Starring: Robert Patrick, Scott Wolf, Alyssa Milano, Mark Dacascos, Julia Nickson, Nils Allen Stewart
Directed by: James Yukich
Written by: Paul Dini (story), Neal Shusterman (story)
Original Year of Release: 1994
Studio: Greenleaf Productions
Distributor: MVD Rewind Collection
Every once in a while, a film slips past you. Why I never saw James Yukich's Double Dragon is beyond me, now. I certainly went to the movies in 1994. I even worked at a video store, so when it was on VHS I could have gotten it for free. Hell, I was even a fan of the arcade game and the Nintendo console game too. Truth be told, I even had a crush on Alyssa Milano way back then, so why did I miss it? Thankfully, MVD Entertainment Group has released a Collector's Edition Blu-ray and I can check Double Dragon off my list.
<Insert my jaw on the floor after watching Double Dragon, here>
As I tried to piece together fragmented memories of playing the arcade game in my neighboorhood pizza shop and long hours battling thugs in my parent's basement, I came to the conclusion that very little of "the story" from either incarnation made it into this movie. I was amazed to see a ''New Angeles'' that had sprung up from the ashes after the big earthquake had torn apart Los Angeles. What amazed me was the production value and matte paintings that were used to show demolished landmarks in a new light. Certainly, using Cleveland, Ohio was a step in the right direction. Mix that with Mark Dacascos' martial arts skills and there was something there that could have been a decent movie. Instead, what we got was Double Dragon.
Billy (Scott Wolf) and Jimmy () Lee are two martial arts street fighters who must protect their half of the Double Dragon amulet from the forces of evil. Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick) is a crime boss who has the cops terrified and the gangs running wild in the aftermath of the big earthquake that spawned New Angeles. Koga already has one half of the amulet and now uses every means necessary against the brothers to acquire their half.
Look, I wasn't there. I don't know about what went on behind the scenes during production. All I can tell you is that there was some money put into this film ($7,850,000 (estimated)). The cinematographer should have either added some filters or shot more of the film inside because the decimated New Angeles just looked too happy. Any editor worth his salt could have cut these action scenes together better. Wolf was no action star, I think it all comes down to, who is this movie for? Rating it PG-13 probably did limit a few sales, but not many. The
What I did like about the movie is that it reminded me what it was like when your mom rented a movie for you without asking for your consent. You had to watch it because she paid for it. It was also as if you went to a birthday party at the movies and this was the movie someone else's parents paid for. Ah, nostalgia. It can be fun and it can also be Double Dragon.
Critics Note: If you are a fan of the film, and the last two things I mentioned are exactly where your sweet spots for this movie lay, then you will be overjoyed at the special features that MVD has included with this release. They even went the extra mile on the covers to give fans that video store feeling.
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the main feature
* Audio: English 5.1 Stereo, English 2.0 Stereo, German 2.0 Stereo
* English, French and Spanish Subtitles
* NEW! "The Making of Double Dragon" (full length documentary featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould & Michael Davis and producer Don Murphy)
* NEW! "Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer" featurette
* Archival ''Making of'' featurette
* Behind the Scenes featurette
* 1993 Double Dragon Animated Series Pilot Episode #101: "The Shadow Falls"
* Storyboard Gallery
* Press Photos, Marketing and Behind The Scenes Photo Galleries
* TV Spots
* VHS Home Video Trailer
* Original Theatrical Trailer
* Collectible Mini-Poster
* Reversible Sleeve Featuring Alternate Artwork