Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mickey Rourke, Dennis Rodman
Director: Tsui Hark
When I started writing these stupid things, it was a way of getting all of the ludicrous thoughts out of my head. For fuck’s sake I suggested that Amazon commission a Jimmy Glass inspired comic book film. But I feel like I have begun to finesse how I want to review films. There’s the Deep Dive, where I go into painful plot explainery detail for films which need that extra bit of Pepe Silvia. Or just a straight up review with some basic flavour and my thoughts and opinions.
But when I watched Double Team — the 1997 film starring JCVD, Dennis Rodman and Mickey Rourke, I decided I would have to rethink everything. I had no idea this film existed but inexplicably it does, seemingly as a vehicle for Dennis Rodman’s aspiring late 90’s acting career. This is a film that is so truly awful that I had to document it in a different way, what I will call ‘The Wrap Sheet’
And fuck me, is it long for this film:
- An absolutely nuts opening sequence which is as nonsensical as it is unbelievable. JCVD steals a fucking military grade moon buggy and escapes, pursued by the Nazi guard from The Great Escape before being confronted by a train. When it very quickly becomes apparent he won’t beat it, he attempts to jump it with no visible jump of any kind other than presumably JCVD jumping up in his chair to elevate it. I actually have a theory here that they tried to jump it over and they failed but they didn’t have the money to reshoot it, so the buggy crashes through the top half of the train and lands…and keeps going as if he’s just bought 20 Rothman’s and a copy of Readers’ Wives as the villains are prevented from pursuing by the Longest Train in the world.
- When we meet Rourke’s villain and he leaves a bomb for the CIA director behind his chair. The first shot we see of it has :54 on it suggesting he may be able to escape…only for it to count up and then detonate after :59 turns to :00. I presume the entire props department was sacked after this incident and replaced with props department 2, who procure a small child’s recorder for Rourke to smoke as he walks away.
- We meet Dennis Rodman the CIA armourer operating out of a fetish club in Antwerp. Which might have worked as a semi-engaging piece had he not had the charisma of a piece of roadkill dressed as an extra from a gay-cabaret production of The Fifth Element wearing a pair of sunglasses from a steampunk Tour de France. Honestly, he gives the kind of performance you would expect of recently deceased person being given a 10000 volt electric shock to pass the last of their bodily excretions
4. “He’s like a snake. If you look him in the eyes, he’ll get you in the back”.
5. This model of a theme park. I presume at this point Props Department 2 was sacked and replaced.
6. An explanation of the difficulties of tranquilisation. “We only get one shot at this. 2 darts will kill a man, 3 will kill a Rhino”. What fucking batshit science is this?!
7. We’re 12 minutes in and every single line has been delivered in monotone. And blatantly added in post production. Did they sedate everyone on this film?
8. THE TIGER IS A HENCHMAN! I shit thee not, Mickey Rourke hugs a small child hiding under a large purple poncho, then looks at the tiger who nods up to where the CIA are stationed on the roof. AND THEN ROURKE SHOOTS THE FEMALE SNIPER THROUGH HER SCOPE.
9. The shootout that follows makes ZERO and I mean ZERO sense. Suddenly people are shooting everywhere, only hitting cheap light bulbs and it’s impossible to work out who is shooting at who.
10. The woman with Rourke’s child gets caught next to the tiger cage, sees the tiger coming towards her and starts screaming — until she is then shot in the back by JCVD — which also kills the child. Rourke runs down, cradles the child, and then takes out 5 people with a gun that magically appears in his hand. I say people as I’m sure one of them was just shooting at JCVD. Did they forget who he was?!
11. JCVD hops over a counter and starts to slip on rolling cans of cola as a vendor falls over. He spins this into a perfect roundhouse kick that takes out 2 baddies, as the vendor vanishes into thin air.
12. Mickey Rourke seemingly has an arsenal in his jacket or the power to click his fingers and make semi-auto pistols manifest. He also seems to the only person who can shoot in this film.
12. Rourke escapes into a hospital building, grabs a security guard by the collar and pulls him through the glass at the front of the booth, smashing it into a zillion pieces and then punches the same guard through the glass at the rear of the booth, for another zillion pieces. And then he kicks through a side panel and then kicks through another FOR NO REASON. 4 zillion pieces of fucking sugar glass Mickey.
