MVD Rewind Collection Resurrects Double Dragon for the First Time on Blu-Ray
There are cinematic turds and then there are cinematic turds we hold in high regard that serve the purpose to embellish absurdness. The early ‘90s brought a modestnstint of films based on popular video games: Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Double Dragon. This year, MVD Rewind Collection has unleashed a much needed collector’s edition of Double Dragon. The film stars Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgement Day), Scott Wolf (Party of Five), Mark Dacascos (John Wick 3: Parabellum), Alyssa Milano (Charmed) and Julia Nickson (Rambo: First Blood Part I). The cast makes the film and converts this video game franchise into a Dick Tracy-esque kung fu debacle.
Double Dragon Theatrical Trailer
How do you solve the problem of video-game-to-film conversions in the early 1990s? You tell your actors to over act. That is what made lines in Mortal Kombat like Sonya Blade saying, “I smell something . . . bullshit,” savory. And it is what makes Jimmy and Billy Lee’s power quips work as well:
Jimmy Lee: Hey! Broom heads!
Billy Lee: We’re gonna sweep the floor with your skull!
Double Dragon is a fun movie with no real ethical motive beyond the children’s sugar cereal philosophy. Dacascos and Wolf exist in a Saved By The Bell style of machismo. They kick ass because they can, not that they probably could in this capacity. Adorned in a beach blonde pixie haircut, Milano showcases her sense of female liberator as the leader of The Power Corps. Her role in the movie is to provide balance and firepower to the two who seek to retain half of the amulet stolen by Koga Shuko. Patrick is the best thing this movie has even though he took a couple flights of stairs down from the style of villian he portrayed in Terminator 2.
For the first time on blu-ray, this film is properly restored to the capacity it deserves. Double Dragon should exist in the best of quality for its cartoon-esque fight scenes and amusement park effects. For an hour-and-a half I felt like I was at the fun house and the freak show is just around the corner.
That freak lies in Nils Allen Stewart’s portrayal of Bo Abobo, leader of The Mohawks gang. Halfway through the film, he becomes a mutated blob of beefiness only to befriend The Power Corps and help save the day in his own way. He is a cross between Sloth from The Goonies and Biff from the Archie series, and as a character actor, his meathead persona amplifies just how ridiculous this film can get.
What seems inspired by the Doom franchise and its palette of radiation level day-glo colors, the sets and wardrobe take on a life of its own and another push to give the film its video game appeal.
There is a ton of special features included in this edition, all worth the perspective on this particular filmmaking and its effects. One of my favorites in the MVD Rewind collection thus far, and a representation of ‘90s pop culture, I cannot recommend this film enough.