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A lukewarm action movie with a very familiar twist gets reheated on streaming

You may have seen this setup before, and it's as uninspiring as you'd think.

via Sony

Remember that movie where Jean-Claude Van Damme played two characters? No, not Double Impact. Nope, not Replicant, either. On this occasion, we’re talking about 1996’s Maximum Risk, which continued the actor’s obsession with playing more than one role in the same film. Maybe he got paid per part, or he just wanted as much screentime as possible.

Either way, the ass-kicking actioner was notable for marking the Hollywood debut of legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Ringo Lam, who’d churned out plenty of stellar shoot ’em ups on home soil. While Maximum Risk does feature a couple of decent set pieces, it all ends up becoming fairly derivative by the time the umpteenth car chase or shootout roles around.

via Sony

Funnily enough, Van Damme was also the star when another Hong Kong directorial icon made the jump to Stateside cinema, with the Muscles from Brussels headlining John Woo’s Hard Target. What is it with JCVD repeating himself over and over again? That question remains unanswered, but we do know that Maximum Risk was the inferior of the two by far.

Mildly successful at the box office but sneered at by critics, it’s definitely not among the high-kicking hero’s finest work, which is fairly damning when his filmography is comprised largely of utterly disposable VOD efforts. And yet, Maximum Risk has managed to make a splash on Netflix as we head into the weekend, proving that maybe two Van Dammes are better than one after all.

Per FlixPatrol, the tale of Alain Moreau avenging the death of Mikhail Suverov (the twin he never knew he had) has become a Top 10 hit in five countries, because some times double the Van Dammage is what the people want to see.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.