# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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The Twins Effect (2003) Directed by: Dante Lam

If this is recapturing the magic for today's audiences, no wonder Hong Kong action cinema has such a bad rep nowadays. EMG's not only unashamedly named the film after its leading ladies, pop duo The Twins (Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi), but also effectively sold the film on the participation by Donne Yen (action director) and Jackie Chan (extended cameo). Combine that with a pure all star cast and an MTV style vampire film and you have...nothing really.

Director Dante Lam's visual trickery admittedly worked for Jiang Hu - "The Triad Zone" but whenever used in The Twins Effect, it comes off as incredibly forced and only something there to dazzle the kids. It's braindead entertainment yes but flaws are not excusable everytime. The script tries to put a huge chunk of emotional weight to the relationships in the film but each one for our teenage duo is so poorly fleshed out, which in itself leads to the audience completely not caring. Occasional snippets of silly Hong Kong humour livens up (Anthony Wong is to good for this film) during the first half but after that it's a slow trek towards the final frames. Be sure to stick around for the end credits though. Anthony Wong checks in for another funny scene. Donnie Yen's action deserves kudos for making the stars look semi-capable but because of their lack of traditional training, the usual tricks of hiding that ability (quick cuts and a shaky camera language) are employed. Also starring Mickey Hardt (looking eerily like Richard D.James AKA Aphex Twin) Ekin Cheng, the always dorky Edison Chen (works for his vampire character) plus Karen Mok, Josie Ho, Cheung Tat-Ming, Matt Chow and Bey Logan logs camoes.

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The Twin Swords (1965, Hsu Tseng-Hung)

Released 2 months after Temple Of The Red Lotus, the sequel picks up with husband and wife Gui Wu (Jimmy Wang Yu) and Lien Chu (Chin Ping) on the road away from their family at Gan Fortress. Stopping to help women in need, Lien Chu is captured by the Red Lotus Clan and Gui Wu now has to beg the family he left behind for forgiveness and help. Still having the new vision for Wuxia pian like the first movie did, it's easy to see the excitement it conjured up through more dynamic and fast swordplay than before. With a huge emphasis on the Red Lotus Clan and their temple being filled with traps (we even get to see the room where these are operated, which is a cool piece of production design from Shaw Brothers), this adds to a basic but entertaining whole for The Twin Swords. It's somewhat hard for a modern and Western audience to attach to this pre-Chang Cheh take on the genre seeing as it uses melodrama and choirs singing in exchange for exposition-dumps or voice-over. But connecting to it for historical purposes and, for this second installment, its elevated violence is easy. Some of it turn downright grisly and primal (despite the crude effects) and we're left with enough of an interest to conclude matters in the third movie The Sword And The Lute (1967). Also starring Ivy Ling Po (who's Scarlet Maid character is developed more), Fung Bo Bo (who even appears in a fight scene and action-beats, despite being a child), Tien Feng, Ku Feng, Li Ming and Lo Lieh.

The Twist (1995) Directed by: Danny Lee

Danny Lee assembled his team of actors from Organized Crime & Triad Bureau for a tale in similar vein, only with a Cat III twist. From watching Danny Lee productions and vehicles such as this one, you quickly come to realize that Lee himself is communicating a fascist way of dealing out justice but it's never been as extreme as what's on display in The Twist.

After a dull first hour, that police brutality theme and exploitation aspects set in and while the latter are shot effectively, there really lies a questionable message behind it all. Lee is showcasing his own personal feeling about what Hong Kong cops should be like, regardless of the severeness of a specific crime and his attempts to justify the actions taken by these very violence-hungry cops in the end instead generates, while still slight, sympathy towards the criminals. Cat III exploitation fans will probably want to have a look but these films were better when refraining from social commentary and being nasty in other ways instead. Rape, murder and other depraved behaviour was never fun but at least it was decidedly non-verbal in its social commentary and those who choose to enjoy it, did.

On the plus side, The Twist provides Simon Yam with freedom to actually have fun in combination with his trademark flamboyance. Also starring Suki Kwan, Shing Fui On, Tommy Wong and the gang of Danny Lee cop actors including Emily Kwan, Parkman Wong and Eric Kei (whose trademark is apparently cursing in English as much as he can).

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The Two Cavalier (1973) Directed by: Yueh Feng

Lung-Kuo (Chan Sing) seeks revenge on Miss Flower (Gwok Siu-Chung - Fury Of King Boxer) who ordered the killing of his family. Getting beaten up and scalded before he can even reach her, into the mix comes mysterious and seemingly rich boy Lung-Fei (Jimmy Wang Yu) who starts to meddle in this affair. He approaches Miss Flower, flirts and engages in a romance with her but to what purpose and which side will he be on? Interesting stuff of the basher kind that doesn't provide narrative and drama of the revolutionary kind but director Yueh Feng possesses some fine skills in this department despite. It keeps matters from being generic and it's all definitely an engaging mix of basic bashing (that the leads add volumes to via their contributions) with a fun choreography concept involving ropes thrown in during the finale as well as an unexpectedly somber ending. Eddy Ko co-stars.

