WILL’S CINEMATIC HALL OF FAME
Twin Dragons (1992)
Twin Dragons was commissioned as a benefit film for the Hong Kong Directors Guild, with all profits going to the building of a headquarters. It was never built, but we do have this movie, which is about as good as you might expect a movie made by people who were not receiving payment would be.
Twin Dragons is directed by two of the leading lights of the Hong Kong New Wave, Ringo Lam (Once Upon a Time in China, Peking Opera Blues) and Ringo Lam (City on Fire, Full Contact), and stars both Jackie Chan AND Jackie Chan. He plays twins, you see, separated at birth - you might even go so far as to call them twin dragons, because one of them is an auto mechanic with mad kung fu skills, and the other is a concert pianist/conductor who can become a kung fu expert thanks to a close psychic link with his brother. Also, when this was released in American in 1999 in a poorly dubbed version, the ads said that it starred “Jackie Chan and Jackie Chan.” I’ll leave it for you to guess which was the Garfunkle of the duo.
About 99% of Twin Dragons involves the twins being confused for each other, with varying comedic/kung fu-related consequences. It’s a lot like that one episode of The Flintstones where Fred Flintstone meets his doppelganger, and it’s a millionaire businessman in debt with the mob. At one point, auto mechanic Jackie sleeps with conductor Jackie’s girlfriend, but conductor Jackie sorta shrugs this off. The magical illusion of the two twin[ dragons]s talking to each other are achieved through some pretty hilarious 1992 Hong Kong special effects - the two Jackies always get a little fuzzy whenever they have to occupy the same plane, and there’s one part where auto mechanic Jackie seems to walk through conductor Jackie’s arm.
The 1999 version released by Dimension/Miramax is dubbed by Chan himself, which leads to a lot of awkward times when he tries to say things like “Do you feel it when I get laid?” in mangled English. Which is one reason why I highly recommend the 1999 remix.
Oh, also, Maggie Cheung is in this movie, and I think we can all agree this was her best film.