Double Trouble 寶島雙雄 (2012) – Taiwan / China

Review by: Andrew Chan (Neo) FCCA

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The problem with “Double Trouble” is not just Jaycee Chan, but rather the bland production values, uninspiring action set pieces and lame comedic sequences. You can tell how hard Jaycee Chan is trying to step into his father (Jackie Chan)’s shoes, by uncomfortably doing action sequences. However he is not aided by a decent action chorographer, editor or director in any regards. No matter how you see it, “Double Trouble” is a bad film and even if you replace Jaycee with Jackie Chan in the lead role, the film will still suck. In fact, debutant director David Hsun-Wei Chang have been involved as assistant director in the wonderful “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” is all the most disappointing. If incompetent Hollywood style directing and editing of Asian action movies (i.e. Chan’s “The Spy Next Door”) is what he learn from the maestro Tsui Hark, then he can go home and forget a career in film directing.

As much as I would love to slaughter Jaycee Chan in this flick, as a film critic I feel sympathetic to his experience here. There is no question of doubt that Chan tries extremely hard to handle the action and the physical nature of the role, but the lad is no fun and simply cannot act in a comedy-action flick. Not only does he not have the moves of his father, but he lacks screen presence and more crucially he lacks any inherited comedic charms. In saying that, I still believe Chan is a better dramatic actor than his father, as he have displayed in Derek Yee’s “2 Young” and the final touching airport sequence in “Break Up Club”, but in terms of action or comedy, he is particularly ineffectual.

Likewise, despite being billed in the poster as a sexy attraction, Jessica C is undoubtedly hot, but adds nothing to the story except for just appearing in short patches and displaying some cleverage. Unfortunately her limited screen time (she only has a short line of dialogue from my memory) does not allow her limited range to expand into any sort of endearing villain. As for comedic sidekick, we get Mainland’s representative Xia Yu whose face resembles a younger Jiang Wen; Xia Yu works well with Chan and the two do display some much needed comic chops. Taiwanese duo Chen Han-tien and the pretty-eyed Deng Jiajia also adds a welcoming presence. Meanwhile Chang Fei shows up as Gangster Wu gives a scene stealing cameo performance which along with the Jessica C “S&M” beating sequence and the somewhat well-staged bus hopping action scene are the best things to happen in the movie.

All in all, “Double Trouble” is really a bad movie. The reason for this is simple, David Chiang simply cannot handle directing an action movie, the editors should be fired and Jaycee Chan should stick to romantic dramas in the mean-time. The movie feels nothing like a Taiwanese or Asian action flick, but rather one of those hacked version of “Tuxedo” or “The Spy Next Door”. Unfortunately no matter how you see it, one have to compare Jaycee with his father, but even without such comparison, the movie still sucks. In fact to be perfectly honest, on the film’s opening night in Sydney, my fellow Chinese Editor and I were the only audience in the cinema. Getting down to the final wire, there is really nothing much to like about this film and when even the involvement of hot and sexy Jessica C seems more like false advertising, there is only so much Jaycee Chan we can truly take. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this pile of dirt is really the inspiration to pick out one of those Jackie Chan’s famed flicks and play it on our small screen over again. An uninspiring piece of bore fest… (Neo 2012)


Neo rates it 3.5/10

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