotty and Bones together. There’s a strange affability in seeing what is basically two big, goofy kids who look like Vince McMahon’s whet dream arguing with each other and trading some un-snappy comebacks (though Peter yelling “THE G FORCES…ARE…KILLING ME!” in accordance to David’s slow driving is priceless; its all in the delivery). Everything’s predictable and there isn’t anything groundbreaking about it but Double Trouble is the kind of rainy day flick where you can laugh a little and see what’s in the next door neighbor’s troublesome kids’ futures if they ever get their hands on HGH.

Character/Supporting Actor Sighting!:
- Tito Larriva (Desperado) is Reg, head of security #2.

Body Count/Violence: 17. This has a goofy, comic tone to it so it’s not as violent as might be expected. There are some bloody gunshots here and there, along with occasional fighting. Some guys are poisoned but about the strongest thing happening is when some guy gets run down repeatedly with a car and another goes through a window. Though it’s an R, I would say kids past 12 could take this very easily. And they get satellite dish tossing tips from David Paul!

Sexuality/Nudity: None.

Language/Dialogue: Mild expletives, with a few Fs and occasional innuendo.

How bad was it?:
Not many reviews are available from what I see but the viewer feedback is mixed. It really seems to depend on whether you can take the two brothers’ buffoonery or not because that’s where the main appeal is.

Did it make the studio’s day?:
Filmed in the winter of 1990 but released over a year later (2/14/92) by Motion Picture Corporation of America, Double Trouble does not have any budget or box office numbers available. However, these guys were in a slew of low budget comedies in the early 90s so this probably made a tidy profit.

Film: **1/2/*****
Entertainment value: ***/*****

Copyright 2008 The Action Mutant.

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