13. JCVD follows and Rourke proceeds to fire 14000000 bullets at him as he lies on the floor. Rourke hits explodes more glass, walls, doors, a small ornamental garden in Ipswich, the F1 driver Jean Alesi and a Hungarian Chicken farming conference, but not JCVD.
14. In the aftermath of this, Rourke gives a speech at speaking volume which JCVD can hear through at least 2 solid walls and a couple of bullet ridden ones as he shuffles through 3 rooms on his back. He then jumps through another glass window to push a chair through a door which Rourke puts 1000 rounds into, allowing Van Damme to jump through another window and start kicking fuck out of Rourke.
15. The person who was in charge of filming this film has clearly never used a camera or seen a camera used before. All events I am describing are an approximation as we are fed random slo-mo shots, close ups of faces and huge zoom outs interspersed at random with everything going on.
16. Rourke recovers and punches JCVD back against a wall. As he gently leans on the glass window panel, it explodes.
17. The one strong thing that this film has going for it is the actor’s ability to stagger like a drunk hen party from every single fight action. Punch lands — stagger into bus shelter. Hit by prop — stagger into kebab shop and loutishly grab a fistful of chips. Kicked in back — stagger into an alleyway to loudly piss behind a bin. The staggering is off the fucking scale.
18. Rourke is incredibly peeved with the death of his son and pushes a baby in a trolley at JCVD. He looks down to see a grenade resting next to the baby. He grabs it and hurls it into a lift, then turns to push the baby to safety as a giant explosion goes off. Which breaks precisely zero windows but makes Van Damme have a trouser accident in front of a green screen.
We are 21 minutes in here.
19. Van Damme then ends up imprisoned in a CIA camp for ‘weak’ agents called ‘The Colony’ and is told everyone thinks he’s dead. Turns out the camp is a bit like Port Merrion if it was a 4-star Greek resort populated exclusively by cunts. Luckily, JCVD has an ally there in the shape of a man that looks like Terrence Stamp on a Gap year.
20. Said populants are too dangerous to set free but too valuable to kill apparently, so they sit in old hairdresser chairs and review world terror events through a eye-test machine, armed with Atari’s and children’s stethoscopes for headsets. Presumably after the filming of this scene Props Department 3 was fired and Props Department 4 stepped in.
21. Props department 4 came up with this real-time radar imagery. Send in number 5.
22. ‘The Colony’ is called is protected by lasers. Underwater lasers. That destroy anything more than 1m below the surface. Let that sink in (but not too far!!). Some more baffling events occur to pad out the runtime.
23. We get this angle of some mid-90s shorts and your telling me he doesn’t lose a bollock through one of the legholes?
24. I could literally drive moon-buggies through the holes in this script, but Rourke blows up a building in Barcelona to write a message on the wall that only JCVD would understand because he knows he’ll view it from this super secret swingers-without-the-swinging resort saying that he’s kidknapped his wife? You realise that you can’t just cover up not thinking out the plot of something by adding a fucking arrow to the next point because you’re out of ideas…
25. Anyway we get a lot of talking between various people that we don’t care about and another montage of JCVD where he lifts some pebbles out of a bucket then has a staring competition versus his reflection. If that doesn’t say ‘I’m going to get the hell off laser island’ then I don’t know what does. He follows this up by squatting a half full bath of water with his arms (supported by his neck) and…well…this happens
26. Now that he is strong enough to hold his breath for the length of a burning cigarette, he pours some water through a coke can into a tin of corned beef, thinly slices his thumb print and attaches it to a rubber, and uses these things to dupe a security machine into thinking he’s sitting in his house when in fact he is escaping.
27. Under the cover of a supply drop (the only time the lasers are deactivated) he jumps off a cliff attached to a rope and chain and hides underwater under the dropped packages. He’s spotted and attacked by a diver and they have a fight that seems to be filmed in the children’s end of a 70’s swimming baths — such is the murkiness of the action. JCVD escapes his clutches just in time to be picked up by another aeroplane picking up supplies, punching his way clean through a large wooden pallet (presumably manufactured by the window making company) and escapes clutching a large package as the diver who attacked him is hit by the lasers and BLOWN UP. Not just electrocuted or sliced thinly, properly blown up.
