Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Twin Dragons" (1992)

"Twin Dragons" (1992"
Starring Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan and Maggie Cheung
Written by Hark Tsui and Barry Wong
Directed by Hark Tsui and Ringo Lam

Jackie Chan plays a double role as scruffy mechanic / car racer Boomer and his twin brother separated at birth, master orchestra conductor John Ma.  The two brothers are reunited, never having known the other existed, when John comes to Hong Kong to direct the biggest concert of his career.  Mistaken identity leads to a variety of comedic situations, which Chan excels at. 

While physically identical, the two characters are quite different.  Boomer is horny, rough, rude and an excellent martial artist to boot.  John, on the other hand, is simple, humble and couldn't fight to save himself.  The two brothers notice something is going on when they can feel what the other is doing - Boomer's hands move as if playing the piano when John is, John gets seasick when Boomer gets into a boat chase.

The movie starts strongly, with Chan taking on a whole nightclub full of goons, flipping and tumbling about, using microphones as weapons.  It's the kind of slapstick martial arts Chan is known for, and it's a joy to watch.  Unfortunately, things slow down a great deal for much of the movie, and Chan isn't really given another chance to let loose until the climactic fight in a Mitsubishi testing facility.  There are some fun chases, including a scene where a mob boss is busted out of a police convoy that features some great stunt driving and crashes.

But once that final fight starts up, "Twin Dragons" really starts firing again.  Unfortunately, "Twin Dragons" just can't hold up to other Chan movies I've watched recently, especially the excellent fights in "Drunken Master" and "Thunderbolt."  It's entertaining enough as a slapstick comedy with a few spurts of action, but really needed more oomph.