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Feature


The hit video game roars to life with amazing SFX and spectacular action sequences starring Robert Patrick, Mark Dacascos and Scott Wolf.

In a future 2007, earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gang wars ravage LA. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick – Terminator 2) is obsessed with finding both halves of the Double Dragon, a talisman that will give him awesome mystical powers. Teenage brothers Jimmy (Mark Dacascos – Brotherhood of the Wolf) and Billy (Scott Wolf – Party of Five) wind up with the missing half, thrusting them in to the adventure of a lifetime. Marian (Alyssa Milano – Commando) and her vigilante power corps help them summon all their courage, resourcefulness and martial arts skills to stop the villain's evil plans. This high-octane spectacular crackles with the energy and humour of its heroes. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!
(Taken from the official synopsis.)

Video


I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this transfer, which is just as well. Presented at 1.78.:1, it's a pretty weak effort that looks to be derived from a dated high-definition master, which itself looks to have been sourced from elements far removed from the original negative (as evidenced by the presence of reel change markers). Detail can best be described as adequate – even allowing for the frequent softness of the original photography – contrast is flat, colours are drab and film artefacts can frequently be seen, but at least blacks are reasonably deep. The small size of the encode also means that compromises have been made with regards to compression. I guess certain concessions can be made given the age and less than high standing of the film itself, but even so this is still a disappointing presentation.

Audio


The LPCM 2.0 Stereo audio fares a little better than the video. It's still a fairly uninspired affair, often sounding muddy and indistinct, but it does at least have some positives. Dialogue – such as it is – comes across clearly enough, while bass response is better than one might expect; the tremors caused by the aftershocks of the 'big one' elicit a satisfying rumble from the sub, as do various explosions. There isn't a lot of separation across the stereo channels though, which is disappointing, as is the soundtrack comprised of forgettable nineties 'hits' (although I must confess to having fond memories of the Hed Boys track 'Girls & Boys' and The Farm's 'All Together Now').

Extras


Nothing at all...

Overall


Double Dragon is a disaster; the worst kind of nineties movie. It bears little to no resemblance to the game upon which it is based, the action is neutered, and the comedy falls utterly flat. Worst of all, Andy Dick is in it… Perhaps the kindest things one can say about it are that it's mercifully short and features both Al Leong and Jeff Imada in supporting roles. Well, that and Alyssa Milano in tight shorts. Even so, I honestly can't remember the last time I watched something as offensively bad as this film. It does absolutely nothing with a property that could have made for a decent video game adaptation. Any film that makes Super Mario Bros. look like a faithful version of the source material has serious, serious problems…

Technically it's a disappointing disc, although perhaps understandably so given the feature itself. I haven't seen any previous release of the film, be that VHS or DVD, but I can only imagine that this at least eclipses both of those formats in audio-visual terms. For that reason alone this is almost certainly the version of choice for those of you masochistic enough to want to own a copy, but I can't in good conscience recommend what is possibly the worst video game adaptation of all time... I've awarded the video an extra mark for making a reasonable fist of things given the dodgy source materials, but that's the extent of my generosity (and I'll probably regret it later).

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Double Dragon
 Double Dragon
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