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Twin Dragons

Jackie Chan does double-duty in this 1992 Hong Kong flick, which was re-hashed and given wide theatrical release in North America in 1999. Two brothers are separated a birth, and one, "Boomer," grows up on the streets of Hong Kong as a fighter and racecar-driver, while the other, John, is raised in New York as a musical prodigy. They are unaware of each other's existence, but Boomer finds himself in a spot of trouble when he crosses a local criminal outfit and has the dual misfortune to have John arrive in HK for a concert, where he is immediately mistaken for his martial-artist sibling by both nasty hoodlums and a lovely lady. While Chan is as gifted of a physical comedian as he is a screen-fighter, the plots of his films tend towards the thin side, and with such a plot-intensive premise, Twin Dragons concentrates too much on the doppleganger gags and not enough on why we are really here — to see Jackie dish out the chop-sockey in his gravity-defying style. Just one of the comic sequences catches fire (when Boomer finds himself forced to conduct a symphony orchestra), and there are only two remarkable action set-pieces — a full-contact speedboat chase in the HK harbor and a stunning extended fight in a Mitsubishi auto factory, where Chan takes the most risks and really earns his "oohs" and "aahs." Unfortunately, Twin Dragons is more of a snack than a meal, never matching the non-stop excitement seen in First Strike and many other Jackie classics, and the fact that the traditional outtake reel has been omitted from the film's credits isn't just a disappointment — it's a virtual cinemus interruputus. Directed by Tsui Hark. Good transfer, DD 5.1 in dubbed English, no extras.

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