28. After flying for a decent while, the package is eventually hauled into the plane as JCVD appears to have stolen Prince Charles’ hands. Not to worry though as when he’s spotted by a soldier he grabs him with his legs, redoes his zip, tickles him gently under the nose then kicks him offboard. He follows this up by throwing another off the plane with his legs too and roundhouse kicks another into a coma.
29. Having got rid of the guards, he runs to the front of the plan and is confronted by two men with moustaches trying to fly their great-aunt’s living room. Presumably at this point Props Department 5 was fired and Props 6 were brought in.
30. DENNIS RODMAN IS BACK. Only this time he’s riding a bright yellow Motocross Bike whilst wearing purple leather trousers and a Madonna Bodice he bought from Wish.
31. Rodman is the worst actor I have ever seen on film. Jesus fucking wept — he’s asked can he fly a plane to which he replies ‘Like a Bird’ in the tone that gameshow presenters use to describe prizes. We get to see some more of his armoury which consists of a pistol and silencer which is apparently fully automatic and has a laser sight despite the fact it looks like a pistol with a silencer, and his grenades which look like crushed craft beer cans or white-labelled canned goods from a food raffle before stuffing a gun in his pants and declaring “I like trouble”.
32. “Look, you die you get a full refund, trust me”. Monkeys at typewriters off their fucking faces on quaaludes would reject parts of this script for being fucking awful.
33. JCVD pushes Rodman out a plane. He jumps out, catches up with him and covers him in this. THIS.
AN ANIMATED WHITE BASKETBALL THAT TURNS INTO A FUCKING CANDLE LATERN WHEN IT LANDS.
AND IT POPS LIKE A BALLOON!
THERE IS NO CUSHIONING AND THEY JUST JUMPED OUT FROM 5000FT.
And while they were in there Rodman finds time to dye his hair white with little black kittens on it.
35. JCVD makes it back to his house and climbs a tree to get into it after seeing his wife through a window. He sneaks to the crib to see his child for the first time (his wife was pregnant in the introduction to the film when he is brought back into the CIA fold and gives a performance worthy of a 50s actress who dies in the first 5 minutes of a slasher film). The baby in the crib is actually a doll crammed with plastic explosive and its 3 seconds from detonation. What bad luck.
36. Boom! More windows. JCVD is propelled about 40ft across a room and through a door headfirst. Despite being closer to this explosion that to the earlier lift grenade which ‘killed’ him, he bounces straight up as a van drives towards him and jumps over it via a bounce on the bonnet. Then the entire house blows up whilst he is being shot at by 8 people and he lands in the swimming pool, and at the same time magically catching a gun which is fired out of the explosion. I wish I was making any of this up.
37. HE TURNS AROUND MID DIVE LANDS ON HIS BACK ON A LILO AND STARTS SHOOTING BACK AT THE BADDIES!!! THIS IS A MAN THAT WAS KILLED BY A GRENADE WAY FURTHER AWAY WHO’S HOUSE HAS JUST GONE UP IN A MUSHROOM CLOUD AND HE’S PULLING OFF BAD BOYS 2 MOVES?! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VAN THAT WAS METRES AWAY FROM HIM…AND WHEN IT LANDS ON THE GROUND THE FORCE OF THE LANDING (not the explosion, the fucking landing) KNOCKS HIM OFF HIS LILO.
38. The baddies all shoot at the pool, which I estimate to be 15–20 metres long. The all manage to hit the lilo which is torn to smithereens by at least 17 different bullets while JCVD stays underwater, reloads, jumps clean out the pool and shoots a bad guy in the head. He then jumps out the pool, rolls onto his back so he’s shooting upside down, has a quick read of the racing post then shoots another guy in the head after an inexplicable 5 seconds of aiming, before finishing the final guy with 3 shots.
39. Suddenly JCVD gets shot at again. It’s the woman from the house — who isn’t his wife! She looks like Wile. E. Coyote after opening a blow-up-coyote doll stuffed with dynamite. She’s inexplicably suvived the house blowing up like the fucking Hindenberg and tries to kill JCVD but runs out of bullets. As he sits in a poolside chair and empties his clip into her, she tosses a grenade into the swimming pool, which JCVD watches, smiles, reads a little bit more of the racing post then realises its a grenade in the water (which is more deadly than an entire fucking house exploding) and dives away.
