" I’ll be monitoring your frequency "
— Zoe Saldana, Star Trek

MRQE Top Critic

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To sum it up in one word: enh.

Twin Dragons is the latest Jackie Chan movie to be re-dubbed and re-released in the United States (this one is actually 7 years old). As movies go, it’s a good bit of entertainment. Chan wields his usual charm, grace, and skill, playing identical twins.

As Jackie Chan movies go, it’s mediocre. It has some good fight and stunt sequences, but it lacks a really good one. The story is interesting enough, and Jackie does alright at separating his two characters (he’s no Jeremy Irons). But identical-twin movies are nothing new, and in at least one scene the special effects fail miserably.

Chan 1 grows up with an alcoholic mother who dies young. He becomes a mechanic and hangs around with his short pal Teddy (Teddy Robin Kwan), who’s always getting in trouble. It’s amazing how easily a fight can break out in these kinds of movies.

Chan 2 grows up with a silver spoon in his mouth. He becomes a classical pianist/composer/conductor. While Chan 1 lets his fists fly, Chan 2 waves his arms in front of an orchestra.

The two come together in Hong Kong. Chan 1 has gotten in trouble with a crime boss and is trying to flee to China. Chan 2 is in town to play a concert. The big mix-up starts when their girlfriends fall deeper in love with the wrong brother, and ends with the two switching identities just as 1 was supposed to take on the crime boss and 2 was supposed to conduct his symphony.

There’s not much to say about the plot. It’s all driven by the crossed identities, which you can only do so much with. Also, “the plot” isn’t what Jackie Chan movies are about. Chan movies are about stunts and fighting and grace and balance. In one sense, Twin Dragons doesn’t disappoint. It has a great boat-chase scene, two or three fun fight scenes, and not one but two big showdowns at the end.

But when you put it all together, this one lacks the edge, the spark that’s in so many other of his movies. Watching Twin Dragons, I felt like I had seen it all before as Jackie went through the same routine, one more time. There’s usually an exotic setting or an amazing stunt or an expensive special effect to make the movie stand apart. Twin Dragons lacked that something extra.

The final insult came at the very end of the film as the credits rolled and ... no outtakes.

If you really want to see this one, save it for video.