Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Luols Dong Arts and Entertainment: Double Team

Since present-day Chicago sports are officially depressing (sorry Cubs fans, alcoholism isn't a sport), I'd like to take you back to a better time. A time when our local basketball team was damn near unstoppable. A time when women lusted after Scottie Pippen. A time when just being a Bulls player automatically entitled you to co-star in a really shitty action movie. The year is 1997. The Chicago Bulls are in the midst of repeating the Three-Peat. The film in question is Double Team, starring Jean Claude Van Damme and...Dennis Rodman. (For our younger readers: yes, this really happened.)

I won't get into the "plot" of this movie because it makes my head hurt, so let's just say that if you've ever seen any JCVD movie, you get the idea. Yes, he's a spy/CIA agent/whatever. Yes, he's on "one last mission." There's an evil criminal mastermind. There's the goofy sidekick. The only difference is that in this film, the sidekick is a really tall transvestite who is also an arms dealer, obviously played by Rodman.

I was initially skeptical of Rodman's acting abilities, but he is easily just as terrible as Van Damme. Rodman comes off as a natural in his role -- you almost get the feeling that maybe he dresses flamboyantly, goes to S&M clubs, and carries guns in real life too. A part of me wants to believe that the filmmakers just followed him around with a camera as he went about his usual day-to-day activities, not even informing him that they were making a movie.

But there's one area where he has no chance against JCVD: martial arts. Rodman's fight scenes are edited and chopped together to a ridiculous degree, most likely to disguise the fact that he cannot do any cool fighting moves. (Speaking of which, this movie is edited so poorly that Rodman's hair often changes colors during the same scene.) However, the already-homoerotic nature of this film is given a certain intensity due to the fact that Rodman might actually enjoy sex with men. There is one part in here where JCVD pins Rodman against a wall, and I fucking swear to god, it looks like they are about to start kissing passionately. In other action flicks, you know there's no chance of actual man-on-man action, but with Rodman's presence, this film keeps you wondering. Also, there's a lot of basketball in-jokes and lingo in here ("I'm taking you out of the game...for good!!!"), even though Rodman's character has nothing to do with basketball.

Also noteworthy is that the "criminal mastermind" is played by none other than Mickey Rourke, at the height of his fucked-up-ness. After 90 minutes of extremely shitty acting, Rourke's character is killed by a tiger. And a landmine. At the same time.

This movie definitely rates high on the "so bad it's good" scale, and I strongly recommend it if you have Netflix or some other way of not actually paying money to see this.

1 comment:

Keggers said...

This is a fantastic review! I can't believe that this move was actually produced. Great find.