And crouches on the grass beyond the house pretending to be a frog. Unhurt.
40. Sitting mere yards away is a ford escort with a tape playing. It’s Mickey Rourke on a loop telling him his wife and child are in Rome and that he should check into a hotel there. As he’s looking at a postcard of the hotel, a henchman appears on the other side of the car…only to be smashed against the car by Rodman — who says “Oops, don’t spoil the paint job!”. Dennis , read the fucking room. JCVD is going to be doing paperwork for the next 2 years with LV insurance and your worried about a guest’s card having a slight dent in the driver door. Fucking get a grip.
25 minutes left…
41. Rodman goes to secure them transportation dressed at Frozone from The Incredibles going to Burning Man. This 6ft7 man decides to steal the worlds smallest car to get them to Rome, which he drives with his head through the sunroof.
42. Cut to Rome and Rodman is now wearing the largest suit seen on celluloid up until David Price on the boxing.
Rourke leaves a picture of a sonogram for JCVD to pickup, which Rodman thinks is codes for bank accounts that he can rinse owned by the CIA. Having been a dick for the entire film up to now, as soon as he finds out Rourke has kidnapped JCVD’s wife/child, he tells him all the guns he supplied are now free of charge and that he’ll help him whilst they banter back and forth in ironic Basketball references before cementing their alliance with a choreographed fistbump. Fuck My Life.
43. JCVD has no plan. So he sends an email about a ghost having a tea party to Stavros, or that gets intercepted by Stavros. I’m not sure, but the email goes straight to Stavros. He responds by taking the wife (who is in hefty labour) to hospital.
44. It turns out that entire world secret service is in Rome watching this all unfold through a paper cut out of 2 circles on a close up of various people.
The sheer mind boggling lack of physics awareness for how the power of sight works as these shots unfold is only bettered by the fact that the guy narrating all this can recognise every different secret service on sight.
45. JUST TWO ORDINARY MEN HAVING A CONVERSATION!
Van Damme has disguised himself by sitting next to a goth with a stereo whilst looking like both Chris Hoddle having a threeway with Marilyn and Prince in Dennis Rodman’s optometrist. When he spots his wife in Rourke’s car, he runs towards her in normal motion whilst shouting the word ‘Catherine’ as if he’s been told to do it in slow motion as she’s driven off and as he chases her he runs into Rourke in the square, and is shown a sniper on the roof above him.
46. They’re spotted by the CIA looking through their binoculars backwards
This triggers a pile on as Mossad, the CIA, Dennis Rodman and a strange Italian police captain all descend on them, with the police captain drawing a sub-machine gun from under his cape and firing it indiscriminately into the crowd. Luckily, in keeping with the film he hits fucking nobody and his hat falls off his head and a bride screams into camera. These are all things that happen in the space of 8 seconds — as JCVD turns around and watches all of this unfolding around him. WHY IS EVERYONE SHOOTING EVERYONE ELSE BUT NOT JCVD OR ROURKE?!
47. The Italian captain finally starts hitting people as the square empties, killing exclusively women with a variety of screams from a sound effect CD.JCVD jumps on the horses pulling the bridal cart pursued by the captain (presumably for driving a horse without a license) only for the captain to be shot 4 times in the chest causing his horse to fall over sideways. The next shot shows JCVD putting his bag back on walking down an alley, presumably having dumped the bridal cart in a river.
48. Meanwhile, the sniper has abseiled off a building and escapes towards a train station, pursued by Rodman about as subtly as by actual Dennis Rodman. As he ducks into a taxi to hids, he is unsurprisingly spotted and after fighting an assailant off, he pulls him 3ft over the top of a taxi and into a passing bus window (MORE SMASH) with a casual “He’s up…HE’S IN!” and then “I’ll have to call it a five-pointer” as he runs away. Why 5 points?! why not a million? Or Ten?! In what logic does dunking a man through a bus window only equate to 2 more basketball points than landing a shot from beyond the 3pt line.