Two Crippled Heroes (1982) Directed by: Joseph Siu

The last of three lead vehicles disabled performers Sam Chung-Chuen and Hong Chiu-Ming appeared in (although an international aka for this movie is Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes), as with The Crippled Master, there's little sense of exploitation going on here as the duo are given a chance to play heroes of good morals and martial arts skill. Taking care of a temporarily blind girl who knows too much about the mayor's (played by Wang Hsieh) dealings with a warlord, it's all decent storytelling that is also merely a springboard for choreography suited for the performers lacking full usage of arms and legs respectively. Often complex and creative, a lot of emphasis is on Sam Chung-Cheun's knife throwing skills (which he does with his feet) and the package comes together more by the time the duo fights Addy Sung as the filmmakers find usage for Hong Chiu-Ming and the cart he uses to get around.

Two Girl's Faced (1995) Directed by: Lo Kin-Ming

Just because you happen to know where to point the camera, persuade anyone to give you the key to art, costume and action departments plus set your narrative in ancient times with Wuxia like tendencies amongst the constant sex, doesn't mean your end product is going to be anything. Lo Kin-Ming's Two Girl's Faced attempts class, favouring "moody", tender sex combined with one such story attempt with roots in hatred for men. From an almost unrelated movie comes some horny soldiers belonging to an evil witch played by Alvina Kong whose main nemesis happen to be Category III sleazeball William Ho. Extremely short but dragged out to infinity it seems, the sole lively behaviour comes from cheap wire assisted action but the slightly haunting tone during the gory climax has signs of a film that should've been all that throughout. Then you might've had something low-fi but fun!

The Two Jolly Cops (1985) Directed by: Wilson Tong

Doing a disservice to the buddy cop movie, Wilson Tong casting Gordon Liu and Tai Bo at the head of one proves to be a dreadful and boring choice and endeavor. Chasing a pickpocket (Norman Tsui), a triad boss (Wilson Tong) but mostly a slimey lawyer (Charlie Cho), the light, everyday banter in between doesn't so much not translate... it's just not funny. With no chemistry between the leads either or needed edge to the material (there's barely any action either), only worthwhile scene is seeing Gordon Liu towards the end seemingly out to hurt and torture Charlie Cho but does so in more sneaky ways while also playing mind games with the lawyer. A short sign of life, way too late. Wu Ma and Phillip Chan also appears.

Two Toothless Tigers (1980) Directed by: Ricky Lau

Absolutely abysmal kung-fu comedy involving Sammo Hung, Yuen Shun-Yi and a lot of the former's dependent on- and off-screen talent. Within a high standard career, logically there are lulls and this one comes off as desperately wanting to belong to a trend. More a Yuen Shun-Yi than a Sammo Hung vehicle largely, the last 20 minutes do give way for Sammo and his team's action with a couple of excellent and hard hitting fight scenes. Of note is the finale with Johnny Wang versus the two leads that features highlight footage of hard kicks and falls that look borderline lethal.

Two Wondrous Tigers (1979) Directed by: Cheung Sam

Not all out bad as it somehow manages to execute in the comedic- and martial arts area with less embarrassing results but Two Wondrous Tigers still feels incredibly flat. Tiger (John Cheung) and Robert Ko (Phillip Ko) bump into each other, become enemies, bicker, fight, team up all while showcasing zero chemistry and only certain movies (The Loot being one) showed Ko could break his harder exterior and smoothly be transformed into something lighter. The two take a backseat to the plot involving Elder Master Ma (Tiger Yang) who gets the women he wants, usually involving kidnapping but brother of Sharon Yeung's character and her sister won't give in that easily. They propose to fight for the marriage and when Master Ma loses, he retreats and other suitors line up to claim the bride and the prize money.

It's all unusually friendly and free from violence but comedy involving laxatives and unfunny banter sinks Two Wondrous Tigers to pretty much the level of every unfunny kung fu comedy. The martial arts action is executed with competence but doesn't register. Even concepts of a Buddhist monk essentially dancing with Sharon Yeung is a flat one and the worst offender comes when Phillip Ko and John Cheung fight over 10 dollars, one coin at a time. Sharon Yeung is an acrobatic and fiery eyed standout though and the massive fight with her, Cheung, Ko plus the brother and sister is the best piece of choreography. Also with Wilson Tong.

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