Double Team

April 4th, 1997


more trailers Double Team

Still of Mickey Rourke in Double TeamStill of Dennis Rodman in Double TeamStill of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman in Double TeamStill of Paul Freeman in Double TeamStill of Jean-Claude Van Damme in Double TeamStill of Dennis Rodman in Double Team

Counter-terrorist Jack Quinn misses his target, Stavros, on the eve of his final mission. From there...

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 4.2/10 (13,385 voted)

Director: Hark Tsui

Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, Mickey Rourke

Counter-terrorist Jack Quinn misses his target, Stavros, on the eve of his final mission. From there, he is sent to "The Colony", a rebirth for presumed-dead assassins. He breaks free from there, and seeks the aid of Yaz, a weapons dealer, for his final battle with Stavros.

Writers: Don Jakoby, Don Jakoby

Jean-Claude Van Damme - Jack Quinn
Dennis Rodman - Yaz
Mickey Rourke - Stavros
Paul Freeman - Goldsmythe
Natacha Lindinger - Kathryn Quinn
Valeria Cavalli - Dr. Maria Trifioli
Jay Benedict - Brandon
Joëlle Devaux-Vullion - Stavros' Girlfriend
Bruno Bilotta - Kofi
Mario Opinato - James
Grant Russell - Carney
William Dunn - Roger
Asher Tzarfati - Moishe
Rob Diem - Dieter Staal
Ken Samuels - Stevenson

Taglines: You're either on their side...or in their way.

Release Date: 4 April 1997

Filming Locations: Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium

Box Office Details

Budget: $30,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,034,914 (USA) (6 April 1997) (2203 Screens)

Gross: $48,138,337 (Worldwide) (1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sammo Hung Kam-Bo was brought in as Special Action Choreographer to help with the fight scenes.

Continuity: Early in the film Jack ignores a Stavros decoy because "Stavros is a lefty". Yet Stavros is shown firing guns and throwing grenades with both hands and he smokes with his right hand.

Yaz: Oops. Air ball.

User Review

Entertainingly overblown action marred by slapdash storytelling


The script for Double Team was originally called "The Colony" and by several accounts, it was actually quite good. Apparently, it went through many major alterations on its way to production until the final product bore little resemblance in tone and quality to the original script. Does this mean Double Team is a disaster? Not really, but its clear all the changes created some problems.

On the one hand, you have the participation of famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark and world-class cinematographer Peter Pau. They manage to create some of the coolest, trippiest, most fantastical visuals this side of a MTV video and better still, do so without the excessively choppy editing that usually accompanies "MTV-style" films. You actually get to appreciate the luxuriously-shot images, though the film is by no means slow-paced. Better still, it's one of the few Van Damme movies that realizes the best Van Damme movies are the ones which absolutely never rely on Van Damme's acting (or anyone else's for that matter) to carry the film along. It's all action, goofily entertaining plot twists, and sweet visuals. As an action-packed, overblown, eye-candy fantasy, Double Team works very well.

On the other hand, it's painfully obvious that Double Team used to have a smarter script which called for a far more subtle and serious approach. Had these "intelligent" elements been completely erased or dumbed-down for the final product, this wouldn't have been a problem. However, it seems that some of the more subtle plot developments were left in and they do NOT mesh well with Tsui's and the rest of the final script's "jackhammer" approach to the story. For example, at one point a prescription label left on the wall is supposed to be noticed by Van Damme's character who then uses the name of the doctor on the label as a clue. However, unless you're paying very very close attention you'd never know that. It's so small on screen, the label may as well have been blank. And the shot where the label is taken off the prescription bottle is far too quick and unclear. A single extra shot showing a closeup of the label would've cleared things up immensely. But it never happens. The film contains several instances like this where a single clarifying shot or an extra line of explanatory dialogue would've made things much clearer. The result is that what seem like glaring plot holes (even for this kind of movie) are in fact due to badly explained plot points. Such an obscure presentation might have worked on a quieter, more "intelligent" spy film where the audience knows they aren't going to be spoon-fed the plot. But after 40 minutes of terrible one-liners and ridiculous action, the last thing that should be required of Double Team's audience is to suddenly pay close attention to what's happening.

I don't know whether Tsui Hark was trying to keep in some subtle elements while reconciling it with the rapid-fire approach, or whether he just didn't care about such details and wanted to keep things moving (Probably the latter, as his subsequent movie, Knock Off, experimented with this abstract, to-hell-with-storytelling visual approach to the nth degree). Whatever the case, the result is a pretty wild but somewhat confusing action movie that could've been much better with minor changes.