49. The Sniper ends up entering a hotel room and meticulously checks that he hasn’t been followed — which is pretty easy when looking for a 6ft7 NBA defender. He eventually makes his way to a room…but JCVD manifests at the other end of the corridor (having found a lovely sheepskin lined jacket which seems a bit much for the weather) and asks where his wife is. The Sniper responds by spinning around and his gun case suddenly starts firing bullets fucking everywhere. Van Damme confuses him by running round a pillar then punches him to the ground. As he gets back up, JCVD then jumps a good 20ft in the air to connect with a kick so powerful it send him flying through the front door of the hotel room (wooden) and a second set of French doors (GLASS). Predictable. What’s not predictable is the fact that the sniper is then booted back through the door with interest by a bald bloke.
50. The bald bloke(WHO WE HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE) flicks a heavy looking period-chair into the air with his foot and volleys it a clear 5 ft over JCVDs head as he enters the room. WHAT?!
The guy in question is soundtracked exclusively by 60’s Hong Kong Kung-Fu noises and has the power to jump 10ft in the air and do air guns either side of him whilst kicking his shoes off, presumably because he now needs severe foot reconstruction surgery…
NOPE — ITS BECAUSE HE HAS A TOE KNIFE!
Props department 7, your work is done. Send in Props department 8…
This turns this guy into the worlds greatest fighter as he fights exclusively leading with his right foot, which now appears to be invincible with the addition of a small knife. That is until he gets it stuck in a door, which gives JCVD the chance to kick him in the head through the only remaining pane of glass not broken.
51. This fight goes on for 400 years, with absolutely zero explanation of who this rogue martial artist hiding in a bedroom is or what relevance he has to the plot. Seriously he kicked the shit out of the sniper…is he an ally? We don’t get to find out as the Sniper wakes up long enough for JCVD to kick him into the door with the knife embedded in it which suddenly becomes long enough to stab him to death as it hits the wall, and then Van Damme throws the Martial Artist through another door which kills him. WHO WAS THIS GUY?!
52. We then realise via a prescription sticker left on a mirror that this in fact the room his wife has been held in. But that also the entire police force of the west of Italy is descending on the hotel due to the suitcase gun and every pane of glass in the northern hemipshere being smashed. Not to worry though, as JCVD slides down the lift cables in full view of the police and sneaks out a door at the bottom that was previously the door to the lobby, but it now a door to a darkened basement escape tunnel to safety. I presume.
53. We then see the wife in labour and JCVD entering a monastry (for no reason) — where a monk allows him in as ‘You are a friend of brother Diaz, who us done us many favours, including a mainframe processor like you wouldn’t believe”. The Monks of St Microsoft appear to have taken possession of the insides of the Nebuchanezzar from the Matrix and Dennis Rodman is there teaching them the language of the street.
JCVD then fist bumps a monk.
54. After being called Cyber-Monks, Rodman then tells us that the monks can track down the prescription — as long as they can dodge porn for long enough!
They are able to locate the doctor — who is a woman we have seen on-screen thus we know she is part of Rourke’s team (hereby avoiding another Martial Arts disaster) and they track her to a building off a Piazza. No explanation is offered for this tracking whatsoever but it allows us to move the fucking plot on. Then JCVD types on the computer and a message is relayed to what I assume is the CIA saying ‘Thanks for the Blessing — Jack”. And I assume its the CIA, it could be the Butlins security team, it could be the news crew on ITN. WE’VE NO IDEA. WE’VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE!
55. Rourke sends a crew to guard the bridge outside his hostage hostpital, but the monks direct JCVD and Rodman to some underground tunnels which will take them there without being seen. Unfortunately the way is blocked by a centuries old metal grate, but Rodman has “My lucky coin, my lucky detonator, my lucky plastic explosive” with him, only to not have enough wire with him…so they look for a rock to throw at the detonator. They find this literally yards away, but no rocks at all.
Rodman yeets it at the ladder, which hits it with a very unskull-like clang and doesn’t detonate the device — causing him to say “Oops, Airball”. He has another go and blows up a quarter mile square of historic Rome, which presumably might cause them to lose the element of surprise.
