A Review by Noah Antwiler
Looking back on all the reviews I've written-- my portfolio, if you will-- I noticed an awful lot of movies based on video games. I didn't start out this website to be the guy who rips apart an obscure niche of the bad movie market, but damn it these movies are awful. I mean there has literally never been a good movie based on a video game in the history of ever. You can chalk this up to the fact that most of these movies were produced by Dr. Uwe Boll (Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead), all of which have incurred my wrath and will certainly continue to do so for years to come until one day I finally snap, build a time machine and go back in time to terminate his ass back in Wermerlskirchen. Sadly I need plutonium to generate the 1.21 Jiggawatts of electricity I need.
But they've always been bad long before ol' Uwe got involved. There were serious efforts to make these films in the 90s. They put Jean-Claude van Damme in Street Fighter: The Movie (and remember he was a major action star at the time), they made a really weird and sad interpretation of Super Mario Bros. starring Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, and let's not forget the greatest movie duology of my generation, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Johnny Cage split punching Goro in the balls is the most awesome action sequence ever filmed, and I'll scissor-kick anyone who says otherwise in the throat!
I'm not trying to be the video-game-movie-bashing...guy. I guess it's just when I look back on the movies that raped my childhood, I come up with two things: the Star Wars prequels and movies based on Nintendo games. Wait, three things. Forgot about Nurple the Clown at my ninth birthday party.
Thought I'd forgotten about Clown Porn, eh?
I debated for a while on whether or not I should buck the trend for this one and give Double Dragon a pass. Maybe churn out another review of a bad J-horror nobody will ever watch. Why do I bother doing those? Are any of you going to bother looking for evil dead trap? Hell, I doubt any of you will bother with X3: The Last Stand, so what chance do I have with Double Dragon? I reviewed a movie with Bill Goldberg as a murderous Santa who liked to curl, for God's sake. I think I'm in a prison of my own making. But who cares! I run this madhouse, and we're gonna watch the movies I wanna watch!
My memories of the Double Dragon games include some of the coolest MIDI tunes ever cranked out of that 8-bit console, a pretty solid fighting mechanic, and some of the most bullshit jumping puzzles in history. Ever try getting through the cave level in the first game? Or what about the moving conveyor belts in Double Dragon 2? Remember trying to blast through Double Dragon 3 on one life and getting killed by a spiked pit on the last level? I'm serious, that game only gave you one life. No saves, no continues, no codes. The Game Genie was made for crap like this, but man did I play those games to death as a kid.
Anyway, the cover of my Double Dragon DVD is slightly different than the one I pulled off Amazon.com. This one includes a picture of Alyssa Milano and her-- get ready for this-- platinum blonde Caesar cut. She dyed her hair stark white and got a dykey hairstyle to appear in this movie. And then there's Mark Dacascos and-- wait...what is that? What the fuck is that? Bring in the macro-lens...
Aaaaah!! Put away the macro-lens! I've seen too much!
Man, that really throws my sexuality into question. That is one foxy shemale. Ever see Alyssa's titties in that vampire movie? Who am I kidding, of course you have. Everyone has. It's like asking if you ever rented The Gift to gawk at Katie Holmes' rack. But this sort of weirds me out. Boobs, thigh boots, two men in sequined karate gis behind you, a lesbian haircut and a massive erection on your DVD cover? I don't even care if she's packing meat. I'd still hit it.
Anyway, now that we're all rather uncomfortable, I think it's time we started the review! As Mark Dacascos would say...
The movie begins by slowly panning across a golden medallion in extreme close-up while Robert Patrick (The T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day) dispenses with the goofy backstory via voice-over. The background noise is that super-bassy "uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh" noise that Gregorian monks make when they're trying to be ominous or looking at an alien monolith.
Thousands of years ago in ancient China, an evil army of Shadow Warriors terrorized the great city of Cheng Tsu.
That's not to say all Shadow Warriors are evil. This was just one army of them. Many Shadow Warriors are quite nice.
To save his people, the good king sacrificed himself to create a mystical medallion.
Evil Shadow Warriors... the Good King... Only Sith deal in absolutes!
Realizing the ultimate powers of the medallion, the king split it in half.
He did? I thought the king sacrificed himself. Is he dead or not?
To one son, he gave the power over body. To the other, power over the soul.
And that man was James Brown. Aaaoooowwww!
This is the legend of the Double Dragon.The Chinese have a lot of hells.
Whew. At least this movie was in and out with its exposition in thirty seconds. It seemed almost brisk and structured compared to Alone in the Dark's 2-minute crawl.
Now we're "somewhere in China." That narrows it down. We see a village of Shaolin monk-type dudes being sacked by ninjas. Or whatever you call Chinese ninjas. Shadow Warriors, I guess. The Shadow Warrior "army" is literally about 3 guys on horseback who dispense with their enemies using kung-fu. One of them (probably the only guy who knows any martial arts) is a familiar face, that angry-looking Asian fellow you see in a ton of movies like Die Hard (guy who steals a candy bar before the SWAT raid) and Big Trouble in Little China but don't actually know his name. He uses a bullwhip (authentic Chinese weaponry here) to snare a fleeing Shaolin dude and demands to know where the medallion is. The Shaolin dude babbles inarticulately and Angry Guy tells his boss, a guy in full-ninja gear complete with mask, that the monks have cut their tongues out so they don't betray the location of the medallion. Quick! Bring me a pen! Does anyone here know how to play charades?
Ninja Boss spots an older monk fleeing towards a cave and pursues him inside, finding the cavern full of candles and a goofy red-eyed demon statue. Looks sort of like the beginning to UHF here. The ninja approaches the statue and steals one half of the Dragon Medallion, then reports in using a suitcase satellite phone. The ninja takes off its mask, revealing a hawt blonde woman who says "Chuko? It's Lash. We got it!"
