Nobody’s going to sit there and put forward a compelling argument for Jean-Claude Van Damme‘s abilities an actor, but the Muscles from Brussels found his niche in the mid-1980s and has admirably stuck with it ever since, even if he’s subverted his established persona on a handful of occasions to freshen up the formula.
One of the more interesting wrinkles of the action hero’s career is that he’s developed a reputation for playing two characters in the same movie, which surely isn’t a matter of coincidence. Double Impact, Maximum Risk, The Order, The Replicant and Timecop all saw him pull double duty, but today’s new Netflix addition Double Team would have seen him much better off acting against nobody, looking at Dennis Rodman’s performance.
JCVD plays counter-terrorist agent Jack Paul Quinn, forced out of retirement when his wife is kidnapped by Mickey Rourke’s nefarious Stavros. Rodman is Yaz, an outlandish arms dealer who forms a reluctant alliance with our intrepid roundhouse-kicking protagonist to save the day, in what was more damning proof that the NBA legend wasn’t cut out for the acting business.
Let’s be honest; Double Team is not a great movie, with Rodman deservedly scooping Worst New Star and Worst Supporting Actor at the Razzies, but it delivers exactly what you’d expect from Jean-Claude Van Damme in a predictable mid budget cheesefest.