I remember when this movie first came out (or rather when I first heard of it). Jean Claude Van Damme is one of those (or rather became one of those) B-movie action heroes that they love to do marathons over and over again on certain cable channels. So out of the blue Van Damme host one of these marathons on TNT I think as a way to promote his new movie Replicant.
For me I always thought this met that Replicant was his attempt to return to the big screen, even though it was a Stright-to-video movie, but admittingly the film has a high-quality when it comes to story and acting.
Except for one factor: this marks the third time Jean Claude Van Damme plays two characters at once. Why does the muscles from Brussels allow himself to get rope into this? The only difference is instead of playing two twins separated at birth he plays a serial killer that the government clones as an experiment in genetic memory. An element that this movie does share with Double Impact and Maximum Risk is that its Jean Claud Van Damme playing one guy as being bad and intelligent and the other guy as being good and childish. I’ll give it to Van Damme that this is two types that he does well, but I do fear this messes up the film.
Van Damme in a movie called Replicant already tells you that it’s about two Van Damme’s for the price of one, and if Double Impact particularly was your thang than you totally want to see this film, but even though I loved Double Impact I heard it did not do well for the people who are not fans of the splits.
I don’t know if Replicant did well when it first came out, but it would not surprise me if those tuned off by Two Van Damme’s before did not come back for this one.
That’s too bad, Replicant was a good film. I get why Van Damme wanted to promote it because it was something different in his career as an actor as he got to do more acting than fighting. Don’t worry there is fighting a lot of good action sequences but not marital arts extravagant. Like you could have gotten Dolph Lundgren to do this and get the same results. Actually, not true cause Lundren does not have the sweet innocent puppy dog eyes look Van Damme easily pulls off as the “good clone” literally (I don’t know why I quoted that).
Replicant is not just about Van Damme however. He’s the biggest star in the movie but Michael Rooker is the main protagonist playing the hard noose detective who literally makes it to retirement at the very beginning of the movie but pulls himself back in order to catch the one that got away. It’s a good role for Rooker. If you are a fan of this supporting acting creds he gets to turn that skill up to an 11 in order to dabble in the leading man arena, tag teaming with Van Damme as an unlikely duo you have seen in movies like the Hardway or Turner and Hootch (that latter being more actuate and sense I know Van Damme is a dog lover I’m sure he does not mind he is hootch).
The actual sci-fi is so low key that it not important to the plot. I almost feel that they would have gone the long-lost twin brother angle if it was not for the fact that it would look like Double Impact 3 at this point.
Replicant is Van Damme worth watching. Not as much kicks as it is crime mystery, Vanm Damme has done better for himself in this made for DVD market he fell into than some of his other action stars and this one little gem proves it.