Review: The Twins Effect (2003)

Directed by:
Cast: , , , , ,

Distributed in Australia by:

This is nothing more nor less than a promotional effort for The Twins, that ebullient Cantopop duo made up of Gillian Cheung and Charlene Choi. But for all that, it’s not a bad piece of froth, provided you disengage your brain while you watch.

One of the highlights, for cinema aficionados, is the presence of the consummate actor Anthony Wong. Although he has a reputation for sleepwalking through roles which fail to engage his interest, here he adds sparkle as the faithful retainer of the vampire prince, played by Edison Chen. In fact, one of the best moments of the film come during the end credits: Wong’s rendition of a vampire whose teeth won’t work is superb comedy, and I’m not sure why the scene wasn’t included in the main film.

Aside from the magnetic personage of Wong, there’s not much to be said for the acting. The story holds together well enough, and the writers were sensible enough to avoid giving The Twins anything that would challenge their meagre actings skills, so while it’s not Chekhov, it’s not a home movie either. I find it interesting that consistency of quality can be such a virtue in this context: any attempt to make the characters more complex, or the story more compelling, would have produced embarrassing performances, which would make for a less entertaining film overall. A similar result would probably result from casting better actors, or indeed for making Wong’s part larger: the contrast would only have made the younger actors look shabby.

The Twins Effect is not Chekhov, and it’s not meant to be. While I’ve called it a piece of froth, I’d still have to admit that it’s fairly palatable froth. Whether this is due to the consistency in production and the careful writing, or to the cameo presence of actors like Wong, Karen Mok, Jackie Chan, Ekin Cheng, and Josie Ho, I can’t say. But if you’re forced to watch it, you probably won’t be grinding your teeth the whole way through. You might even enjoy it.

6.5 bottles of banana essence tragically misused out of 10.
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