Jimmy (Matthew Lawrence, The Dead of Night, Money Plane) has just lost his brother and is taking his ashes to the coast to scatter them in the ocean. As bad as that is, things promptly get worse when a stop at a convenience store puts him in the middle of what seems to be a very well-armed robbery. Only the cashier, her name is Natasha (Danielle C. Ryan, Haunt, Fire City: End of Days) takes out the robbers with a shotgun and a throwing knife before grabbing her backpack and bolting.
But Jimmy’s bad day is far from over as he finds Natasha has stowed away in his vehicle and a couple of big black SUVs full of goons are on their trail. He’s not sure whether to be relieved or terrified when she easily dispatches them.
Writer CJ Walley and director Shane Stanley, who previously teamed up for Break Even and Southern Decadence don’t waste much time getting Double Threat moving before slowing down a bit to provide some backstory. It probably won’t surprise anyone that the store was a front for organized crime and Natasha was doing some skimming off the top.
And as a result, this timid accountant has a beautiful woman with gunsight eyes and a split personality riding shotgun. And the mob’s chief enforcer Ask (Dawn Olivieri, Bright, The Last Witch Hunter) and the boss’s son Ellis (Kevin Joy, Wrong Swipe, The Last Rampage) are on his trail.
We’ve seen this kind of plot, a shy timid guy gets dragged into something way over his head by a beautiful criminal, many times before. His personality could basically be summed up as non-existent. She on the other hand goes from lethal one moment to straddling their vehicle’s engine compartment while suggestively doing something with a radiator hose the next. And then just to add to it, her less wild persona will pop up just long enough to confuse Jimmy.
We went for something with satire, an exploitation if you will with the female action and kitschy lines surrounded by the old Grindhouse vibe and just let our actors play and the cameras roll.Shane Stanley
Calling Double Threat an exploitation film would really be pushing it. With its lack of blood and a sex scene that goes out of its way not to show anything “naughty”, it’s more like “Grindhouse Lite”. This would have been the PG-rated film that took the early slot on a drive-in double bill, the film the kids fell asleep during before the R-rated film their parents came to see play. There’s nothing wrong with that, but trying to infer that it’s anything close to an exploitation film is just going to lead to unhappy viewers.
Double Threat’s action scenes are fairly good. Ryan certainly has the moves for her fight scenes and the choreography by Doc Duhame (Ray Donovan, One By One), while not on the level of someone like Tim Man or Jean-Paul Ly, is better than many lower budgeted films. But there still aren’t enough of them.
The result is that while Double Threat is considerably better than Break Even was, there’s way more talking and driving around while some horrible song plays than actual fights or chases. It’s as much another film about a wimpy guy who meets his Manic Pixie Dream Girl as it is another True Romance or Into the Night. Or, considering the sequel teasing ending, it’s a film about two guys who meet her, one guy for each of her personalities.