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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Twins Mission 雙子神偷 is a depressing film

Poster of Twins Mission

TWINS EFFECT was a self-inflicted punishment.

After seeing GHOST RIDER earlier in the day, my friend asked me out for a movie at night, so I went. Since I've already seen both GHOST RIDER and PROTEGE, both films my friend originally wanted to watch, the only choice we had was TWINS MISSION.

If this weren't a Lunar Chinese New Year film (I always catch all HK films released during Chinese New Year), I would have ignored TWINS MISSION, after all, I've mentioned numerous times that I've never had any pleasant experiences when watching a film with both members of the Hong Kong pop duo, Twins, in it. When they are separated, Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi are competent actresses, appearing in some movies that I myself have enjoyed. When together... instant disaster. Always felt that the TWINS EFFECTS movies were horribly bad, and PROTEGE DE LA ROSE NOIRE even worse. Decent production values, horrible script with really shallow characterization (for some reason, people seem to think that a film can rely ENTIRELY on the girls' charms, and their charms do not involve good dialogue, just them smiling and pouting their way through) and insipid humour that annoys more than amuses (laughing through the jokes will make you feel like an idiot, not laughing through will make you feel like a humourless douchebag, it's always a lose-lose situation).

So I knew TWINS MISSION was going to suck. It will violate my senses, assault my patience, insult my intelligence, and then leave me on the floor, helpless and wasted. Raped in the mind, I will be left pregnant with an overwhelming feeling of resignation and sadness, a wordless acceptance that no matter how horrible these films are, Hong Kong will continue churning out monstrosities like this in the near future.

Thus I decided to maintain a Zen-like attitude whilst watching the film. There will be no hate because there shouldn't be any, it wouldn't be the fault of the filmmakers, the financiers nor the cast members that the film suck so badly, it would be my own fault that I chose to waste my money on this film.

There is a 'plot' for this film.

Here's the synopsis: 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 (Sammo Hung) and his adopted son Hey (Wu Jing) tried to solicit the help of the head of the Clan, the Principal (Yuen Wah), to track down the bead...

Basically the Gemini Clan is a clan of kungfu fighters consists solely of twins, so there was SOME intrigue during the film's opening, when I saw that a group of baddies who ambushed Sammo and Wu Jing on a train are all multiple pairs of twins. But yeap, that was the highlight of the film for me.

"Whoa, two pairs of twins!" I commented.

The film went downhill from there. I can't even say that it hits rock bottom, since the film fell even lower than that. It ceases to make sense, it lifts from Wong Jing's book of nonsense filmmaking, but then decides to surpass Wong Jing by becoming even more, well, nonsense. A pointless plot, more silly characterization (lots of characters are introduced in the middle of the movie, their back stories mentioned in one scene, and we are expected to have some kind of emotional investment in them, right), a series of seemingly unrelated unfunny skits stringed together: its attempt in humour similar to that of PROTEGE DE LA ROSE NOIRE, repetitive, uninspired and annoying, but worst of all, this movie also tries to be sentimental:

- a stupidly long dramatic scene showing hero Wu Jing's last moments with a terminally ill twin brother and overwhelming melodramatic music when said terminally ill twin brother dies... and we are supposed to feel SAD in that scene despite the fact that that is the first time we have ever seen the twin brother?

- Then there's also a scene of hero Wu Jing trying to cheer up a David Copperfield- crazy cancer-stricken sick little girl (yes, I wonder whether all these characters are plucked off from Korean soaps) in the hospital by performing magic tricks that makes... medicine pills float in the air. Right, out of nowhere, Wu Jing becomes a magician, we are supposed to feel, I don't know, awed by this cinematic wonder? I wanted the Wu Jing character to levitate himself in the air and then throws himself off the window.

- Such an attempt to wring pathos is stupid, considering that...

- Cancer-stricken little girl is hell annoying.

- However, Jess Zhang, the chick who plays cancer girl's elder sister is pretty though.

- The twins, Mona and Lisa Ch'ng, who play evil characters in this film, are kinda sexy too.

- Twins duo Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung, while not really twins in real life, plays twins in the movie.

- The martial arts scenes are generic Hong Kong stuff, you might be thrilled if you have never seen a martial arts film in your life, nor any Hollywood films with martial arts in it.

- The production values of this film is even cheaper than that of TWINS EFFECT (of course) and PROTEGE DE LA ROSE NOIRE. Film is shot on video, and its end result seem like something from a student film, or my video blog entries... really grainy at night scenes.

- Much had been made about Wu Jing's potential as the new Jet Li after SHA PO LANG. While he has impressive martial arts skills, appearing in two consecutive clunkers, FATAL CONTACT (which seems like a masterpiece compared to TWINS MISSION) and TWINS MISSION isn't going to help him much, since I don't remember Jet Li, even at his lowest, had never appeared in something as bad as TWINS MISSION.

- When it comes to martial arts, Hrithik Roshan looked cooler in KRRISH, that Bollywood superhero movie.

Oh, my mind is beginning to wander, just like how I was when I was watching the film. Frankly, there's nothing redeeming about the film, I tried to think of some, but I can't think of any. Are the Twins members cute enough? I don't know, I'm sure there are people who can stomach any of their hijinks, even though their screen time in this film is much lower than Wu Jing's until the second half of the film.

It doesn't belong to the 'so bad it's funny' category, nor the 'so bad it's awful that it pisses me off' category, I felt nothing, the Zen-like approach I maintained whilst watching the film prevented much vitriol. This is what I get for constantly being naive and believe, for a moment, that a movie with both members of Twins in it can't get any worse. I have been proven wrong. I am enlightened.

Under normal circumstances, when the end credits start rolling, I knew I would have wept, but my eyes were too dry to do so. I knew gouging my eyes with chopsticks may have been less painful, but obviously, there weren't any chopsticks around. I wanted to hate the movie by bitching about it, dissing it, tearing it to shreds as I walk out of the cinema with my friend, but there is just silence from us both, we felt as if our souls had been sucked away.

Twins Mission trailer

* Don't blame me for the spoilers, it's better that you don't see this.

** I lost my mobile phone while watching this movie. A high price to pay.

*** The best experience I had in the cinema while watching this film was the Fantastic Four 2 trailer that came before it started. I'm not kidding.