If I were a twin, I’d be half of a pair,
Beside myself always, with one me to spare.
We’d wear the same clothes, and without a reveal,
We’d simply switch places whenever we feel.
We’d play mirror games in the door to our room
To see who’d be first to stop copying whom,
And, asked if I had any sibs of my own,
I’d say “I don’t think, but I do have a clone.”
When I stubbed my toe, we would both feel the pain,
As if we’re connected by waves of the brain.
So, happy or sad or aware of a threat,
Our emotions would match like a Gemini set.
That’s how it would be, if I did have a twin,
But I don’t have anyone that close of kin.
I can’t help but wonder what life I would share
If someone like me had been half of a pair.
MPAA rating: PG-13
After thirty straight days of NaPoWriMo without touching one of her picks, it’s time to set things right with my faithful Viewing Companion, so I’ll be reviewing three of her chosen movies this month. The first is Twins, the 1988 odd-couple pairing of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, which she chose in response to continued rumors that there will be a sequel called Triplets, co-starring Eddie Murphy of all people.
It’s an absurd notion that Schwarzenegger and DeVito could be brothers, much less twins, but the film knows it and sidesteps the stigma of being unrealistic with a fictitious genetics experiment that involved six fathers and produced one perfect specimen (Schwarzenegger) and one, um, imperfect side effect (DeVito). Where Eddie Murphy will fit in, I don’t know. Since the flawless Julius Benedict is raised on a utopian island, he only learns of his brother as an adult and searches for him, only to discover short Vincent is a two-bit criminal on the edge of a dangerously profitable scheme.
What Twins most reminded me of was 1999’s Blast from the Past, which I also saw and reviewed for the first time recently. Both Brendan Fraser in that film and Schwarzenegger here are clean-cut golden boys raised in isolation, and their first exposure to the big bad world (at age 35 in both) finds humor in their geeky fish-out-of-water charm and naïve misunderstandings of slang. But whereas Fraser was looking for love, Schwarzenegger’s Julius only cares about finding and helping his brother, from saving Vincent from vengeful loan sharks to encouraging that both of them find their long-lost mother (Bonnie Bartlett, whom I recognized from St. Elsewhere).
Twins isn’t quite a constant laugh riot, and its minor classic status owes more to its stars and its age than anything else; but it features a wealth of amusement, thanks to the interplay of DeVito’s comic experience and Schwarzenegger’s surprising capacity for humor—surprising because I believe this was his first entirely comedic role after years of building his action-hero reputation. Schwarzenegger even gets some wink-wink nods to his other films, from his action roots to a line that I think was reused in Batman and Robin. I also liked how the story morphs into a road trip movie, similar to that other 1988 film about someone discovering he has a brother he never knew about. Also along for the ride as joint love interests are the lovely Kelly Preston and Chloe Webb, whom I best know as that crazy alien abduction lady on Venkman’s TV show in Ghostbusters II.
Though Twins is one of the lesser classics from director Ivan Reitman, there’s enough buddy humor from the silly premise alone to make it worthwhile, and it actually finds a good deal of heart in Vincent’s realized desire for a family after growing up an orphan. I shudder at what convolutions Triplets may take to wedge in a third absurd sibling, but Twins fulfills its preposterous concept with light-hearted fun.
Best line: (Julius) “Actually, I hate violence.” (Vincent) “But you’re so good at it!”
Rank: List Runner-Up
© 2017 S.G. Liput
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