Action Movie Fanatix Review: Double Dragon

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Two Halves Of An Ancient Puzzle Are The Only Hope.

Starring: Mark Dacascos, Scott Wolf, Robert Patrick, Alyssa Milano, Julia Nickson, Jeff Imada, Al Leong, Kristina Wagner, Vanna White, George Hamilton, Andy Dick

Director: James Yukich

1994  |  96 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Get it straight, you’re Ug Lee, I’m Home Lee.” – Jimmy Lee

So, I know that Double Dragon, the movie, has had a bad rap since its release but for some reason I have always had fond memories of it.  Of course, I haven’t actually watched it since I was probably twelve years old but still… I like to think I had pretty good taste for a twelve year old.

Martial artists Jimmy (Mark Dacascos) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf) hold two pieces of an ancient amulet that gives the owners the power over body and soul.  In 2007 Los Angeles they are the only hope of stopping the evil Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick) who looks to control the entire city.

I love movies that are now about our post-apocalyptic past.  2007 Los Angeles… after the big quake… where cars run on scraps of garbage and the local news team is headed by Vanna White and George Hamilton with Andy Dick as the weather man.  Stuff like this should be a clear indicator of the direction this movie is going.  Like it or not this is going to be a stupid, silly affair.

Some people have been pretty pissed off in the past when a movie like this comes out and doesn’t adhere exactly to the video game or comic book (yes, this is me at times) or novel.  Sometimes they are completely justified and sometimes these fans fail to take a step back and realize that there just isn’t much to the original story.  Case in point, Double Dragon the video game was about two brothers, one wearing blue and one wearing red, who walk the streets and beat guys up.  THAT’S IT!!!  So when a Double Dragon movie gets made and it isn’t just two guys walking the streets beating up the same guys over and over fans get upset.  That said, Double Dragon the movie could definitely be a better movie, I just don’t think we need to act like the film makers are butchering Shakespeare.

The feel of the movie is what I can only describe as silly 90s .  It has a lot of the jokiness of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, the goofy character designs from the Mario Brothers movie and Ninja Turtles and the obsession with martial arts and poor martial arts performances from Surf Ninjas, 3 Ninjas and… you guessed it… Ninja Turtles.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is generally loved by most people that were young at the time, and rightfully so, but it is responsible for a whole slew of crappy movies that tried to follow the same formula and flopped.

Double Dragon does do a pretty decent job pulling characters from the video games and cartoons and putting a goofy spin on them to make them fit this silly universe they have created.  Characters like Abobo and Lash will quickly be familiar to fans of the games.  And of course, Billy and Jimmy do indeed wear blue and red respectively and do indeed beat up a bunch of guys.

The fights really aren’t anything special, especially considering that Scott Wolf isn’t a martial artist of any kind.  They are fun enough for what this movie is but Mark Dacascos has done much better than this.

To be clear, Double Dragon is NOT a “good” movie.  It is something silly and entertaining in its own goofy way.  Call me crazy but it is the type of movie I can’t wait to enjoy with my son some day.

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