Monday, June 22, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Twins" (1988)

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Director: Ivan Reitman
Year: 1988
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

A group scientists embark on an experiment to create the perfect human. They take the genetics of seven fathers, including athletes, writers, and great thinkers, and an artist mother to carry the child. But, an unexpected occurrence happened when the egg splits, creating twins, though not identical. The first born, Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger), encompasses all that was good about his parents, and his little brother Vincent (Danny DeVito) was all the crap that was left over. Separated at birth after learning the truth about his brother on his 35th birthday, Julius, who was raised on a tropical island by scientists, sets out to find his long lost twin brother Vincent, who was placed in an orphanage and raised by nuns and has since become a criminal. 

Since his breakthrough roles in "Conan the Barbarian" and "The Terminator," Arnold Schwarzenegger had been relegated to being the leading man in action films like "Commando," "The Running Man," and "The Predator," but in 1988, Schwarzenegger finally got his chance to act in a comedy opposite Danny DeVito, who was already a veteran of that genre. We're not really sure comedy is his intended thing, but hey, whatever he can get, right? The main humor in this film is all about the juxtaposition between the 6'2" and muscle bound Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 5' tall and pudgy Danny DeVito, and the outrageous notion that they are, were, or could ever be twin brothers. Not only are they physically different, but their personalities are very different as well. Julius, who Arnold plays, is intelligent, honest, highly educated, well read, and very calm. Since he has been isolated to a tropical island in a laboratory environment, he doesn't have much common knowledge of the outside world. Vincent, played by Danny DeVito, is dishonest, never finished school, is a womanizer, and a thief, but he is more street smart as he has had to make it on his own for most his life. Despite all of their differences, once they meet, we discover they do have some similar mannerisms, as well as an odd sixth sense about how the other is doing.

Unfortunately, two long lost twin brothers meeting and getting to know each other isn't quite enough to fill a feature length film. To pull this plot off, filmmakers had to add a bit of a road trip adventure to the movie, as unbeknownst to Julius, Vincent has stolen a car that contains a cutting edge prototype engine which he plans to sell to a buyer in Texas for $5 million dollars. This leads them and their lady friends, who are just long for the ride (including a very young Kelly Preston, aka, presently John Travolta's wife), to be pursued by a trained killer named Webster, played by Marshall Bell, who was suppose to deliver the engine for the millions himself. They are also being chased because, oops, Vincent owes $20k to some small time gangster. These misdealings lead to an added element of action and thrills, which also gives Arnold a reason to bust some heads and punch a few people while protecting his little brother, something we definitely expected to happen. Like many comedies of the 80's, "Twins" is mostly a situational comedy with a smattering of sight gags and a serious underlying message. Though this is not an uproariously hilarious comedy or a fantastic film by any stretch of the imagination, it is enjoyable enough and good for a laugh every now and then. Does this film really necessitate a sequel penned by Josh Gad? No, it doesn't, but as we have become accustomed to saying all too well on this blog, Hollywood! You just had to open your yapper, didn't you, Arnie?

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 34%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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