Twins Effect 2
Directors: Cory Yuen and Patrick Leung (2004)
As the title indicates, Twins Effect 2 is the HK super duo The Twins (Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung) follow up to HK's highest-grossing film Twins Effect from last summer. The film features the debut of Jackie Chan's son Jayee Chan, while Jackie's screen time is limited to what amounts to a kung fu cameo with Donnie Yen.
The tale is set in the Amazonian kingdom of Huadu, an ancient land ruled by a cruel empress (Qu Ying), where men are subservient to women. The empress' reign is disturbed by a prophecy saying a boy will rise to become king, and restore the male regime. The upside-down portrayal of this matriarchal society is one of the film's bright spots, providing some funny jabs at traditional, male-dominated Chinese culture.
Jaycee Chan plays the prophesized boy born to be emperor, Char. He and his adopted brother, Leaf (Chen Bolin), perform in a minstrel show run by their adopted father, Blackwood (Tony Leung). Soon after Char and Leaf come into possession of a stone treasure map, authorities raid the show sending everyone scurrying. Spring and Blue (The Twins) pair up with the now on-the-run Char and Leaf to find the treasure, literally leading them on in neck irons and chains (think Charleton Heston in the Planet of the Apes).
The Chinese name Qian Ji Bian or "A Thousand Changes" is a fitting title for all the stops and starts taken by the story and the performances of the assembled stars. While hyped as a HK's first science fiction Oscar entry and boasting a budget of over US$10 million, don't expect much more than a star powered promotional vehicle.
(cityweekend.com.cn September 17, 2004)