Now we fly over a post-apocalyptic city near the ocean. The subtitle tells us that this is "New Angeles 2007, After the big quake." Quick! Ten seconds! Post-apocalyptic films I'd rather watch than this one: Uhhhh, Blade Runner, Demolition Man, Escape From New York, Appleseed, Dead or Alive Final, uhhhh...Highlander 2? Damn it! I blew it. While I was racking my brain for movies, Robert Patrick was finishing his ancient Chinese legend of the magic amulet. Basically after kicking the Shadow Warriors' asses, the king had his sons hide the other halves of the amulet so that they'd never be used for evil. He chose to hide one in China, guarded by a half-dozen mute Shaolin octogenarians who were handily beaten by a blonde chick and a ninja with a whip. It's called a safe, jackhole, buy one. I had to rewind the movie to catch all this, because the first time around I was too busy laughing at Patrick's platinum blonde "Ice, Ice Baby" high tower of hair, devilish Van Dyke goatee and his pimp zoot suit to pay attention. And I'm wondering which role was more humiliating: this or having to play the punching bag to John Cena in The Marine.
A sudden tremor shakes the penthouse, and Patrick's twin Asian cronies look worriedly at each other. Patrick tells them not to sweat aftershocks. "The great quake seven years ago was a trumpet's blow to herald my arrival!" he expounds. My my, someone has a high opinion of himself. I guess you'd have to with hair like that. He says "And now, the Double Dragon...is mine!!" BWUHUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
He opens up a wooden box and notes with great ire that there's only half of the medallion inside. Look dude, you just got finished telling us he split the thing into halves, so logically he'd hide them in different places. Don't come off as surprised. He picks up the medallion and inspects it. Sparkling light starts to glow from his closed fist, and soon a rippling wave of energy covers his body, turning him gray and two-dimensional. Really! He turns into paper. The wobbly villain seems annoyed that he's been transformed into newsprint and orders his flunkies to find the other half of the amulet, pronto!
Bam! We cut to the other half! It's hanging on a chain around the neck of rather comely young lady watching a karate exhibition. Scott Wolf, a.k.a. "The Party of Five Guy" is getting his scrawny ass kicked. He staggers back to his corner where Mark Dacascos, a.k.a. Chairman Kaga enters the fight. I guess this is a tag team match or something. I'm not familiar with this karate competition format. The lady calls out to "Jimmy" to watch the guy's spin-kick, so he does, scoring a roundhouse leg sweep. The fight is interrupted with another aftershock that wobbles the building. A little person hurries over to one of the main support beams of the building and starts cranking on an oversized hydraulic jack to stabilize the roof while the announcer tells everyone not to panic. Huge car-jacks to support the roof in the event of an earthquake, huh? This looks like FEMA's disaster relief, all right.
Jimmy starts opening up with some Walker, Texas Ranger style roundhouse kicks that knock his opponent silly and scores his team 3 points. Party of Five Guy hops up and down like a spazzing meer cat and tags himself in. Hot Medallion Lady rolls her eyes and watches him enter the fight with an expression that says "such a cockfag..." Now that the guy is softened up, Party of Five Guy rains down some serious bombs on the defenseless guy, scoring another knockdown which he celebrates by pumping his fists in the air and doing his "I'm a bad man!" dance. Why the crowd doesn't boo his monkey ass, I'm not certain. Jimmy spins PoF Guy around and tells him not to be such a fucking tool; he'll tag out when he needs to tag out. And he'll probably never need to tag out, because it's evident Party of Five Guy knows about as much karate as Truman Capote.
Party of Five Guy protests whinily, pointing into the ring and squeaking out something annoying like "but I knocked him down, did you see? I'm a good fighter!" Just in time for their opponent to recover and crush him with a pair of kicks to the gut and a sharp elbow to the spine. The referee stands them both back up and awards the guy his points, then restarts the match. Party of Five Guy points up at the scoreboard and says "hey, ten points for us!" which causes the guy to wheel around and stare dumbly in the other direction. Now you might think this would be the perfect time for PoF Guy to murder anyone in a fight stupid enough to fall for a "made ya look" ploy. He leaps onto the guy's back, and I'm fully expecting him to lock in a rear naked choke, UFC-style to finish the fight. Instead, he starts making the Three Stooges "whoooooopwhoopwhoopwhoop!" noise and starts giving the guy noogies.
The referee is, frankly, stunned. Eventually he puts a stop to this idiocy and pulls him to the ground, calling for the bell. He disqualifies the Lees on the spot. I was thinking this was no big deal, until the announcer declares that the Lees were just disqualified out of the city championships due to PoF Guy's utter dumbassery. Dacascos and Hot Medallion Lady look like they want to fucking kill him, and I'm wondering why they don't. Jimmy tries the soft touch instead, trying to make his partner feel a little shame through sarcasm. "Nice going, man, you just cost us the prize money!" Nah, dude, this guy is too dumb for sarcasm to work.
"Hey, you were playing it safe out there, and they were catching up!" is the little pipsqueak's reply. Um, okay first of all, Jimmy was kicking the dude's tail all over that ring, and they only started catching up when you tagged yourself in and started getting slapped around like a bitch.
"I'm just having a little fun!" he whines. Fine! Cool! I like fun! You know what's REALLY fun? WINNING!!! Yeah, that would have been shits and giggles for weeks! God damn this guy is an idiot. I'm supposed to root for this dillweed?
"What a buzzkill!" Please Mark, I'm begging you, slap this shit-painter so hard his nuts ache.
The other tag team lift their trophies and tell the Lees "better luck next time, LOSERS!"
This grievous insult is the last straw for Party of Five Guy, who throws his gloves down and shrieks "Eat piss, buttheads!" before jumping them both on his own.
Eat piss, buttheads? This is the kind of non-sequitir insult that Biff from Back to the Future would sling. I don't think I've even heard the term "butthead" since that movie. Let's not even get into the mechanics of how one would eat piss. Anyway, the brawl causes the bleachers to clear while the midget continues to jack off furiously to support the roof. I can't believe I just typed that.
The scene cuts to a fake Paul Verhoeven-style commercial of two guys in jumpsuits peddling house-jacks from a store they call "Jack City." Be sure to check out their new location in the Metro area, "New Jack City!"
Next up is a phony newscast from Channel 102, hosted by George Hamilton and Vanna White. Not characters, mind you, they're going by their real names in this movie. This is rapidly getting surreal. "Hi, I'm Chuck Woolery. George Hamilton has the night off." Who does the morning show, Paula Abdul and Adam Curry? George reminds us to set our clocks one hour ahead because of Daylight Savings Time because they might accidentally get caught outside after curfew. Vanna engages in some goofy obviously-scripted teleprompter humor, reading dryly "Gee, I can never keep those straight!" so they both can give a beyond-phony scripted "Ha Ha Ha Ha!" laugh together.
