The Twins Effect

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I've read alot of stuff on the net by people who enjoyed ragging this movie to no end. And honestly, I can't figure out why. It's not like THE TWINS EFFECT (aka THE VAMPIRE EFFECT) was heralded as the "Next Big Thing" from Hong Kong or anything of that sort. It's not like director DANTE LAM was the Chinese equivilate of STEVEN SPIELBERG. So what gives?! THE TWINS EFFECT is what it is. Simply put, it's a well made, CGI heavy, lighthearted, wirework bonanza, vampire movie romp that definitely smacks of comic book inspirations.

But before we continue, I NEEEEED to let you in on a little secret that all of the other reviewers must have missed. THE TWINS EFFECT is an action / comedy so while the serious scenes are quite action packed, straight forward, and reminiscent of other films such as BLADE or THE MATRIX, the comedic portions of the movie are insanely wacky, almost to the point of sheer laugh-out-loud nutty nonsense. And this, I think, is what might put people off from enjoying the movie. So if you're not expecting this kinda humor, it'll hit you like a ton of bricks, leave you speechless, and have you scampering for the remote to pound on the "STOP" button. But Don't! However, be warned, JACKIE CHAN makes an appearance in the film for some reason and honestly, as much as I hate to say it, he nearly ruins the whole affair with his wonky antics. Over-the-top comedy is one thing, blatant exploitive cameo silliness is a whole different ballpark. And it just doesn't work here unfortunately.

Anyway, one last informative comment is required before the review can go about it's way. And that's the VERY important fact that the two lead actresses (GILLIAN CHUNG and CHARLENE CHOI) are members of a popular C-Pop band called THE TWINS (hence the most likely choice for the name of this movie). Yet one thing I found surprising was that the two singers-turned-actresses really seemed like they could actually act. Now granted, I don't claim to speak Cantonese but you can tell if someone's doing a bad job or not. And I thought the two lovely lasses had an outstanding performance. Of course, this probably comes as a result of THE TWINS EFFECT being, in truth, a vehicle simply to market the girls to a wider audience from around the globe who has never heard of them before. But I gotta confess, I absolutely had a ball with 'em! They were both just sooooo incredibly cute. There's nothing like spunky attitudes, vivid green jackets, sparkles, and colorful combat boots to make you instantly fall in love with them. And luckily, their hijinks were kept to an acceptable and enjoyable level. By the time the movie is well under way, you'll find yourself switching from hating them to eagerly awaiting their particular scenes.

Okay, with all of that outta the way, it's time for the story of THE TWINS EFFECT...

EKIN CHENG plays REEVES, a veteran vampire hunter from the ANTI-VAMPIRE LEAGUE who has lost all of his female partners in the past. Even tougher to bear than their actual deaths at the hands of his fanged foes is the fact that he's almost always fallen in love with them before their untimely demise. Vowing never to become romantically attached to his next partner, we meet GYPSY (played by the ever so cutesy GILLIAN CHUNG) who's assigned to him to train in vampire bashing. But alas, why did she join up? Well, as it turns out, he's been her idol, love interest, and motivation to continue on since her parents were murdered by the dreaded toothy ones. Or so she says. None the less, you can probably guess what comes next in their relationship, right? But wait, everything's not perfect in paradise. EKIN's sister, HELEN (the other TWIN, CHARLENE CHOI) doesn't care much for GYPSY and her advances towards her older brother. You can now expect trouble. And man, oh man, do they really go at it in some of the most fun-to-watch fight scenes I've ever seen. I mean, I've gotta give kudos to them both for the extraordinary prowess required to achieve their zany stunts throughout the entire film.

Meanwhile, over on the vampire front, big bad Euro blood sucker, DUKE DEKOTES (played by actor MICKEY HARDT) and his crew has shown up in Hong Kong in search of the last remaining vampire prince who holds the fabled vampire bible, "DAY FOR NIGHT", a book which will enable the undead bearer to walk in the daylight without harm. Enter our young vampire prince, KAZAF (played by actor EDISON CHEN), who along with his servant PRADA, (actor ANTHONY WONG who's extremely funny in his role) have decided to become passive vampires who option to drink manufactured bottled blood and not steal it by killing hapless human victims. They even set up house in a church to prove that they are indeed "New Age" vampires. Sounds like they're in trouble, right? Well, more so then you'd expect. It gets even worse. As it turns out, KAZAF meets and ends up falling in love with HELEN (remember, she's the sister of the number one vampire stalker). Since true love can never be denied, the two start to date and through VERY creative methods, KAZAF manages to fool her into believing that he's a normal fellow until the inevitable truth surfaces. And as you can probably already predict, REEVES, GYPSY, HELEN, and DUKE DEKOTES all soon converge on KAZAF and company in what becomes a free-for-all battle with the most important treasures available for the winner to take.

With the basic story and plot said and done now, you may find yourself wanting to roll your eyes and think of reasons why this movie probably won't interest you but I need to add that THE TWINS EFFECT had some VERY cool aspects. First of all, since normal people obviously don't possess the supra-strength needed to combat vampires in fisticuffs, the members of the LEAGUE drink small doses of vampire blood before battle. This allows them to temporarily obtain the necesary skills and attributes required to bring down those pesky blood suckers in all out battle that, as I said earlier, will definitely appeal to loyalists of high flying action films such as THE MATRIX, CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, and EQUILIBRIUM. But when the scuffle's finally over, they need to drink an anti-serum that dissolves the vampiric effects. Of course, there will be times that the antidote isn't readily available and you better bet that our hero in question who drank the vampire blood will soon turn to the darkside and become a full fledged creature of the night. And this makes for some snazzy scenes. Secondly, the swords that the LEAGUE used were really cool. Almost like a bladeless lightsaber, the small handle could extend into a grappling cable or turn into a long bronze blade that would cut down any vampire in it's way. And what do the sword's victims look like after being smited, well, you guessed it, the smoldering red and black skeleton would burst into flames and the dust would blow away with the wind, something that BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER fans could appreciate. And the last point of curious interest involves KAZAF's spiffy coffin that includes a television, a computer, and stereo surround sound music speakers. Certainly an item that might upset any potential girlfriend, our prince only uses it on HELEN to demonstrate that he's in the funeral business and NOT in the undead business, which is a lie that's bound to come out sooner or later to his great dismay.

So, prepare to ask yourself the following questions before sitting down to watch THE TWINS EFFECT...

1. Do you wanna see a vampire movie where the undead throw down with some really niffty Kung Fu moves?

2. Do you like over-the-top wirework action stunts and CGI packed monster effects?

3. Can you laugh at wacky off-the-wall Chinese comedy that knows no bounds and usually makes no sense?

4. Do you enjoy "Popcorn Movies", fun mindless films that try to entertain the viewer instead of trying to impress the viewer.

5. A question for the chicks, do you think EKIN CHENG and EDISON CHEN are sexy?

6. A question for the fellas, do you think GILLIAN CHUNG and CHARLENE CHOI are sexy?

If you answered "YES" to most of these questions, then I think you'll probably dig THE TWINS EFFECT. Check it out.

Reviewed by DevilMan