The Twins Effect II (2004)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2007-10-14
Summary: Twins fans only
At first glance one might think “what are Gillian Chung and and Charlene Choi doing in an action movie?”since “Twins Effect II” is both directed and action directed by Corey Yeun and features Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan. But a second look, providing one has been paying any attention at all to Hong Kong cinema over the past five years, confirms that the Twins and their youthful male counterparts are the stars here while the martial arts guys (along with an unrecognizable Big Tony Leung) are just along to fill time and perhaps draw a few ticket buyers or DVD renters from an older demographic.

The movie is of no consequence at all. The digital doubles for Gillian and Charlene are impressive during the first stunt but after that, when we have seen that Charlene can’t even look good while running it is just too obvious that any type of action scene would be impossible. The audience doesn’t have to think that an actor is really able to carry out high flying wuxia stunts but there should be some basis, however slight, to suspend disbelief. It isn’t provided here. Charlene continues to do cute very well but needs roles that require more of her. Gillian seems a bit more invested in her part but still winds up acting serious in a cute way.

The set design is opulent, highly detailed and the best part of the movie. The costumes are gorgeous and the overall look of “Twins Effect II” is excellent--clearly a lot of time, money and talent went into it. The use of CGI is intrusive and obvious. Jaycee Chan brings new meaning to the term “wooden”—his father, while still encased in the eternal armor of a terra cotta warrior, was a more convincing actor. Neither Chan nor Wilson Chen shows any reason for them to be cast as teen heartthrobs. They are not particularly pleasant looking—not ugly, just plain and common—which stands out in this type of project which is full of extremely attractive actors. First among them is Qu Ying as the Empress, an extremely comely performer, blessed with great beauty in, in this film at least, with charisma to burn. She is one of those very fortunate film actors that the camera simply loves. Another is Fan Bing-Bing whose make-up and hairstyle emphasized her strikingly angular look.

This, like most of the Twins movies I would imagine, is recommended only for fans of the duo.
Reviewer Score: 2