"Andy, how's it looking out there?" George pitches over to the weather.
And it's Andy Dick doing the weather. ANDY FUCKING DICK. I really can't take much more of this. I hate no man on this planet more than I hate Andy Dick. For some reason, the very sight of that man makes me want to kill the firstborn child of every family on the planet. There's just something about his weaselly, gangly scarecrow-looking, nasal-voiced, stupid-haired presence that makes me want to scoop his eyes out with a melon-baller and skullfuck him to death on national TV while screaming "I DO THIS FOR YOU, PHIL HARTMAN! FOR YOU!" He's the very reason I've never seen a single episode of NewsRadio. I'd rather chew aluminum foil for a half hour while watching Celebrity Poker Showdown.
Anyway, Andy looks over at the news desk and says "You so crazy!!"
Guys, I would seriously drive down to the studio and firebomb that place to the ground if I had to put up with Andy Dick as the weatherman. Someone has to take a stand against people this irritating. This guy is more annoying than that moron who does the informercials in a day-glo suit covered in question marks. He like the Riddler if he went legit and started selling books on how to start small businesses.
We fade through a television into a diner. The customers are wearing near-future fashions, which include breathing masks and transparent plastic porkpie hats. Yeah, I'm sure 2007 will be the year when people start dressing like Clark Kent again, only with plastic hats. Andy Dick warns people that tomorrow will be most assuredly full of "black rain," gesturing with a shredded umbrella. Also he warns people not to forget their oxygen masks and to stay near their smog fans. I refuse to do anything Andy Dick says. If I survive the apocalypse and the voice of the fascist government is Andy Dick, I'm just going to wander into the radioactive waste and never look back.
Andy goes on to show us that as curfew approaches, the police are pulling everyone back into their fenced-off zones. Um, shouldn't the cops be deploying into the city to maintain the curfew? He also says that the tide level tomorrow should reach Hollywood & Vine.
Back on the streets, the Lees are driving through the city in their rocket-powered station wagon. I'll say that again: they have a station wagon with a jet turbine spewing flames strapped to the roof. Like a poor man's Batmobile. Hot Medallion Lady groans that they're out past curfew and it's all Party of Five Guy's fault for being such a jackoff. Apparently the Lees are brothers-from-another-mother, because there's no way Mark Dacascos and the Party of Five Guy are the same ethnicity. The Dudley Boys were more believable brothers than these two. Jimmy looks out the window and sees that the gangs are coming out onto the streets. He points out a group of "Clowns" who stand on the sidewalk and scream "Bleeuugggh!" at them. If this is an attempt to rip off Akira, it's really sad.
"Those dudes are gnarly..." Party of Five Guy says. Gnarly?? Scott, your dialogue privileges for this movie are revoked. Go sit in timeout. They pass the clowns until he sees a woman on the side of the road fussing with her car. He tells Jimmy to pull over because there's a woman "over at two o'clock and she's my type!" Your type? Breathing? For some reason Jimmy actually does pull over. I guess he just wants to see Party of Five Guy's hilariously bad pick-up technique. The "woman" tears off her wig to reveal a swarthy gang member (yup, she really is his type). The Leemobile is surrounded by your typical leather-and-mohawk action movie gang. Hot Medallion Lady shouts "It's a trap!" Yeah, thanks Admiral Ackbar, I think we got that.
Party of Five Guy says that it's the Mohawks, probably because they all have mohawks. A hulking dude steps out of a van and barks a challenge at them. PoFG whips down the car's sun-visor, revealing a computer (?) which he uses to look up who this guy is on Wikipedia or something. The computer returns a brief profile of the guy, complete with a looping video of him going "rauuhaah--rauuhah--rauuuhah!" and his name: Bo Abobo. The computer also tells them that he's a steroid freak and he can bench eight hundred pounds. What, does this guy have a profile on MySpace or something? How would a computer possibly know what some goofy-named gang member's max is?
For those of you who don't know, "Abobo" is a recurring villain in the Double Dragon games, a 10-foot deformed slab of muscle who looks like Danny Trejo after being bombarded with Gamma rays. That really doesn't factor into the movie at all, except to explain how someone this weirdly-named ended up in the movie.
Abobo asks to see their identification. Jimmy actually checks his pockets and explains honestly that he thinks he left them in his other pants. A spastic goofball mohawk demands fifty bucks while jerking his head randomly to the side and cackling like a jackass. He has no hope of being more annoying than Andy Dick, but damn it, he's giving it a shot. Abobo sees Hot Medallion Lady's enormous gold amulet and makes a grab for it, so she stabs him in the wrist and tells Jimmy to floor it. Jimmy jams the gas pedal, brings the atomic batteries to power, gets the turbines to speed, and races the Leemobile away from the Mohawks. They open up some kind of glowing device between the seats where the center console would be and start pitching old clothes and rags into it. Are they actually ripping off Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future 2 now? You're telling me they have a jet-powered station wagon that can run entirely on their dirty underwear. Guh.
Abobo and Goofball give chase in their armored car (don't ask). Goofball runs their license plate and gets their personal information . "It's the Lee brothers: Ug and Home!" Abobo gets the joke way before I do. Ug-Lee, Home-Lee? Get it? Abobo rams the numbskull's head into the dashboard for making a pun that bad. Thank you, Abobo. Already he's my favorite character.
PoFG digs some stuff out of the glove compartment, looking for more stuff to burn in Mr. Fusion when he comes across a street map covered in ancient cheese. He pitches it out the window and gets lucky when the map covers Abobo's windshield. No problem, Abobo says, deploying a periscope and driving the van by joystick. For three minutes we watch the Leemobile try to outmaneuver Abobo's van while some really bad early 90s white-boy rap music plays. PoFG finds a can of aerosol cheese in the glove compartment that has a giant warning on the back that says DO NOT COMBUST in huge red letters. I don't even want to know how a can of spray-cheese made its way into their glove compartment unless PoFG was under the delusion that you could hit whippets from it. He tosses the EZ Cheez into Mr. Fusion and the jet engine roars to life, propelling the Leemobile into Ludicrous Speed. They outrun Abobo and nearly wreck themselves in an alley.
