Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee Chan, is making his feature acting debut alongside his father. That in Emperor Multimedia Group’s The Twins Effect II (working title). The sequel to last year’s blockbuster action comedy – which is scheduled to start shooting next week.
The US$10m martial arts action adventure reteams Hong Kong pop stars: Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung – collectively known as Twins. That movie with several talents from the original film including Chan and Hong Kong idol Edison Chen, who will both make guest appearances.
The tone of the violence varies throughout this movie but is generally never particularly strong. In the opening scene there is a panning shot and voiceover explaining. That many men are kept as slaves. One man is seen to be branded and he yells in pain, but this is a 2 second shot and the tone is generally comedic.
‘Blade of Kings’ is roughly the same blend of drama, comedy and kung-fu. But the plot and setting is completely different. Indeed, the plot is an unfocused mess. The setting in fantasy version of ancient China where women rule the land and men are under the boot of oppression.
Whilst the unfairness of gender stereotyping is occasionally touched upon.
The focus of the movie jumps from a magical adventure, to comedy slapstick, to balletic kung-fu. And then right back to straight-faced drama. It is therefore rather difficult to ever get a decent hold on what is supposed to be happening.
While the first Twins Effect movie was co-directed by Yen and Dante Lam. The second will pool the talents of veteran action filmmaker Corey Yuen and Patrick Leung. Production will continue until April in mainland China and the film is scheduled for a summer 2004 Asian theatrical release.
Arclight Films, which sold The Twins Effect to most major international territories, is also handling the second film.
The Twins Effect was the second highest grossing film in Hong Kong last year – behind Finding Nemo – with a tally of US$3.7m. Universal Pictures International bought the film for the UK, Australia, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia. While Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has North American rights.
Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung (who, when not acting, perform as Chinese pop duo ‘Twins’). They are again very watchable as two strong-minded female leads.
They each have respective love stories which are fun and sweet to watch despite the often bizarre logic. That keeps them apart from the men they are attracted to. One such man is Charcoal Head played by Jaycee Chan, son of Jackie Chan (who has a small cameo as ‘Lord of Armour’. A guard statue that suddenly comes to life for a kung-fu showdown. No, really).
Chan brings a put-upon lovability to the role which is a nice contrast to the somewhat cheeky Blockhead (Bolin Chen). When ‘Blade of Kings’ then throws in random sorcery (like a love cheat sister’s soul being imprisoned into a rock). Some underground people driven to mimicry madness (who are introduced as magical bandits but then are defeated by constant laughter).
And guilt-ridden high priest in love with the Queen and doing her bidding (Daniel Wu). What is left is an entertaining but thoroughly confusing movie. Regardless the high energy on-screen at all times will keep adults and children glued to the screen, although for the adults this may be due to pure confusion.
‘Twins Effect’ was in essence a comedy action movie.
‘Blade of Kings’ takes each individual element of comedy, drama, magic, romance and martial arts and then pumps each one up to the extreme. The result is that, where ‘Twins Effect’ was a fun and fresh movie, good for most audiences, ‘Blade of Kings’ is doomed to be purely for the die-hard Asian cinema fans. Due to the fear element of the Haunted City, mild violence and rather strange physical humour, we would suggest that this movie is not appropriate for children aged 9 and under.
Genre: Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By: Patrick Leung, Corey Yuen
Stars: Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Ying Qu
Written By: Kin Chung Chan, Suet Lam, Roy Szeto, Peter Tsi
In Theaters: Aug 6, 2004 Wide
On Disc/Streaming: Mar 15, 2005
Runtime: 104 minutes
Studio: Well Go
Wow, what can I say about this movie? I don’t even know why I thought this might be a real Kung Fu movie but I certainly never expected this! Cheesy CGI-enhanced kung-foolery, Tony Leung Ka Fai in drag, and a curse that gives all the men boobies. Not to be taken seriously, this silly Comedy (Com-Fu?) takes place in a female dominated world where the men are sold as slaves. Has a little BDSM flavor to it but I have to admit, that is pretty hot. The coolest thing about this movie was actually getting to see Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan in a fight sequence together (unfortunately, riddled with bad CG effects). This movie really could’ve used some Stephen Chow humor but still gets points for enslaving men to hot Asian girls!
A bizarre absurdist wire-fu comedy about a country controlled by Amazons who keep men as slaves. There’s also a curse that gives men boobs. And the Amazonian soldiers wear pink armour.
The cast is nice with Fan Bingbing delivering some eyecandy for example but if the idea of Tony Leung Kar Fai in drag doesn’t float your boat.. well it doesn’t float my boat either!
There is a fight between Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan in this but, not unlike the rest of the movie, it’s riddled with pretty awful CGI and too much wire-tastic flying around Non-Fu. These two at least bring a little speed to what are otherwise incredibly slow choreographies, because they are Donnie Yen, the fastest of them all, and Jackie “death-defier” Chan but a subpar fight among legends is still a subpar fight.
I had an idea of what I was getting myself into and I definitely “watched it for the lulz”. But even with that mindset it’s far more appalling than entertaining.
Good action-comedy with special effects and I like the fight scene of Jackie Chan vs Donnie Yen. But I got to say that The Twins Effect was better.