Twin Dragons - * 1/2*

Twin Dragons

In his latest rerelease, Jackie Chan uses a gimmick that Jean Claude VanDamme afficionados know well. It’s a gimmick that goes something like this: if one Jackie Chan is good, two must be better! Unfortunately, Twin Dragons proves that not to be the case.

Jackie plays a pair of twins, separated at birth. One, John Ma, under the guidance of his true parents, becomes a concert pianist, known the world over. The other, Boomer, is a mechanic and part time con artist, with an instinctive knack for martial arts (wouldn’t you know).

Raised on opposite corners of the globe, the twins are blissfully unaware of each other’s existence. That is until fate places them both in Hong Kong at the same time. John Ma is there for a concert, but spends most of his time avoiding the advances of a marriage-minded woman, Tammy (Nina Li Chi).

Boomer, on the other hand, is in trouble. An attempt to help his diminutive friend Tyson (Teddy Robyn) win the love of a singer, Barbara (Maggie Cheung), earns him the wrath of a local gangster. But when the gangsters mistake John Ma for Boomer, hillarity ensues…well, sort of.

Twin Dragons relies even more on comedy than the typical Jackie Chan film. The mistaken identity gags wear out their welcome almost immediately, yet the film just keeps them coming. As is the case with most of Jackie’s rereleased films, Twin Dragons suffers from a horrible dub, and the resulting sound mix certainly doesn’t help the humor any.

Jackie Chan’s films have never been praised for their complex plots. The spectacular fight sequences are what draw the fans. There’s one good one in Twin Dragons, a climactic battle in an automotive testing factory. Yet, by the time it finally rolls around, it’s a case of too little, too late. And to top things off, the film doesn’t even include any of Jackie’s trademark outtakes over the end credits. This is a rerelease sure to disappoint his fans.

Originally released in 1992, Twin Dragons’ special effects already seem cheap and dated. Twin effects have been around for a very long time, yet when Jackie and Jackie appear together onscreen it seems like a bad episode of The Patty Duke Show. The picture gets grainy, out of focus in spots, and the dividing line between the actor and himself is so visible, it’s distracting.

If you’re looking for a good Jackie Chan film, go rent a subtitled version of Drunken Master II. Twin Dragons was a waste of Jackie’s time…twice over.

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