Abobo chases them into the alley, seeing on his GPS that they have no way of escaping. He floors it, hoping to smash them but soon discovers that the alley is too narrow for the van do fit. He and Goofball share a prolonged "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" moment for about a full minute while they barrel towards certain catastrophe, including several absurdly tight close-ups of their tonsils as they howl "Noooooooooooooo!" Asshole, hit the brake. Abobo has a reaction time of about forty seconds.
The Lees watch Abobo crash and get out of their car. PoFG looks awed and says "I just saw my life flash before my eyes. Man, I sleep a lot." I guess if you hang out with this guy long enough sometimes he says something remotely funny. He's still about 40-1 on that score though.
"I hope he has car insurance," he says. Ouch. Swing and a miss, Billy. Should have quit while you were ahead.
Abobo boots open the door and roars angrily like a gorilla. "He looks really mad!" PoFG tries again. Dude, just shut up. You're really overcompensating and you're just not that funny. "Hey broom-head! We're gonna sweep the floor with your face!" I hope Abobo twists his head off like a Snapple cap right now. The Lees assume a ridiculous fighting posture, which actually gives Abobo some pause. This is all building up to one of those moments where the villain retreats from the heroes because of something even more fearsome appearing behind them, but the heroes cockily think they managed to scare him away. Only the Lees are complete idiots because Abobo makes a show of scanning the rooftops as gang members rappel down the roof and making a frustrated face without even looking in their direction. Anyone with pair of functioning brain cells would realize immediately from Abobo's behavior that something is happening behind them. But of course, they don't.
"See ya, last of the Mohicans!" PoFG taunts. Ha ha! Because Mark Dacascos was in Last of the Mohicans? Get it? And he was...an indian...and...kill me. This was downright subtle compared to the lack of effort shown to cast the news anchors. I'm just waiting for a group of five ninjas to attack so Dacascos can say "Ass-kicking, party of five, your table is ready!"
They spin around to find the oddly-attired Alyssa Milano and her Technicolor dreamcoat. "Oh great," PoFG moans, "The Power Corps." The Power Tools, more like. What a dorky name. The Power Corps sounds like a group of washed-up weightlifters who go to elementary school tearing up phone books and bending horseshoes before giving lame motivational speeches about how cool it is to live without drugs. And every kid would think to themselves "wow, if I say no to cigarettes, one day I could bend iron bars with my anus too!" But I digress.
"We don't need your help, Marian," Jimmy tells her.
"Yeah Marian!" echoes PoFG.
Marian shrugs and bends over conspicuously to pick something up, so the Lee brothers immediately jockey for position for the best viewing angle of her ass. I smell a recurring joke here. PoFG gets a good look in before smacking Jimmy and giving him a "grow up" look. Yeah right.
Marian tells them she was only interested in the Mohawks' "GangNet linkup," something that gives them information on all the gangs that are destroying the city. Damn, the gangs got organized after the apocalypse. They set up their own IT infrastructure and everything. The Power Corps is one of those crime-fighting gangs who's trying to take back the streets one block at a time by wearing really hideous tie-dye and being about as menacing as the Jets in West Side Story. Marian asks if they want to join, and Jimmy scoffs at the very notion, saying they're no better than the gangs they claim to fight.
"Heck no! I think Marian is providing a tremendous service for our city!" PoFG chimes in, showing brains for the first time in his life. I don't care if we're talking about Marian leading a group of Communists. If Alyssa Milano commands, I follow! I think Jimmy is just trying to buy some time until he figures out the significance of her tomboyish haircut and possible man-package. Jimmy wanders off, muttering "butt-kisser" under his breath.
They all go home to an abandoned theatre they've taken over. Hot Medallion Lady explains the nature of the Dragon Medallion, that her father gave it to her so she hid one of the halves where nobody would ever find it. PoFG throws out the token "like Jimmy's underwear drawer" joke out of sheer reflex. It's like he has no control over his own bad dialogue. You know how you clear this up? I could solve this problem for you right now, because I know this kind of guy.
"Okay everybody, it's clear that Billy wants some attention. No no, let's hold everything, because Billy clearly wants to be the focus of the conversation. We're only talking about a magical artifact that could hold the very fate of the world, but Billy wants to entertain us. Hold the phone, guys. Okay Billy, we're all looking at you now. You have the rapt attention of everybody in the room. Make us laugh, fucktard. MAKE ME FUCKING LAUGH. You wanted the attention so bad, now you got it. Come on, man! What you got?"
"Oh, were you done? You're out of jokes? Because you were perfectly happy to spend twenty years of your wasted fucking life dishing out sarcasm from the shadows, I thought you'd appreciate this chance in the spotlight to get it all out of your system. What, where are you going? Don't leave! We were all ready to hear your fucking stand-up routine. Are you CRYING? You PUSSY. You're real smart when you're cracking one-liners like some fucking chimp flinging his shit at people, ain't ya?"
He's a garden-variety attention whore with the maturity of a six-year-old who discovered that the word "penis" is in the dictionary and giggles every time he looks it up. Anyway, Hot Medallion Lady explains that her half is the "mastery over body" half that can allow its bearer to turn insubstantial or give you the strength of steel. Then for some insane reason she gives it to Party of Five Guy. Are you nuts, lady? You're giving the most powerful magical artifact in the world to a guy whose best fighting maneuver is the noogie? What's he going to do with his newfound "strength of steel," twist someone's nipples off?
Meanwhile, Abobo reports his failure to Robert Patrick. "It's not my fault," he whines, "A marine showed up!" Just kidding. But he says that he didn't have any idea that Vanilla Ice wanted the medallion. If he did, he really should have e-mailed everyone in the organization using GangNet.
"Your incompetence sticks needles in the flesh of my honor," Ice says. This dialogue sticks needles in the scrotum of my good taste. Ice has to wear sunglasses all the time now because now that he has the Soul Medallion and he's evil, he's all shadowy and mysterious, and he can't stand bright light.
