review by Neo
Support the Site by Buying from YesAsia
judge a book by its cover…
Just when people are complaining about the lack of funding in HK movies, Twins Mission shows that it isn’t the investors fault, but rather the filmmakers’ inability to turn a big budget into something decent for the eyes. Twins can not stay young forever and after almost 7 years at the height of their fame, they are getting old. Back in the Twins Effect days, any movements that Charlene and Gillian can be constituted as somewhat cute, but now it just seems far sillier than the later. Perhaps, they should be separated when it comes to acting as just a look at the names of their respective works – Diary and Beyond Our Ken, is already enough to justify the above statement. It is okay to make a bubble gum flick if it is able to entertain, but when the action are silly, uninspiring, stupid and even to some degree of boredom, things aren’t look very bright. With climax action sequence between Yuen Wah and Sammo Hung and adding in the Jet Li’s wannabe, Wu Jing in the mix, it is difficult to imagine that the action can be so uninspiring. Perhaps, EEG still thinks that that Twins fans will buy into anything, but in the process the company is killing off more and more cinema fans.
The film centres on an extraordinary martial arts school called "Twins", whose members are all twins. Some former members now perform circus acts, including acrobats Pearl and Jade (Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung). Another former member Lau Hay (Wu Jing), whose twin brother is gravely ill, is commissioned to protect the mysterious "Heaven's Bead" from Tibet together with Uncle Luck (Sammo Hung). However, some evil former Twins members rob the precious bead, prompting Uncle Luck to seek help from ex-Twins leader Chang Chung (Yuen Wah). He then sends Pearl and Jade for a mission to uncover the "Heaven's Bead"...
As the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover” and in Neo’s honest opinion, he disregarded the cheesy disc cover and approached the flick with an open mind. Nonetheless, the result is a disappointed reviewer, typing about this flick that is as uninspiring as its cover. This may be due to the fault of the producer in not allocating a budget for a credible action director, namely the three people that is already associated in the film – Wu Jing, Sammo Hung and Yuen Wah. It is stupid to realize that the little known director, Benz Kong To-Hoi, is also the action director for this flick, it is not difficult to imagine why the flick is so uninspiring both in terms of direction and action stunts. Unlike the comically entertaining Dragon Tiger Gate which contained some flashy fighting sequences, this flick mixes crappy special effects, along with unnecessary use of wires, creating some pretty ordinary and silly sequences.
In a movie that is about twins, the director seems to think that using actors like Yuen Wah and Wu Jing in duo roles will actually work. The result is the audience feeling that the filmmakers are being cheap by casting the same actor in two roles, rather than paying for another actor. A light year ago, Neo claimed that Wu Jing is starting to grow from beyond the shadow of a little guy named Jet Li, but this is certainly a huge backward step and a few more flicks like this one, Wu Jing is far becoming the next Seagal than Jet Li. Still, Wu Jing remains one of the limited shining points of this uninspiring endeavour. While Sammo Hung is acting stoic once again, Yuen Wah acts too cool for his own good. As for the Twins, they are pretty much relegated into an irrelevant supporting role that requires them to fight a bit, make use of their stunt doubles and act cute. While they earned their pay check, it is highly unlikely that the duo will retain a lot of fans. Like Wu Jing, the other shining point is newcomer Jess Zhang, whose fresh looking beauty gives some much needed eye candy for the suffering audience.
All in all, Twins Mission is really a deceptive piece of marketing strategy from the ever manufactured EEG. The Twins, being the main selling point are a little more than a supporting role and the cheesy glossy cover is a direct reflection of its inner material. Safe for one short sequence about forcing pipe rats down the throat of some random guy and the daunting process that he endures through, the flick lacks any sort of imagination or even attempt to be somewhat different. It is an uninspiring and almost a waste of time. Adding to the disappointment, is the lack of creativity in the action sequences and when it is further hampered by some crappy directing, it is needless to describe any longer. While the Twins are still likable, they are no longer cute dolls and it is about time that they start acting their respective age. With that being said, it is even more disappointing to realise that this review is actually written by a former Twins fan. Perhaps, the review should end here with two final words – grow up, but with a glimpse of Beyond Our Ken and Diary, they probably only need to be separated…
I rate it 5/10.
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Starring: Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin, Gillian Chung Yun-Tung, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Wu Jing, Yuen Wah, Jess Zhang, Steven Cheung Chi-Hung, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Sek Sau, Qiu Lier, Bat Leung-Gum
Directed by: Benz Kong To-Hoi