Saturday, June 09, 2012

Double Trouble

I've got to say, I was hoping for a lot better from this movie, but, well, you know how it goes - not really actively awful, but always the sense that they could have put a little more effort into it. Like I say in the review, Jackie Chan made movies based on thin, treadworn premises all the time, but there was never any question that he threw himself into them whole-heartedly. Here, I just kept seeing things with potential that don't get started.

Double Trouble

* * (out of four)
Seen 8 June 2012 in AMC Boston Common #3 (first-run, Sony Digital 4K)

There's not a lot of creativity present in Double Trouble; it's basically MacGuffin + mismatched partners + colorful henchmen (well, henchwomen, in this case). That doesn't have to be a bad thing - star Jaycee Chan's father Jackie made a career out of movies that can be described that way - but there's got to be a little more effort put into it than Double Trouble manages.

Ocean (Xia Yu) is a security guard from Beijing on vacation in Taipei; Jay (Jaycee Chan) has the same job, but at the National Museum there. A 400-year-old national treasure is about to go on display, and it's targeted by international art thief Z (Vivian Dawson) and his sidekicks V (Christina C) and M (Shoko). The heist leaves Jay the fall guy, Ocean tagging along, and his new fiend Jane (Deng Jiajia) being pursued by the folks with the single-letter names.

Double Trouble should be nuts; it's got a ridiculously intense museum security guard, girls who do cat burglar stuff in stiletto heels, patriotic gangsters, and more. But director David Chang (and the writers whose names I didn't catch) seems to have no idea what's entertaining and what's not. For instance, there's not a single scene with Ocean's tour guide (Chan Han-tien) that's actually funny, but the movie keeps going back to him and his stupid American Idol-equivalent jokes, but does it do anything with the kinky twist on alpha villains and underlings we see with Z, V, and M after it spends half a minute introducing them? Nope. Jay is a security guard who talks about going on missions, but that bizarre level of dedication is almost never touched upon. That wouldn't be a particularly original set of gags, but it would be entertaining, as would finding any sort of role for Deng Jiajia's Jane, who is pretty and likable and seems to catch the eye of both Jay and Ocean and has does absolutely nothing that affects the story at all.

Full review at EFC.

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