He takes Abobo down to the basement and says he's going to give him "molecular steroids" that'll give him the strength of ten men. Abobo protests that he already has that, and steroids might kill him. "You've always been like a son to me, Abobo. And like sons, I can always have another." Heh, I wish they'd opted to give Robert Patrick a handlebar moustache for this movie so he could twirl it around his finger as he utters this stock villain dialogue. He lowers a dentist's chair and commands Abobo to have a seat. This makes Abobo scream "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"
Back to Vanna White with the entertainment news. She says that Madonna has split with her husband Tom Arnold (?!) and is moving to Paris. Marian puts on a wig to cover her punk hair and has breakfast with her dad, who also happens to be the chief of police. George Hamilton goes over a news story about how the Power Corp (their spelling, not mine) blew up a plane full of medical supplies, blah blah blah, obvious frame-up, blah blah blah, terrorists, yadda yadda Guy Fawkes masks...Marian's dad puts on his uniform and goes to work, swearing up and down that he hates the Power Corp (sic) and that they're all terrorists trying to upset the truce the cops have made with the gang members. "You should have seen how it was before!" he says.
So let me get this straight. After the apocalypse, law and order broke down in New Angeles. So the cops made a deal with the gangs to institute a curfew where they'd behave themselves until nightfall when they'd resume their wanton crime sprees. They'd protect and serve until 9 PM, and if you were caught outside of your house after that, it's your ass! What kind of pussy-whipped cops do we have after the bombs drop? Awfully regimented and honorable of the gang members too, agreeing to come out only at night to rape and pillage. This isn't The Warriors here, not exactly a bleak future like in Robocop. The cops essentially do nothing all day but jerk off and eat donuts, then go home. You're out past curfew and they say "fuck it! Not our problem!" 9-1-1 is a joke, man! I like how the gang members are keeping track of Daylight Savings Time, too.
Billy and Jimmy are busy playing grab-ass back at home when there's a knock at the door. Hot Lady answers it and finds Vanilla Ice standing there with his entourage. "I've missed you, Lotus Flower," he says.
"Geissman!" she says. Or something like that.
"No one has called me Geissman in many years," he says. "But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I have ascended!" Sweet fucking christ, this guy is a windbag. "I've taken a new name, that of an ancient Japanese warlord. I...am Koga Shuko!" Yeah? Well I'm Chaka Khan. This is almost as stupid when Puff Daddy started insisting everyone call him P. Diddy, when nobody really cared who he was to begin with.
All his henchmen remove their shades in unison. "You see, nobody wants to party with Victor Geissman." And Koga Shuko is an improvement? Let me try it on for size. Hey dudes, we're going to Koga Shuko's for this huge party! Gonna be chicks there, man!
I don't know. This'll take some getting used to.
Mocca Chocolata Ya Ya demands to know where the other half of the medallion is. She tries to bluff her way through it by saying "somewhere you'll never find it" just as that moron Billy walks up with the thing dangling from his neck and says "Hey guys! What's up! Hey, cool hair!"
Snap! Lotus Flower plants a knee in Papa Shango's gut, backfists Lash and tells the Lees to run. They waste no time in abandoning their female mentor and letting her get murdered by the villain and his not-at-all-frightening flunkies. Koga sends his two Oddjob clones after them while he brawls it out with LF. Dacascos manages to carry on a very good fight scene with his Oddjob, since he actually knows martial arts. It's painfully obvious that the Party of Five Guy doesn't know Kung Fu from Kung Pao, because his entire fight is comprised of him running away and doing "funny" things like pelting his opponent with basketballs and spilling gumballs all over the floor.
Loco Roco doesn't seem to have any idea he's in a fight sequence. He picks himself up and starts talking like he was never interrupted (he likes to talk, this one...) saying he thought she was dead when the cavern collapsed and-- she cuts him off by delivering a flying kick to his kidneys. He gets up and says "Ha-haah! Ha ha ha! Hah...Nyaaaah!" Sort of like if you got hit in the face with a soccer ball and tried to play it off like it didn't hurt, but it really did. He decides to uncork the power of the medallion and turns into paper to chase her around as a shadow.
The Lees try to escape but are cut off when the door explodes inward and in barges the new and improved Abobo! Only this time he's way bigger, way uglier, and he's been mutated into a freak! The guy has deltoids the size of watermelons looming over his shoulders. Either that or they're grotesquely huge goiters. Huge fake muscles, no maneuverability, the inability to raise his arms over his own shoulders? He'd fit in perfectly at the WWE. I still think he looks more realistic than Ang Lee's Incredible Hulk.
The Lees scream like they were in Home Alone and start chucking bricks at the guy, which bounce off his rubber pecs uselessly until Lotus Flower saves the day and knocks him stupid with a punching bag. It's really Funky Monkey using the Dragon Medallion to possess her body, and he tries to trick them into handing over the other half. It almost works too, until his real voice starts coming out of her mouth. The Lees lock her up, but Sno Cone just phases through the gate and tells his henchmen to burn down the theatre. The villains retreat outside while the Lees break her back out. She locks the door behind them so she can hold off Baba Yaga and they'll both perish in the fire. She's clearly not getting that he has the power to turn two-dimensional and simply slips through the door while she roasts. You'd think being the caretaker of the Dragon Medallion, she'd know what this thing is supposed to do.
Count Dooku calls a grand conclave of the gangs, saying "though them, the medallion will be mine! BWUHUAHAHAHAHAHA!!" He introduces himself as Koga Shuko, which strangely does not draw raucous laughter from the assembled punks. The leader of the Maniacs gang, a weird mutated gnome-looking dude voices some reservations about being led by a guy who looks like a Swiss fashion model named Vidal. Riki Tiki Tavi turns into shadow paper and strangles the guy with his miiiiind! This impresses the hell out of the gangers and they swear immediate allegiance to him. This scene is so ripped straight from The Warriors I keep expecting Robert Patrick to throw his hands in the air and howl "Caaaan yooouuuu dig iiiiiiiiiiit?"
Elsewhere, the Power Corp (sic) digs Abobo out of the ruins of the theatre. Billy and Jimmy bicker like little bitches about whose fault this is for about three minutes and finally agree that it's all Lotus Flower's fault for not telling them about the Dragon Medallion in the first place. Blame the dead chick. Whatever gets you through it, guys. The worst part about all this is we have to try and watch the Party of Five Guy try to emote for a change, and when Mark Dacascos is blowing you away in the acting department, it's time to seriously look into the food service industry.
They run straight into a gang who break the holy curfew by attacking them in the name of Pika Pikachu. Once again the Party of Five Guy spends most of his time running away and getting out of fights by pointing in the sky and shouting "what's that??" while Dacascos does all the stunts. In all honesty, it'd be pretty good if he wasn't beating up a mixture of clowns, pirates, ninjas, people wearing cardigans and propeller beanie hats, and puzzlingly, a postman who attacks them by jumping off a six-story silo and blowing his own suicidal sneak attack by screaming "AIR MAIL!" a full eight seconds before hitting the ground.
