Double Team

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 90 minutes Other Extras Filmographies
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Tsui Hark

Columbia Tristar
Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Dennis Rodman
Paul Freeman
Mickey Rourke
RRP $34.95 Music Gary Chang

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English

Plot Synopsis

    Continuity? Nah, doesn't matter. Cohesive plot? Don't worry about it. Actors that can speak understandable English? Don't need them. Stunts that blatantly defy the laws of physics? Great idea, let's have lots of them. Machine guns that miss at point blank range? Let's have a good helping of those too, but only give them to the bad guys. Cyber monks? Yeah, everything else so far is ridiculous, we're on a roll.

    I had very low expectations when I watched Double Team. How low? Well, on this scale, Money Train is a brilliant and visionary piece of filmmaking. I never thought Godzilla would be surpassed in the mediocrity stakes, but Double Team is worse than Godzilla. This was the most excruciating 90 minutes I have ever had the displeasure of wasting. Sometimes when watching a movie, you just know it is going to be bad. I knew at 1 minute 58 seconds that I was in for a stinker.

    Jack Quinn (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is a counter-terrorist. His enemy is Stavros (Mickey Rourke). Mickey Rourke must really have needed the money, since he should have known better than to appear in this turkey. Stavros thinks he has killed Jack. Not so. You see, when secret agents almost die, they are transported to a secret island where they serve as intelligence consultants. Never mind the fact that their families are told that they were killed, no, these agents are expected to happily serve the government after their "death".

    Naturally, Jack wants to escape and return to his wife who is expecting their child, especially when he figures out that Stavros has his wife and is planning on taking his son. He escapes, naturally, and heads off to see Yaz (Dennis Rodman), the friendly neighbourhood arms dealer. So friendly, in fact, that not only does he give Jack guns on credit, but he goes along and helps Jack with his mission. There's a slight catch, though. Everyone on the island wears a watch and needs to check in periodically. If they don't, an appointed guardian is sent to track them down. No one knows who their guardian is other than it is another agent on the island. Hmmm, this plot device has been used before.

    Finally, Jack faces off against Stavros.

    Let's ignore the dreadful plot completely for a minute. Can something good be found on this DVD? Well, actually, it can. Read on...

Transfer Quality


    This transfer is another impeccable Columbia Tristar transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear at all times. Shadow detail was spot on, and there was no low level noise noted at all.

    Colours were perfectly saturated at all times.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts did not exist. Film artefacts basically did not exist.

    In short, this is another reference quality video transfer from Columbia Tristar.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded, English Dolby Digital 5.1, and French Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Like most other Columbia Tristar DVDs, the English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack is the default soundtrack.

    Dialogue was mostly clear, even though it was frequently hard to make out what Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman were saying. This is not the fault of the mix, however.

    There were no audio sync problems. There were quite a few examples of slip-shod ADR work, though.

    The score by Gary Chang is an aggressive pulsating soundtrack, and was frequently present, attempting to help the on-screen action along.

     The surround channels were used virtually continually, filled extremely aggressively with ambience, explosions, gun shots and pulsating music. Everything is way over the top, with massive explosions overloading your senses. There were a number of nice split surround effects. This helped to immerse you into the movie, which was very hard to do given the poor quality of the plot. Now, if this soundtrack was put underneath a good story, well that would be something to see.

    The .1 channel was used almost continuously and very heavily. Explosions rumble, music pounds, gun shots report. The subwoofer get a major workout with this disc.

    If it were not for the minor dialogue problems, I would have given the audio on this disc a reference rating.


    As is the case with most Columbia Tristar DVDs, there are only very limited extras on this disc. The Dolby Digital City trailer and DVCC splash are on this disc. I have been meaning to mention this for some time, but more and more Columbia Tristar discs are beginning to appear with disc artwork on them rather than just the movie title. Godzilla was the first such movie, and most of this batch of releases has proper artwork. including this one.


    The menu design is a standard Columbia Tristar menu. Functional, but virtually devoid of features. It is not 16x9 enhanced. Of note is the fact that the Theatrical Trailer and the Filmographies are now tucked away on another menu accessible from the Extra Features main menu option, which is a very similar menu arrangement to Warner Brothers DVDs.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Unlike most other trailers, this soundtrack is a full-on 5.1 mix, just as the movie itself is.


    This is a list of the most recent films the stars and the director of the movie have been involved in. There are no biographical notes, just the list of films. Whilst it is not great, it is good to see that Columbia Tristar are slowly adding more and more extras to their releases.


     Double Team is an awful movie. Really really awful. Worse than you think. It is almost a crying shame that the video and audio quality is so good. It's got to be worth at least a rental so you can experience the great video and sensational surround sound.

    The video quality is perfect. Reference quality in fact.

    The audio quality is very impressive, with massive amounts of surround information present. Some of the dialogue is very hard to understand, though.

    The extras present are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
12th February 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer