Twin Dragons

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Twin Dragons
Twin-Dragons-poster.jpg
Hong Kong film poster
Traditional 雙龍會
Simplified 双龙会
Mandarin Shuāng Lóng Huì
Cantonese Seong1 Lung4 Wui2
Directed by Ringo Lam
Tsui Hark
Produced by Teddy Robin Kwan
Ng See-Yuen
Written by Barry Wong
Tsui Hark
Joe Cheung
Wong Yik
Teddy Robin Kwan
Starring
Music by Lowell Lo
Barrington Pheloung
Cinematography Arthur Wong
Wong Wing-Hung
Edited by Marco Mak
Production
company
Hong Kong Film Directors Guild
Distant Horizons
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Media Asia Distribution Ltd.
Seasonal Film Corporation
Release date
  • 15 January 1992 (1992-01-15)
Running time
104 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Budget HK$33,255,000

Twin Dragons (also known as Shuang long hui and Brother vs. Brother)[1] is a 1992 Hong Kong action comedy film directed by Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark, and starring Jackie Chan in a dual role as a pair of twin brothers separated shortly after birth.

Plot[edit]

In 1965, a Hong Kong couple (Sylvia Chang and James Wong) are doting on their newborn twin boys. Meanwhile, a dangerous gang leader named Crazy Kung (Kirk Wong) is being transported as a captive in the same hospital. Crazy Kung escapes and attempts to take one of the twins hostage, and in the ensuing chaos the twins are permanently separated. One of them, named Ma Yau, is taken to America by his parents and grows up to be a concert pianist and conductor. The other, Ma Wan, is found and raised by a woman named Tsui (Mabel Cheung), and becomes a street racer and martial artist named Bok Min. For years, neither of them is aware that he has a twin brother.

26 years later, the twins' (Jackie Chan) lives intersect in Hong Kong once again. Bok Min and his best friend Tarzan (Teddy Robin) get mixed up with a dangerous gang, while Ma Yau prepares to conduct a major concert. In addition, the twins gain romantic interests: Bok Min meets Barbara (Maggie Cheung), a club singer Tarzan is interested in, and Wan becomes acquainted with Tong Sum (Nina Li Chi), a young woman from a respectable family who has a secret passion for fighter types. Eventually, the twins meet and discover a strange connection with each other. As a result, a string of hilarious mix-ups ensues when Ma Yau is accidentally enlisted by the gangsters to participate as an escape driver in the liberation of none other than Crazy Kung; Bok Min is forced to conduct Yau's concert (which becomes a smash hit despite him having absolutely no musical talent), and the two of them end up with the other's girl as their respective girlfriend.

Eventually, things come to a head when Tarzan is kidnapped by the gangsters. The twins join up to defeat the gang that has turned their lives upside down, and in a showdown in a vehicle testing center Crazy Kung dies in a runaway crash test car with no seat belt on. The film ends with the impending double wedding of the twins to their girls and Bok Min's introduction to his real parents; but when Bok Min gets cold feet and Ma Yau goes looking for him, a final gag falls into place when the wedding guests catch the two twins together and are unable to tell them apart.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

According to co-director Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam handled most of the action scenes in the film.[2] The action in the film has a larger focus on actual martial arts rather than Jackie Chan's usual comedic style.[2]

Release[edit]

On the film's release in Hong Kong, Twin Dragons was the ninth highest grossing film of the year, earning HK$33,225,134 during its theatrical run.[2] The film received an American release on 9 April 1999 in a dubbed version.[2] The American release of the film cuts 16 minutes of scenes involving Wong Jing and Lau Kar-leung in a hospital and a fantasy scene involving Maggie Cheung singing.[2] The film grossed a total of HK$8,332,431 in the United States.[2]

Reception[edit]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 54, based on 15 reviews.[3] The Austin Chronicle gave the film a positive review of three and a half stars out of five, noting that the film is "only for those who are fully on the bus with Jackie's approach...and who won't let a little bad (okay, execrable) English-language dubbing get in the way of their movie enjoyment."[4] The A.V. Club gave a positive review, but noted that it "probably won't make anyone forget Dragons Forever, Wheels On Meals, Project A, or any number of other excellent Chan films"[5] Some reviews critiqued the special effects, such as in Variety which noted "the camera trickery is glaringly cheesy in some shots, greatly undercutting the illusion of twin brothers in the same frame. When the two brothers first meet in a hotel lavatory, it's easy to see how two shots have been overlapped."[6] TV Guide gave the film one star out of four, noting that it "suffers from some very dicey twinning effects when the brothers are in frame together. Only die-hard and undemanding Chan fans need apply."[7] Jackie Chan was unhappy with how Twin Dragons came out to be primarily based on the special effects. Chan stated that he worked with Tsui Hark who he felt would provide the film with better special effects. Chan was so soured with the results of the special effects that he decided he would only attempt more special-effect based work in his American productions.[2][8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Twin Dragons (Shuang long hui) (Brother vs. Brother) (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Morton, 2009. p.186
  3. ^ "Shuang long hui". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Smith, Russell (16 April 1999). "Twin Dragons". Austing Chronicle. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Phipps, Keith (29 March 2002). "Twin Dragons". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Leydon, Joe (11 April 1999). "Variety Reviews - Twin Dragons". Variety. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  7. ^ McDonagh, Maitland. "Twin Dragons Review". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Witterstaetter. 1997.

References[edit]

External links[edit]