56. Nope — despite being under the bridge, setting off some fucking semtex and running along a well lit path, they go undetected and get to the hospital. The baby has just been born and Rourke knows that JCVD and Rodman are there — because HOW WOULD YOU NOT KNOW — and he says he needs 60 seconds before killing the girls — which is a lovely way for us to find out the gender.
57. JCVD shimmies 40ft up a pipe, which gradually falls away under him and Rodman accidently finds an open door whilst sneaking round the perimeter like a Scooby Do wearing Al Capone’s dress suit. We cut to the ward where it turns out the instruction to ‘Kill the Girls’ actually referred to the doctor. As a henchman closes in to shoot them both, Wife stabs him in the back with a scalpel, giving the Doctor enough time to grab a gun and shoot him 3 times, hitting him once. She immediately moves to ‘Most accurate shooter in the film’.
58. An unknown assailant then drops on Rodman as he sneaks through the bowles of the building and they perform an interpretive dance routine. Unfortunately as no panes of glass were smashed it became immediately obvious that this is in fact JCVD, and its a case of mistaken identity. Quite how JCVD mistook Rodman for a henchman escapes me, as he is about as subtle as a Carolina Reaper dildo. Anyway, JCVD then leaves him and takes out two henchman in a corridor by throwing one of them into the ceiling and kicking a wastepaper basket at another one.
59. Jack then finds his wife and comforts her, before grabbing the doctor from under a table and asking where Rourke is. When she says nothing, he turns and roundhouse kicks a trolley in a rage.
Not to worry though as the doctor says she knows and then Rodman strides through the door saying he’ll look after his wife — prompting this reaction.
60. The Colliseum!
For the love of fuck, no one should have dragged the colliseum into this — and as it turns out they didnt as this is the Arles Amphitheatre thank fuck —
JCVD walks in to find Rourke standing in the centre with a small crib, holding his baby boy. A sniper in the seats above JCVD then shoots at the ground next to him, where a small jam and cream scone is obliterated and spatters his face. Rourke stands and watches, shirtless and smoking.
Rourke then talks some bollocks whilst traipsing the sands in cowboy boots and then invites out his lead henchman to fight JCVD. That’s right Ladies, Gentlemen and whatever idiot has been foolish enough to read on this far.
HIS FUCKING TIGER HENCHMAN!!!
Not only that, he’s also rigged the entire arena with mines underfoot. Which seems fucking mental unless he’s spent 4 months with the tiger training him to detect mines.
Actually he may have done this so I’ll reserve judgement.
61. As the tiger approaches the baby, JCVD makes his trousers inflate to double the width and windmilling his coat round and round — looking like a homeless Kevin Rowland. The next few shots are completely baffling as angles and distances go to pot but it looks like the tiger is just about to bite into the crib when..
Rodman arrives on a bike through the first tier, distracting the tiger long enough for JCVD to kick it away from the baby.
As Rodman skittishly rides around the arena with zero knowledge that there are mines planted everywhere, JCVD yells “The crosses, they’re Mimes!”. Rodman looks baffled by the lack of unitard wearing people with white faces then realises he’s said mines, performing a perfect sliding 180 between two mines and driving back to pick up the baby on the bike.
62. Fair to say the tiger is a bit pissed at this and JCVD runs to the side of the Arena, jumping over and up onto the first tier via some scaffolding, not taking account of the fact this tiger was the brother of the Martial Artist from earlier and can also jump 10ft vertically.
Rodman pops a wheelie as he watches, before starting to do circuits of the arena floor with the baby’s crib in his hand so he can watch the tiger pursuing JCVD rather than simply driving the fuck away. JCVD escapes into the catacombs pursued by the Tiger and fights it using a 500lb antique metal door frame which he lifts with ease and halts the tiger. He then turns to run again and we here Rodman’s bike in the tunnels. He stops briefly to put the baby in a small hole in a wall before following the sounds of a fucking tiger chasing an actual belgian man.
63. Rodman ends up killing a human henchman by throwing him into a wall and JCVD is pushed out onto a ledge by the tiger. As he reaches the edge, he starts getting shot at by another henchman, so he kicks out a wooden support of the scaffoling the tiger is standing on and it falls to its doom.
JCVD manages to just about hold on, but the henchman runs round the corner to finish him off. As he takes aim, he pulls the trigger to realise he’s out of bullets…and then he gets mauled to fuck by the tiger which isn’t dead despite a 50ft fall.
