Bullet Points: Double Trouble
When the Hollywood big wigs first laid eyes on twin bodybuilders David and Peter Paul, they probably thought they had the second and third coming of Arnold Schwarzenegger in their midst.
But the brothers Paul, aka The Barbarian Brothers, did not attempt to be a pair of Arnolds and instead opted to become the first David and Peter Paul, blazing their own trail in the process.
I remember back in the day when I was still getting Netflix discs in the mail and I had one of the Barbarian Brothers classics come to my mailbox. The synopsis on the envelope listed David and Peter as WWE Superstars . From my own extensive knowledge of the WWE product, I had no recollection of David and Peter ever stepping foot inside a wrestling ring or even heard of there being interest on behalf of the WWE in recruiting the brothers to wrestle, although they certainly looked the part especially back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not sure where Netflix got their info, but I did some more research online and again found no evidence that the brothers ever had anything to do with professional wrestling.
While they may have never been tag team champions of the world, this inimitable duo brought their unique style and off the wall (some might say low brow) humor to a handful of films in the late 80’s and early 90’s. One of those films is the topic of this edition of Bullet Points, the action comedy Double Trouble.
- Looks Can Be Deceiving: David and Peter Paul play David and Peter Jade in Double Trouble. And while their outward appearance may be identical, these two muscle bound twins could not be more different. Example #1 – David is a cop and his brother Peter is a cat burgular. Example #2 – David prefers jeans and a Raiders sweatshirt, while Peter likes to wear fine Italian suits. Example #3 – David lives in a modest apartment, with limited furnishings and a poster of Rambo: First Blood Part II on the wall. Meanwhile Peter has a swanky condo with a picture of himself over his fireplace. Example #4 – David brings home a cat and turns his kitchen sink into a litter box. Peter spray paints a picture of a cat on the walls of all the places he robs. Could these two have really come out of the same womb?
- To Catch A Thief: After Peter Jade is arrested for stealing diamonds by his own brother, Peter ends up making a deal with the authorities to help them take down a big time jewel smuggling operation. After all who better to catch a thief than another thief? If Peter cooperates and the diametrically opposed Jade brothers can bring the thieves to justice, Peter will get a pass on all his crimes. Something David is not too happy about, but since there is a connection between the jewel thieves and the people who killed his former partner, he too has a vested interest in this mission. Knowing the two brothers will undoubtedly butt heads on this assignment, they get a fed named Whitney Regan (Collin Bernsen of Hangfire fame). If there is one thing the brothers can immediately agree on is their dislike of Whitney, although as the movie progresses he grows on them.
- There Is No Honor Among Thieves: The mastermind behind this billion dollar heist is a wealthy and respected businessman named Peter Chamberlain. Chamberlain is played by the legendary Roddy McDowall. McDowall is probably best known for his work in the Planet of the Apes movies and one of the stars of my favorite horror film of all-time, Fright Night. Chamberlain has roped in a crooked politician (played by Troy Donahue) and the owner of a construction company (played by Steve Kanaly) to help him pull off the crime of the century. McDowall really delivers a show stealing performance in Double Trouble as the cold and calculating Chamberlain, a man who will have you shot once he no longer has a need for you. This level of sadistic violence is a stark contrast to the other elements of the movie.
If you like your action comedies on the zany side and filled with potty humor, bad jokes and an overall sense of fun, then you will love what Double Trouble has to offer. As I said at the top, David and Peter Paul blazed their own trail in the world of motion pictures and whether it was their intention or not, ended up making their own brand of movies. In my book, The Barbarian Brothers are more akin to Jim Varney and the Ernest movies than they are the films of Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I’m not complaining. Could David and Peter Paul have went the more traditional action movie route? Absolutely, but I’m not sure they or the audience would have had nearly as much fun.
Before I go, it appears I have a few bonus Double Trouble Bullet Points on the menu…
- TV Land: Several supporting players of the cast were part of some classic TV shows. Bill Mumy, who played Will Robinson on Lost in Space, plays Bob the Assassin in what I thought was a rather unexpected casting choice. David Carradine of Kung Fu fame plays Peter Jade’s prison mentor and the man who taught him everything he needed to know about cat burglary. And last but not least Star Trek’s James Doohan plays David Jade’s boss, Chief O’Brien.
- Two Bulls in a China Shop: One of the more memorable scenes in the film finds the Jade Brothers finally coming to blows, the battle takes the two barbarians into a china shop where carnage ensues. I hope the shop was insured.
- Who’s That Lady?: The woman who plays David Jade’s next door neighbor and enjoys listening to him grunt and groan as he lifts weights is none other than Darcy LaPier. If that name sounds familiar it is because at one time she was Mrs. Jean-Claude Van Damme.
- The Greek James Lew?: One of Chamberlain’s henchmen is played by Stefanos Miltsakakis, who has been popping up in movies we review on the site almost as much as James Lew. You may remember Miltsikakis from Martial Outlaw, Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite or Maximum Risk.
- Favorite Quote: “You’ll have to excuse my voice, I’ve been screaming at assholes all morning.” – Chief O’Brien