Chris messaged me about a week ago and asked me to seek out this film called Double Down. I never heard of it but he promised that I would hate it—but hate it in a way that I would enjoy it… if that makes sense. I knew it had to be one of those messy bad movies that are usually so fun to watch and I was pretty excited to experience it. The film was hard to find but once I found it, I have to say that Chris’ guess wasn’t wrong.
Supposedly, this film is about the world’s greatest secret agent and/or terrorist (the film NEVER makes the distinction very clear) named Aaron Brand (played by the director, writer, musical director, editor, production designer, production manager, casting director, location scout and caterer: Neil Breen. And I’m not joking; he literally credits himself with all that). Brand is hired by some unknown people for unknown reasons to shut down Las Vegas for two months and he plans on using two satellite dishes, three flip phones and some laptops (that are clearly never turned on) in order to do so. However, just one thing is holding him back—and it’s not the fact that he lives out of his car and eats tuna out of a can (which Breen felt was necessary to include for character purposes)—but rather the fact that the love of his life was assassinated and taken away from him and he can’t quite let that go.
To call Double Down a movie is to either broaden the definition of what a movie is to its breaking point or just an insult to even the worst films ever made. Even Ed Wood’s sloppiest attempts at filmmaking created features that, in the loosest sense, actually had a functioning story that had a point of conflict, some semi-fleshed out characters and a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. Double Down lacks all of this is a foggy haze of incoherent and rambling narration that never stops because Breen clearly lives by the motto of “Tell, Don’t Show.” Then there’s the absolutely horrendous acting, writing clearly created to feed Breen’s ego and a heaping, helping dose of stock footage. Seriously, this film has a stupid amount of stock footage.
Never, throughout the film’s running time, is the story every concretely identified or developed and matters are only made worse as Breen focuses all his attention on details that don’t matter or are repeated with no development over and over again. For example, he clearly isn’t over the assassination of his fiancée but nothing ever comes from it beyond him repeating over and over again that he loves her. I’d recommend making a drinking game of it but you’d die of alcohol poisoning within the first 20 minutes. Then you have the times where complete and utter nonsense is added. For example, there’s something about a piece of Fool’s Gold that can resurrect the dead and cure cancer or something. At least, I think that’s what it does because it is never made clear. In all honesty, this film just makes no f@#king sense.
A part of me finds Double Down hysterical because it is just a truly terrible piece of garbage that is easy to make fun of and riff the night away but another part of me finds it offensive to the world of movies. Breen has no background in filmmaking and just made a lot of money and thought, “Hey, I should make a movie where I’m the main character and I’m super tough and studly and stuff.” Add in the fact that it is absurdly easy to get your hands on cameras and editing software in this new digital age and you have a recipe for people with no creative bones in their body and armed only with an insatiable ego to feed heading out into the world and making nonsensical features. One of those results is this disaster that, in all reality, is probably something that I will only find funny once, the one time I watched it, and could probably never enjoy in the same way I enjoy other bad films like Birdemic, Troll 2 or The Room. Watching it a second time would only be succumbing to the madness and falling deeper into this film’s abyss.