Take a Drink: for every time you hear “Double Dragon” or “medallion”
Take a Drink: “butthead”
Take a Drink: for video game “references”
Take a Drink: for future, err 2007, tech
Take a Drink: whenever Billy does something stupid
Do a Shot: Andy Dick would be in this
By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
When you hear “video game movie” your mind almost certainly goes to some dark places: cheesy special effects, stilted dialogue, ham-handed appeals to youth culture, outrageous overacting of the Raul Julia variety, whatever the fuck was going on in Super Mario Bros… It almost makes you wonder if it’s even possible to make a good videogame movie.
Rest assured, it totally is.
Double Dragon is one of the most notorious failures in the generally sordid history of video games. An origin story of sorts for the blue guy and red guy who karate-kick bad guys in the games, the plot is a bunch of convoluted nonsense revolving around a magical two-piece medallion, brotherly love, the dystopian 90s fashion-crazy nightmare of 2007 L.A., and Robert Patrick’s bitchin’ highlights.
To Robert Patrick’s highlights.
Goddam, they’re glorious.
He attempts to, but cannot match their brilliance with his acting hamminess, but it’s fun to watch him try. Nils Allen Stewart’s beefy idiot henchman is fun and kinda sad, and they blow up some things real good. No CGI flames bullshit here.
The dialogue, especially coming out of obligatory hot-headed cool kid brother Billy, is wretched. When it’s not giving exposition (the only way this is revealed), it’s full of what the early 90s thought all the cool kids sounded like. “Eat fist, buttheads!”, indeed.
Now, this is clearly marketed at kids, and makes great pains to keep things light, several traumatic deaths notwithstanding, but it’s not enough of an excuse. Let’s face it, 90s kids had fuckin’ awful taste.
What a tragic time to be nostalgic for.
This movie plays like a laundry list of things the early 90s thought were cool, and turned out to be the opposite- raprock, graffiti, brutal “digital effects” plastered everywhere, karate, mohawks, skateboards, Andy Dick…
The humor is also of a piece with what kids thought was cool at the time, i.e. tone-deaf and groan-inducing. It’s replete with puns, fart jokes, bad slapstick, and the kind of grotesquerie that made Garbage Pail Kids a thing that exists.
This should never be a think that exists.
I’m not even going to start on the special needs goons, the brothers’ steam-powered (?!) car, or the melding of totally rad, instantly outdated “computer graphics” and a future aesthetic stolen from The Warriors and Escape from New York. Nope, this final beer goes to some of the limpest-wristed, widest-thrown stage punches and kicks you’ve ever seen, which is particularly sad in a movie supposedly about karate.
I didn’t go full six pack on this because, honestly, Double Dragon‘s exactly the same high camp/cheap execution drivel as the TMNT movies, and plenty of people still claim to like those. If you do, and are honest with yourselves, then you’ll probably like this, too.