64. Rodman (now having removed his short to ensure aerodynamic advantage when riding his bike) rescues a flailing JCVD, and then do a fistbump as pounding music starts to play and JCVD tells him to take the baby as he’s going after Rourke.
This apparently means he has to run back into the mine-laden main arena, which he does at speed only to be Kevin Muscat’d by Rourke. They then proceed to have a fight which destroys enough Roman architecture to constitute a lengthy prison sentence, before JCVD delivers 3 consecutive roundhouse kicks and various other kickboxing things to stun Rourke, before kicking him through a thick fence back into the arena.
65. Rodman then inexplicably starts running across the arena and steps on a mine (YES!), which he manages to stop dead on to prevent the detonation (NO!) — which Rourke tells him means if he moves he’ll turn into red paint (WHAT!)
JCVD then has a roundhouse kicking contest with Rourke as Rodman tampers with the mine and manages to free himself from it with a cufflink or something. Its not entirely clear given he doesnt seem to have any visible pockets. It may have been a piercing.
66. JCVD then proceeds to kick the living fuck out of Rourke, basically by bouncing up and down on the spot and randomly splaying his legs out and never once needing any recovery time — until he lands on a cross that is. Rourke mocks him and in celebrating his inevitible triumph, he also steps on an unmarked mine. The film the segues into a 4hr retrospective on Ingmar Bergman’s filmography, particularly his musings on death.
67. Okay I lied. What actually happens is Rodman laughs and says he moved some of the little cross markers denoting mines when he was doing donuts with the baby — giving the kind of smile that looks like Dipsy the Teletubby had a nasty psychotic break as Van Damme realises the cross he is on doesn’t have a mine under it. The Tiger then appears behind him and JCVD and Rodman run like fuck. They rush to find the baby only to find JCVD’s old pal, ‘Surfing Terrence Stamp’ holding the child. He’s meant to kill JCVD at this point for escaping from the colony but he is all about the good vibes, and gives him the child as Rourke takes his foot off the bomb, thereby exploding him, the Tiger and the whole fucking building because he put a load of fucking bombs in it.
68. Rodman, Stamp and JCVD run away from the increasingly dodgily CGI flames on their tail, and just have enough time to run past the great Vending Machines of Caesar (I could do a whole fucking product placement version of this if I didn’t think it would kill me) to allow Rodman to grab a full vending machine and pull it in front of all 3 of them. This protects them as the entire amphitheatre blows up and collapses around them. More and more and more explosions and flames appear until the ground around them opens up into a chasm, swallowing the earth whole into a numbing void of emptiness and nothing.
Other than the cast of “3 idiot men and one baby that needs to go into care” standing behind a fucking vending machine.
69. With most of Rome in flames, thousands of years of architecture ruined and presumably a trial in the hague coming up, JCVD pulls back the blanket he’s been cradling to reveal…
The baby is fine!
Just as it looks like everything will be fine, Terrence Stamp steps a few feet away and points a gun at JCVD — proclaiming “I want to remember my Roman Holiday” having clearly suffered a severe head trauma after the gigantic tiger triggered mine explosion he’s just been through. He then throws JCVD a knife and tells him to cut off a piece of his hair, and a piece of his shirt. As he goes to do it, Rodman tosses a coin at Stamp, which lands and explodes into smoke, allowing JCVD and the baby to make their getaway in a car as Rodman stands and surveys everything like the world’s shittiest genie.
Him and Stamp banter, then they go their separate ways as Rodman surveys the burning structure in front of him and says “They’re gonna blame me for this one”.
Well Dennis I don’t just blame you. I blame anyone ever involved in this movie. I blame the writers for coming up with this extraordinary piece of shit. I blame the director for not being able to direct his way out of a bath. I blame the camera operator and cinematographers for creating a spectacle that caused me actual retina damage, along with minor brain damage. I blame Van Damme for trying to act. I blame Rourke for fucking enabling all of this. I blame the costume department for making most of this film look like softcore porn. I blame the legions and legions of drug dealers that supplied the entire cast and crew and all of their relatives with cocaine to make this work.
And I blame myself — if we had never had existed as a race, this would never have happened.