They barricade themselves in an oceanside shack and find a conveniently-located speedboat with the keys inside. They blast their way out to the water where a pair of jetski ninjas is ready and waiting to chase them. For years they've been in this gang training to be elite jetski ninjas and now they finally have their chance! They even have Stinger missiles mounted on the front of their jetskis; that's how badass they are. The Lees zoom around going "aaaaauuuugh!" at every minor hazard they come across. One of the jetski ninjas fires a missile into the water and makes the river explode. Yeah, the river explodes because after the apocalypse the world's oceans are toxic and highly flammable. The Lees crash into a fallen highway sign which also explodes, because after the apocalypse the world's road signs are toxic and highly flammable too. The lone surviving jetski ninja radios in that they need to send in divers to recover the medallion.
The Lees are fine, of course. Before the crash they dove into the river of "liquid death" full of chemicals they say will cause uncontrollable diahhroea and all their hair to fall out. Basically like it is today, only with lots more ninjas. They vow to take the fight to Shuko...somehow. Soon as they get their stomachs pumped and hopefully haven't absorbed a horrifying cocktail of toxins through their skin.
Waka Laka is back in his Penthouse of Evil raging about how they've lost the medallion in the river. "All I want to do is have complete domination of one major American city! Is that so much to ask?!" Not really, I mean he's just approaching it the wrong way. He should look into politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger runs all of California via a democratically-elected public office! And he's an immortal superbeing with fabulous hair! I'm thinking mayor of Beverly Hills here.
His two Oddjob clone henchmen enter the room, eating some gum (which I can only assume is Doublemint). Koga asks "Huey! Lewis! Any news?" I'm starting to think Andy Dick doubled as line producer for this movie. It sounds like it.
Back at Power Corp (sic) HQ, the Corp is hard at work fighting crime. Did I say "fighting crime?" I meant sitting on their asses and fucking around with hula hoops. Marian has captured Abobo and has him tied to a chair with nylon rope. She's stuffed a beef-eater's bib in his collar and is torturing him for information by jamming a funnel in his mouth and force-feeding him her "special spinach dip" by the ladle. I can't believe I don't remember this from the first time I saw this movie. I think I would have remembered something as surreal and disturbing as watching Alyssa Milano funneling spinach into a bound creature with giant neck goiters and singing "open wiiiide, here comes another airplane!" She asks what Koga Shuko is planning, and Abobo pleads that he doesn't know anything. Then he says "I'm gonna barf!!" and cuts loose with a series of foul veggie farts.
The hell is going on here?! Spinach torture? This could be the most horrifying thing I've ever seen, bar none. Alyssa is wearing an apron, threatening a grown man with spinach and demanding to know the location of infrared sensors between questions like "Abobo...is that French?" between farting sessions. I can't even look away. There was no dignity for anybody who worked on this movie! None! Eraserhead was more lucid than this.
Billy and Jimmy decide to enlist the help of the Power Corp (sic) and spend the next few painfully unfunny minutes bumbling around looking for their secret hideout. "It's right here!" "But the sign says 'use other door'!" "That's just what they want you to think!" Then they stumble into a pitch black room, light a match (and you just know the room is going to be filled with dynamite or something) and spend ten seconds phonetically reading a warning sign that says "Watch...Your...Step..." before realizing they've been standing in mid-air for twenty seconds like Wile E. Coyote not realizing he's just walked off the edge of a cliff. The only thing missing is them holding up a sign that says "Yikes!" before falling. They drop down a huge slide and fall straight to the center of Power Corp (sic) HQ, where they find themselves surrounded by Santa's elves. I'm not joking. They're orphaned kids driven here by the roving gangs who feel compelled to dress like the Lollipop Guild.
The entire place looks like Austin Powers' swingin' bachelor pad. Marian takes them aside and explains what we already know about Hunka Chunka, that he can turn into paper and telepathically control other people's bodies. She learned this from hours of grueling fart-torture with Abobo. "We're starting to look like the Double Dorks," Dacascos moans. I don't think he knew the camera was on.
Outside of ShukoCorp we can see two guys arguing over a pay-machine that dispenses oxygen. Now you're ripping off Spaceballs? Guys, if you're going to steal from a movie, don't make it a Mel Brooks flick that even non-cinephiles are going to recognize. The Power Corp (sic) stages a raid to distract security while Marian has them sneak into the building via its conveniently large ventilation system. Clearly Mamba Wamba has never read that Internet meme about what to do if you're a warlord bent on world domination. I think #1 on the list is reducing the size of your vents. Anyway, Marian leads the way into the vent, allowing the brothers ample time to set up a tripod and photograph her ass, then they get into a shoving match competing for who will have the honor of sniffing her butt for the next five minutes in the vent.
I could drive my car through these fucking vents. They're able to walk through them just hunched over slightly at the knees! Somehow these vents lead to the penthouse where they overhear Shama Lama Ding Dong trying to bribe the police chief into ruling the city with him. The Party of Five Guy spots the other half of the Medallion in a box on his desk and tries to sneak it out of there with a bit of fishing line. Why isn't he just wearing the magical medallion instead of leaving it out in the open where anybody could swipe it? Fortunately for Shuko, Billy is a fucking idiot and gets spotted by Lash almost immediately. She smashes the grate and they fall into the room in a heap. Marian looks sheepishly at her police chief daddy in a Steve Urkel "did I do thaaaat" moment and says "Does this mean I'm grounded?"
Vidal Sasoon dangles the amulet in front of himself and draws the Lees attention. Like dorks they both charge him with hands outstretched and fall down the elevator shaft when Shuko does an "Olé!" move. No really, he jumps aside and says "Olé!" I can't believe they fell for that! They manage to grab onto a rope and slide down about seventy floors until they crash into the Basement of Steroids. Koga turns into shadow paper and leaps down after them, leaving Marian's dad to battle Lash alone. It's more than a little embarrassing to see a blonde bimbo with a whip battle a fake cop in his late fifties wielding a naginata. Being a cop, I figure he might...oh, I don't know...use his gun? I guess in a martial arts movie that's considered cheating.
