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Jackie does it again - twice!
on 5 December 2004
I only discovered Jackie Chan early this year (don't ask what took me so long!) and Twin Dragons is, in a quiet sort of way, one of the best of the fifteen I have so far.
The plot's not a new one - twins separated at birth who find each other as adults - but as usual, Jackie has his own take on it.
I can never watch a Jackie Chan film for the first time all the way through; there are "WHAT did he just do??" moments when I have to rewind and watch it again. There are several of these moments in this film, not all of them action ones, though there are those, too.
There are several instances when one twin touches the other; on the shoulder, for instance. Normally these are done with one with his back to the camera, so that a stand-in can be used. Jackie does it with "both of him" facing the camera, so you can clearly see it's him both times; these have to be split-screen, but they're perfect, absolutely seamless. In fact, it was several moments after watching the first of these that I suddenly realised what I'd seen and went back to check. And in one scene, both twins are facing the camera and one walks across the screen in front of the other - I've no idea how that was done, for surely split-screen wouldn't account for that.
There's plenty of action, with an opening fight sequence, a boat chase (during which the other twin gets seasick in a restaurant), assorted fights and car chases, culminating in the final set piece of a running fight in a vehicle testing centre. As usual, Jackie makes full use of his surroundings.
The sequence actually starts in Chapter 21, but there are a couple of truly "WOW!" moments in Chapter 23. In the first, Jackie takes a flying leap, feet first, at the open side window of a car: he goes through without even touching the edges, folds in midair, and ends up sitting in the seat, all in one smooth flow. They show it in slow motion, but I still had to replay it about four times! (I did try to play it speeded up, to see how fast he actually did it, but I must have blinked.)
The second one happens just after. He's at the foot or a ramp where they run cars down to crash into a wall, to test safety. A car is let loose on him - and he reaches up to the top of the wall, lifts his legs up and does a backward somersault as the car crashes into the wall. They show that in slow motion, too; it looks an *awfully* close thing! That one, too, I had to play several times.
And this is the first Jackie Chan film I've seen where he gets more than a kiss from the leading lady!
It might be gathered that I thoroughly enjoyed this film even though there's no extras, not even his usual end-credit out-takes.