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 Publicity Stills of "Twins Mission"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: Kong Tao Hoi
Starring: Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Wu Jing, Sammo Hung, Yuen Wah
RunTime: -
Released By: Shaw & Scorpio East
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.emg.com.hk/eng/film/film/films/thetwinsmission/thetwinsmission.htm

Opening Day: 15 February 2007


A Dzi bead from Tibet was on its way to Hong Kong for an exhibition, but was stolen by a mysterious gang with a possible link to a long-lost cult, the Gemini Clan. The guardian of the Dzi bead, Lucky and his adopted son, Hey tried to solicit the help of the head of the Clan, the Principal, to track down the bead.

Unwilling to come out of retirement, the Principal refused to get involved, but when Lucky was seriously wounded after another attack by the mysterious gang, the Principal reluctantly summoned the help of the Clan’s former member – Twins.

In the meantime, the suicide of an artifact dealer put the police hot on the heels of the Principal and his students. When Hey finally retrieved the bead, he mistakenly handed it to the Principal’s twin brother, the Boss, who was the master mind behind the theft in an attempt to take over a prime piece of property along the coast.

Movie Review:

Twins Mission is of no relation to Twins Effect, but it could well have been: shoddy, terrible movies. A half campy, half serious movie that switches from epic, classical music to obscenely tacky techno the next, Twins Mission is one confused movie trying to play the blockbuster card. Badly.

Twins Mission stars Gillian Cheung and Charlene Choi, as the name seems to suggest, along with HK movie big wigs Sammo Hung and Yuen Wah. Unfortunately, the twins aren’t really the stars of the show. In fact, screen time and plot lines are so convolutedly planned none of the characters seem to take the mantle to carry and guide the story along. The show starts with Lucky (Sammo Hung) and his disciple (played by a creditable Wu Jing) chasing down the Heavenly Bead artifact amidst a parachuting, training hopping battle with their antagonists. The bead eventually gets lost amidst the fisticuffs and the story ensues in a classic, good versus evil artifact hunting film that culminates in a grand climax. The Twins? They but are two of eight twins summoned to find the Heavenly Bead.

Right from the off, computer-generated images were used for this pretty well-budgeted movie. Visually, they were beautiful, but they looked computer-generated. Director Kong Tao Hoi falls into the infamous habit of, on a spur, engaging CGI that look good in animated films but are clearly awkward in real, action films. Twins Mission is unfortunately crippled throughout: the use of extravagant effects, sound-track, CGI, action scenes, all strung together by a flimsy plot strung together as a means to the visual feast, as opposed to them being tools to telling a compelling story. Twins Mission wields a plot so contrived the movie seems like twenty movie ideas snipped and trimmed in the editing room and pieced together.

The de-facto lead of the movie, Beijing Drama Academy graduate and rising kungfu star Wu Jing, puts up an extremely credible performance, marred by overly cheesy emotional scenes that never fit into the plot flow. In one scene, Wu’s character hold a toy rally car and knocks into a another character in a hospital, only to find out she drives the exact model. Extravagant, symphonic soundtrack plays as he gazes out of the window with a benign smile, seemingly at the coincidence, in a horrifyingly goosebump raising moment. The audience hasn’t even begun to know the characters properly to feel anything for them!

Twins Mission mistakenly assumes tiresome and countless plot links for depth, intricacy and good story. Amidst such dramatic plot lines, we even see Charlene, in an adsurdly slapstick scene, clamp a attacking snake with her mouth and crack jokes about eye discharge. Twins Mission bumbles form an either melodramatic or slapstick scene to another, akin to a pre-school essay written by a child who has learnt all about conflicts and climaxes without caring for absolutely any form of rising or falling action.

Does Twins Mission know its target market? Being the confused film that it is, it can hardly be recommended either as a movie for adults and certainly not as a festive movie or a family movie. The cringe-worthy jokes and comedy were so overwhelmingly childish most discerning movie-goers will feel uneasy. Yet, action scenes were totally overwhelming. Who should watch it?

Action scenes come at you along the lines of two male twins dragging their female antagonist across a table and smashing her face into every countless computer monitors leaving her scarred and presumably dead, while swinging another round and round before smashing her head into a side ornament. The Twins joke about ‘G-Cup” breasts, while Wu Jing’s character is shown in a graphic car accident scene hitting the bumper and completely, clearly rolling over the top and landing on the ground. He eventually disposes of the key antagonist by flinging razor-blade-like objects into his eyes and throwing him through a glass window down a skyscraper. This movie makes no apology for its wanton and irresponsible use of violence and fails to at least show that they do not condone the violence. Surely the protagonists could have frowned or shown scripted remorse?

A movie that is lazy in screenplay, script, plot, direction and social responsibility ranks low on a recommendation list. The Hong Kong movie scene has seen a semi-revival with Infernal Affairs, Confessions of Pain and surely, it does not deserve such lukewarm mainstream fare? A perfect example of what Twins could have been was Seoul Raiders, which mixed action, camp and eye candy in a family-friendly, entertaining fare that was visually and mentally engaging. If not for Wu Jing’s promising performance, Twins Mission had little to show for such a flashy, big-budget production. Flashing, in cheesy fonts at the ends of the movie “Watch till the end if you want to know the ending”(or something along those lines) was the final straw in a lack of class, production quality and taste.

Movie Rating:

(Twins Mission turned out to be one that was impossible to accomplish!)

Review by Daniel Lim




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