Anyway, Marian and the Lees dust themselves off and find themselves in Koga's Secret Underground Steroid Lab (a.k.a. the Balco testing grounds) and promptly start snooping around and cracking jokes, as if they'd forgotten that the frigging T-1000 was right behind them with the world's most powerful magical death trinket. The Party of Five Guy starts pulling the aluminum foil off the gurneys and poking the unconscious test subjects in the face, something you should never do when you're in any kind of laboratory full of people wrapped for freshness like coffee cakes. Marian checks one out and sees that one of the subjects has been augmented with cybernetics into Edward Scissorhands, which causes her to scream like a 1940s creature feature actress. PoFG shushes her annoyingly with a spittle-drenched "SSHHHHPPPTPTPTPTPHHHHH!" and chides her, saying "You'll wake the dead!" This strikes him as terribly fucking funny and he goes in at length asking everyone if they get it, then explaining the joke by pointing at all the semi-dead people and going "See? Get it? Because...they're all...dead..."
I really hope one of the cyber-zombies rips his face off.
Suddenly (I'd use the word 'ironically' but that would be giving this movie far too much credit) one of the unconscious people wakes up and starts making zombie "unnngh" noises. The first is a bald dude in a basketball jersey and shorts. I think it's just Charles Barkley taking a nap. Billy's the only one who sees this and goes into a goofy "hommina hommina hommina" moment of nonsense that never really happens to anyone in real life. I honestly think that given the same situation I would be able to rather clearly articulate "Jimmy, look out behind you! The zombie of Charles Barkley is about to eat you!" But no, Zombie Charles Barkley groans and draws their attention so they all can share another Macaulay Culkin group scream and run away from the undead basketball star.
"Hi there, did you miss me?" the zombie asks. Doesn't he usually do the pre-game show for the NFL with Terry Bradshaw and Jillian Barberie? Not really, dude...
Back in the penthouse, the epic duel between Lash and The Old Blue Line is still raging. Okay, not really raging. He pushes a bronze bust down on her and walks away. Sort of like Road House when Dalton pushed over a polar bear on a fat guy and hid behind a stuffed yak. Only without the polar bear and the yak. And no Swayze. Or a fat guy. Actually it wasn't like Road House at all. Don't know why I brought it up other than I like to make obscure references to Swayze movies.
Zombie Charles Barkley attacks, but the three of them rather easily overcome him and drop a massive steel platform on him. The shadowy incorporeal form of Tonga Bonga pokes cartoonishly up from the flattened zombie and demands they hand over the medallion...or else.
The Party of Five guy rather stupidly asks "Or else what?" I think it's rather clear that he intends to kill you, but Billy is so mentally-challenged in this movie I'm beginning to think he legitimately has no idea what anyone is talking about. Jimmy smacks the controls to a huge turbine fan behind Rama Lama Ding Dong, sucking him into oblivion. They only barely manage to turn it off before the suction pulls Billy into its welcoming blades and chops him into quivering strips of soggy pork. Damn it. You couldn't have waited five, maybe ten seconds?
Rula Bula isn't so easily killed, however, and uses his powers to possess another one of his techno-zombies. This one is a leather fetishist with a big metal head. This zombie rather handily kicks the Lees' butts all over the place, so Marian pulls the Party of Five Guy aside and they run away while poor Jimmy absorbs an inhuman amount of punishment. Great friends you got, Jimmy, they're leaving you to get beat up by a rejected Judge Dredd villain. Marian is screaming the whole time "we had no choice! There's no way we could possibly have beaten the 700 lbs. dork with bad hydraulic knees! Sorry Jimmy! Bye!" Gitchi Gitchi Ya Ya Da Da throws Jimmy into a bear hug and chokes him out.
Cut to more Verhoeven news footage from Channel 69. Okay really, have we stooped so low as to just throw the number 69 out on the screen? Was the spinach farting not low enough? Honestly, even most college students would find this immature. The news reports that the gangs under Bahama Mama have broken their truce and are looting any damn time they feel like it now, like that's a major disaster. Does it really matter when the gangs are raping, pillaging, burning, and robbing people? It's still being done. The curfew hasn't made the problem go away, it's just given it a regularly-scheduled prime time slot every night. The Democrats must be in office or something. New Angeles could use a few indiscriminate executions right about now. But that's the N.A.P.D. for you: Protect and Serve 'til 9 PM.
Marian's Dad looks at the rioting gangs just outside the police station fence and turns back to a locker room full of worried-looking cops. "We're going back out there!" he says, all gung-ho to kick some ass. How in the name of Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai did Marian's Dad make it back to the police station? He was just at EvilCo TWO MINUTES AGO surrounded by Shaka Zulu's evil minions. These are the same guys who have ninjas with rocket-equipped jetskis, and an aging police chief with no weapon managed to brawl his way down seventy floors of bad guys, clobbered his way through the gang blockade of the police station, and made it all the way inside without a mark on him? Hardcore!!
Anyway, Marian's Dad tries to muster them up for some serious law enforcement and the cops are all "fuck THAT noise, pops." He tells them that they're all a bunch of whiny pussies and his daughter is out there doing their job!
"I'm okay with that!" I imagine a little mousy voice from the back of the crowd saying.
And it seems that most of the cops really are okay with that, because not one of them moves from their seat. He tries to pull rank by shouting "That's an order!" No dice. He storms off and commandeers a Humvee.
Whomp Bompa Loo Bop takes Jimmy up to the penthouse and ties him up with electrical tape (?) saying if he helps cooperate to bring him the medallion, he'll let him live. Jimmy refuses, so Koga decides to pass the time by explaining how he killed Jimmy's father, and explaining his evil plan, complete with a half-hearted Krankor-worthy "Haa ha ha ha ha!"
