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jackie chan kicks his way into van damme territory with twin dragons , an embarrassingly bland action comedy of mistaken identities .
chan plays separated-at-births boomer and john ma , whose drastically different paths . . .
aw , forget the plot description , it's not even worth the space .
but let's face it .
no one goes to jackie chan movies for the plot anyway .
the scenes where nothing happens in chan's films have always been little more than glue thriftily spread to hold the action sequences together .
in the case of twin dragons , however , the tiresome plot-driving scenes fritter away so much of the movie that you almost want to shout ( at the risk of demeaning the artistic value of cinema ) , " get to the good part already ! "
most of the film is devoted to showing the brothers' efforts to hide the other's existence from their own acquaintances .
why it is necessary to do this is not satisfactorily explained , but neither are a lot of aspects of the plot .
the twins' love interests , demure club-singer barbara ( chan-film regular maggie cheung ) and lusty bride-hopeful tammy ( nina li chi ) , get disoriented in all the brouhaha , yet strangely seem not to mind that they are not sure which brother they are in love with .
the scenes describing the boys' bumbling antics get stretched so thin we stop caring who chan is supposed to be in any given shot ( in several shots , in fact , even the make-up and hair people seem to forget which brother is which . ) .
even chan's so-corny-it's-funny humor is off-kilter in this outing .
some of the gags are so carefully innocuous they're annoying .
a case in point : whenever anyone sees the brothers together , they fall to the ground in a dead faint .
are we laughing yet ?
as usual , the final showdown is the film's jewel , a tour de force display of chan' s agility and grace .
never mind that it's not clear how the brothers end up fighting suited bad guys inside an automobile crash-testing facility .
it's all good fun , but too little too late .
perhaps chan's next movie should just be a collection of the last fight sequences of all of his movies .
they could call it jackie chan's the final fight scenes , and everybody would go home happy .
reviewed april 14 , 1999 at loews theaters white marsh , white marsh , md .
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