[box cover]

Replicant

If there's any lesson to be learned from the B-action movies of the last few years, it's that when Jean-Claude Van Damme teams up with Hong Kong director Ringo Lam you can expect double the Van Damage. In their first teaming, 1996's under-appreciated camp thriller Maximum Impact, Van Damme squared off against himself as good-twin hunting bad-twin. And in 2001's Replicant, the versatile Belgian ass-kicker is at his doppleganger-act again, staring as both serial killer Torch and the clone created to stop him. Michael Rooker co-stars as a retiring detective hired to baby-sit clone Van Damme (a pilot project for an eventual NSA counter-terrorism weapon) as the infant-like genetic double assimilates Torch's memories (who knew that DNA stored memory?) and struggles through an obvious identity crisis. While Lam's action is not as creative here as in his previous films, the pacing is swift and the no-nonsense style fits Van Damme's lightweight acting skills. This is a movie in which bones will be crushed, and crushed they are. And with elements of The Corsican Brothers thrown in for seasoning, Replicant lacks nothing of its purpose. Artisan's DVD offers a clean anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with both DD 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. Includes a commentary by Van Damme (a sample insight: "I'm playing a killer — a bad killer") and Rooker, eight deleted scenes, storyboards, and the trailer. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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