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Issue #180a HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES October 6th, 2003

The Twins Effect
(2003; Emperor Multimedia Group)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Chin gei bin
Mandarin: Qian ji bian
English: A Thousand Opportunities For Change

While investigating the massacre of some train passengers, vampire hunters Reeve (Ekin Cheng Yee-kin) and Lila (Josie Ho Chiu-yee) end up facing a horde of bloodsuckers, including the powerful Duke Dekotes (Mickey Hardt). When the dust settles, Lila is dead and Reeve must break in his new partner, Gipsy (Gillian Chung Yun-tung), a younger girl who has a very obvious crush on him. In sharp contrast to the feral duke, Prince Kazaf (Edison Chen Koon-hei) is a self-proclaimed "New Age Vampire," drinking his blood from wine bottles and contemplating romance with Helen (Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin), Reeve's very human (and unbearably whiny) sister. An usual number of caucasian vampires have been turning up in HK as of late, and they are out to destroy Kazaf, now the last of his line following Dekotes' slaughter of the remaining royals. The Duke is also eager to get his claws on the vampire bible, "Day for Night," which contains the blood of the ultimate bloodsucker. Any vampire who consumes it no longer need fear sunlight.

While some of Twins' movies have crossover appeal for adults (particularly JUST ONE LOOK), this plodding and puerile idol fantasy from director Dante Lam Chiu-yin (BEAST COPS) will not do much for viewers old enough to be their parents. The paper thin storyline is a limp distillation of elements from Wesley Snipes' BLADE movies (EFFECT's action director, Donnie Yen Chi-tan, worked on BLADE II) and BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, with numerous digressions to show how cute and cuddly the leads are. The action sequences are a disappointing mix of fair choreography, obvious doubles, clumsy wirework, and CGI overkill that manage to bore even when at their most frenetic. Also, while this is a comedy at heart, couldn't the villains be taken just a little bit seriously? For all of their growling and snarling, these are some of the least menacing and poorly depicted vampires ever seen. In one nice touch, Reeve periodically enhances his fighting abilities by drinking a small portion of vampire blood, which he must then neutralize with an antidote before 90 minutes has passed. Unfortunately, like all of the potentially interesting concepts here, this is played for dumb laughs (the antidote gets baked into a batch of muffins which he must then consume en masse). Several reviewers have given this film a curious passing grade by saying "It's a Twins movie! What did you expect?" Well, something with a few genuine laughs, some decent action, and a modicum of charm; THE TWINS EFFECT is perilously low on all of these and will only appeal to those who just cannot get enough of its camera-friendly but obviously limited and distressingly ubiquitous stars. Jackie Chan and Karen Mok Man-wai add a smidgen of desperately needed fun in cameos, while Anthony Wong Chau-sang gets an easy paycheck in a nothing role as Karza's right hand man. Chapman To Man-chat, Cheung Tat-ming, and Spencer Lam Sheung-yee also appear.

Cover art courtesy Universe.

Gillian Chung (left) and Charlene Choi. Image courtesy Universe.

Gillian Chung and Ekin Cheng. Image courtesy Universe.
Universe #6510 (Hong Kong label)

Sync Sound Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS) and Dubbed Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Optional Subtitles in English and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified)

8 Chapters Illustrated in the Menu With Clips

Enhanced for 16:9 Displays

Letterboxed (1.83:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

NTSC Format

107 Minutes

Contains mild fantasy violence and horror

DVD menu courtesy Universe.

Hong Kong: IIB
Singapore: PG

The transfer is as slick and accomplished as one would expect for a big-budget summer blockbuster. Considering the exaggerated nature of the combat, the thuds and thwacks should have a bit more oomph but this is still a satisfying mix and the surround channels kick in nicely when called for (DTS is also available for the Cantonese version). Universe has also included a second disc that offers a handful of extras. A 16 minute "Making Of..." features the expected interviews and behind-the-scenes footage but only offers permanent Chinese subs. Five Star Files, a photo gallery, a teaser, two trailers, and six trailers for other films round out the supplements (which could really have been put on Side 2 of Disc 1). In the usual Twins saturation bombing marketing, the same two disc set is also available in two different kinds of collector packaging. The "standard" version under review comes packaged in a nice cardboard outer sleeve.

THE TWINS EFFECT is available at Poker Industries.

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