Twin Dragons:”No reason, we’re not brothers”

Year: 1992
Directed by Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark
Produced by Teddy Robin and Ng See-Yuen
Written by Barry Wong, Tsui Hark, Joe Cheung, Wong Yik and Teddy Robin

Cast: Jackie Chan,Maggie Cheung, Teddy Robin, Nina Li Chi, James Wong Jim, Sylvia Chang, Kirk Wong, David Chiang, Mabel Cheung, Alfred Cheung, Wang Lung-Wei, and Anthony Chan

Two twins that were separated at birth and grow up in vastly different circumstances happen to cross paths.

Twin Dragons is a product of the combined efforts of Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam. You might be left expecting more considering the reputations of those directors. Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark’s efforts do largely hit their intended goals. Twin Dragons is mainly a by the numbers action comedy but with kind of a unique premise at its core. Which is offering us two Jackie Chans at once!

The execution of two Jackie Chans is the main highlight of Twin Dragons. Jackie Chan delivers two performances that are easily distinguishable. Each twin is conveyed with totally different mannerisms and body language. Bok Min is the crude thug that can do martial art while Ma Yau is the gifted soft hearted musician and conductor. Jackie shifting between the two twins is effortlessly done. It’s another testament to his limitless physical comedy. It does finally answer the question, are two Jackies better than one? For Twin Dragons, the answer is undeniably, yes. Twin Dragons might be a one trick pony, but the whole trick of having two onscreen Jackie Chan is one hell of a trick doesn’t disappoint.

Twin Dragons is largely a comedy of errors and misunderstandings galore. It is a case of mistaken identity gone amuck. It is where the primary focus centers on. From top to bottom, Twin Dragons doesn’t set its sight on being anything more than being a pretext for comedic mishaps caused by two Jackies interacting. Even Jackie’s trademark stunts take a backseat which could even leave Jackie Chan aficionados wanting more. Twin Dragons was largely conceived as a way to raise funds for what was then the newly created, Hong Kong’s Director Guild. That also explains all of the numerous cameos. Even the thin romances just serve to further the gags. Maggie Cheung is one of the best actresses that Jackie Chan shares the best onscreen chemistry. So, at least, in my eyes, Ma Yau and Barbara’s spontaneous romance is actually serviceable.

Twin Dragons does go on for longer than it needs to and the final battle suffers from pacing issues as well. It is way too long. Perhaps, it was overly long to overcompensate for the lack of fights. A car testing site is creatively utilized for the sake of Jackie’s trademark choreography with great results.

Twin Dragons is a moderately well made Jackie Chan flick that offers great laughs and fun. But, it is missing a few key ingredients to be something special.

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