Sunday, August 29, 2010

Twin Dragons (1992)

Director: Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark
Notable Cast: Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung

Here's the deal with Mr. Chan and all of his Jackie-ness. Many of his films are not that good. The American versions (thanks mostly to Dimension Films) are even worse with their horrible dubbing and extremely poor opening credits. Yet, some how and in some way, they are insanely fun to watch and charming to beat hell in a charm race. Although its hard for me to give "Twin Dragons" anything higher than a 2 star rating, know that I find myself watching this film quite often and having a great time doing so. Its bad. But its awesome too.

John Ma (Chan) and his long lost twin brother, Boomer (Chan also) have no idea that the other exists. Separated at birth with Boomer thought to be dead and gone, the brothers find very different paths through life. Ma becomes a great musician as a maestro and a piano gifted world renowned player. Boomer is a lowly mechanic with a very small friend, who has found his way through the world by being the toughest and fastest fighter in town. When the two accidentally cross paths as adults and find themselves being thrust into each others' lives its only comedic chaos that ensues as they try to unravel their lives that have become twisted.

"Twin Dragons" could be described in essence as "The Parent Trap" meets bad ass. Truly that's how this film works. Jackie Chan plays the two brothers and with some clever editing and occasionally odd overlapping imagines (that cleverly works at times surprisingly) they pull off the duel twin thing. Of course, the story is trite at times and the dubbing for this American version is horrendous. The opening scene with the babies being separated is comically horrific with its dubbing and black and white style.

That's somewhat of the brilliance behind "Twin Dragons" though. Chan has always had an odd knack for the funny (even if its mostly silly slapstick humor like how Boomer always snorts in this film) but this film is actually so ridiculous its awesome. The already over the top and off beat humor matched with the awful dubbing and ludicrous situations somehow works for this guy. The film might not be good in this sense but its funny.

As with any Jackie Chan film though, "Twin Dragons" also features some insane stunt work. With awesome car chases, boat chases, group beat downs, and generally watching Chan maneuver his way through a variety of obstacles this one doesn't disappoint in that factor despite its focus on the humor. If you enjoy this part of Jackie's work than this is one more for your collection.

"Twin Dragons" is far from 'good' when it comes to film making or writing, but the charm of watching Chan beat down a solid group of stuntmen than perform a orchestra maestro sequence while running and off balance is damn fun. Don't expect much more than awesome stunts and oddly charming humor sequences, but otherwise just enjoy it for what it is. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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