Twin Dragons review

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If it wasn't for the major Stateside success of Mr Chan over the last few years, this '92 comedy high-kicker would probably have remained for cult audience consumption only. As it stands, this is a Chan vehicle cobbled together as a fund-raising exercise for the Hong Kong Director's Guild with much of the cast comprising of various film-makers donating their services for a nominal fee.

Modest roots aside, Twin Dragons is a vague but gleeful Eastern rip-off of Jean-Claude Van Damme's dopey Double Impact. Audiences back then would easily have picked up on that fact, but with the best part of a decade having passed, the faint resonance of the spoofery is virtually non-existent.

That said, this is still fairly enjoyable, often for the wrong reasons. The dubbed dialogue is hysterically bad in places, some of the acting makes Keanu look like Olivier, and the bargain basement, er, `special' effects showing the twins on screen simultaneously will have you wincing with embarrassment. But then what do you expect from a flick put together for small change?

When things go right, though, the combination of action and comedy is superb. The story hasn't been shoved through the Hollywood sanitation filter, so while the action is relatively small-scale, there is a hard edge lurking just beneath the laughs.

Forget about the wispy thin story and weird pacing, and just lie back and enjoy the set-piece stunts, which are gobsmacking in their audacity. The stand-out is the sustained chop-socky mayhem of the finale, set in the somewhat surreal environs of a car-testing centre. Every available piece of mechanical equipment is transformed into weaponry as the twins face the villains. Too bad, though, that there are no bone-crunching stunt out-takes as the credits roll.

Not the kind of movie you'd recommend to anyone who demands high production values, competent acting or any form of plot. But if you enjoy seeing the one-man action hurricane that is Chan do his thing, then there's still a fair bit of fun to be had.

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