Marian and the Party of Five Guy retreat back to the Power Corp (sic) hideout, where he stares confounded at his half of the Double Dragon amulet. He keeps trying to get it to work...but...too...STUPID...Even Marian tries to cheer him up but Alyssa can barely keep a straight face when she looks at this complete loser-- supposedly humanity's last hope-- and breaks down laughing in the middle of the line "you'll get it to work." Honest to god, I think this is a blown line that they kept in the movie. Dejected, Billy finally admits that he can't fight the T-1000 by himself. But Marian-- get ready to clamp down a sudden rise of vomit-- leans in to kiss him and tries to assure him that he's good enough to defeat Chumbawumba. Oh that's just gross. How could Marian, a hardened resistance fighter, ever find anything remotely charming about the Party of Five Guy?! It's just...just...EEEEW. He's the fucking comic relief! You don't have a thing for Dacascos, or the hot chick with a whip..or Abobo? I'd take a steamy Abobo sex scene over watching the Party of Five Guy mash his fishy lips all over Alyssa Milano's face. Uugggggghhhhh it makes my butt pucker to even think about something that nasty. The only thing that keeps me sane is the knowledge that the Party of Five Guy has never and will never get laid. EVER.
Gang members attack from all directions, rappelling in from the windows and invading from the sewers, led by Apollo Creed and the Beanie Boys! Billy fights off a raucous gang of mailmen (whaaat?) and disposes of them by knocking them into an oddly-located swimming pool full of anti-freeze. Lash squares off with Marian, but is defeated when Marian learns the one way to defeat a woman with a whip. It's uh...get out of the way of the whip.
Then we see Abobo on the toilet!! AAAUUUUUGGGHHH!!!! Nooooo! Take it away! I don't want to see Abobo rocking the thunderbucket! Why would you interrupt a fight scene for this?!
Oh, it's okay...he's got his pants on. Thank CHRIST. He seems pretty hunky dorey until he catches a glimpse of himself in the bathroom mirror and realizes for the first time how extraordinarily lumpy he's become. This sends Abobo into a Hulk Smash rage! Awright! Time for Abobo-a-go-go! Back at the fight, Billy is squaring off with a mime, Mathew McConaughey, and Apollo Creed. Jimmy appears in front of him, double-kicks the mime and McConaughey (yay!) and then superkicks Billy through a plate glass window! Yayyyyyyy! Do it again!
Jimmy proceeds to backfist the Party of Five guy in the teeth and leg lariats him off a catwalk. I like watching him get beat up. If you made the whole movie about this it would have been great. Jimmy is obviously possessed by the Terminator because he starts blabbing on at length about Romulus and Remus and how it doesn't really apply to this situation, but he's a long-winded villain with a good education so he's entitled to bore movie protagonists with loose metaphors. Billy backs into a Double Dragon arcade machine (oh god...) and starts trying to fire up his Dragon Medallion again in desperation. It doesn't work. We have to listen to more Greek mythology. Billy finally gets fed up with the amulet and hurls it away, but it stops in mid-air and flies back into his hand. I guess it's magnetically drawn to complete assholes.
Jimmy pump-kicks him through the concrete wall (yay!) but Billy finds that he's completely unhurt (booo!). Billy deduces that the amulet's power allows him to take insanely brutal ass-kickings without getting hurt, which is good because Billy sucks at martial arts. Tonka Wonka threatens to kill Jimmy's body if he doesn't hand over the medallion, and unfastens a rope suspending a heavy sandbag form the ceiling for no readily apparent reason. Billy leaps in front of the sandbag to absorb the blow and starts wailing away on Jimmy with Star Trek-style double-fist sledges to the face, but this gets him close enough for Koga to just yank the medallion off his neck. Retard. Too late, Shadow Koga withdraws from Jimmy's body and puts together the amulet.
Wow! Okay guys, this is the moment of truth! I mean, both halves of the Double Dragon medallion are so damn powerful they give almost complete immortality to the bearers, right? The Soul Medallion lets you become incorporeal and possess the bodies of the living and the dead, and the Body Medallion makes you completely indestructible. So united, the Double Dragon must be...must be...well it has to be absolutely earth-shatteringly AWESOME, right? It was used to single-handedly destroy an army of Shadow Warriors and safeguard the safety of China for thousands of years! We're talking extinction-level events or something. I bet it summons Great Cthulhu or turns you into Chuck Norris. Ooh! Maybe it summons a Megazord and lets you smash shit in a huge robot dinosaur. I'm so excited! Let's see what happens!
Wait for it!
It turns him into a pair of sword-wielding trolls in black robes.
WHAT?? That's it?! That's what we were trying to track down these ancient medallions for thousands of years to do? Man, what a ripoff! If I were Koga Shuko I'd be feeling profoundly ripped-off right now. No Megazord or anything? Hell these things would be laughed off the set of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. They look like the mirror monster in Conan the Destroyer. And they're really pansy sword-wielding trolls, too. They're slow and boring, and even though Marian helps them out by turning on the generator to reactivate the lights, the Lees didn't even need the assistance. As it happens, turning on simple overhead lights is their ultimate crippling weakness. That's right, a normally-lit room will utterly defeat the bearer of the Double Dragon amulet. Anyway, the Lees kick the trolls around and take back the amulet.
It'd be funny if the combined amulet just turned the Lees into sword trolls too, but it doesn't. Instead it gives them a complete wardrobe change into really gay karate outfits complete with sissy boots, ankle-warmers, and arm stockings. Absolutely covered in silver threads and what must be sequins. Oh man, they are never going to live down the gay jokes now. Even Billy looks ashamed to be a part of this movie now and asks if they're going to be the Double Dragons if they really have to wear the stupid costumes. Jimmy says they're not too bad; at least he doesn't have to wear the blue one. Yeah dude, the red one makes you a pillar of manliness.
Lotus Flower appears as a spectral Jedi spirit and spouts off some crap about destiny and the unity of the Double Dragons, blah blah. They kick Funk & Wagnall around a bit, like it really takes the power of the Dragon Medallion to stomp Robert Patrick. Jimmy uses the Soul Amulet and jumps into Koga's body, making him slap the shit out of himself for a while before writing a $129 million check out to the police department and demands to be arrested. Oh those kooky Lees! Koga has surprisingly good humor about the whole situation considering the downfall of his financial empire was brought about by a pair of idiots in matching sequined tights. "If you think I'm bad, wait'll you meet my lawyers! BWUHUAHAHAHAHAHA!!"
Marian presents the Lees with their fixed-up Dragon Wagon, complete with a custom dragon paint job and a brand-new afterburner. Abobo wanders over and asks if they wouldn't mind terribly if he hung out with them for a while, maybe drive the Wagon while they fight crime or something. Dude, that would be awesome. Think of the heavy metal band they could start with Abobo! Although that does mean having to put up with his flatulence...