Friday, September 17, 2010

Double Trouble (1992)

I just can't help myself sometimes.  Look at this movie poster; there is absolutely no chance that this is a decent movie.  The movie was clearly made to exploit the "hilarity" that comes from being twins, in the grand tradition of the Olsen twins and those obnoxious kids from Big Daddy.  But how can we tell these twins apart?  That's a good question, because audiences are really stupid.  Luckily, that is one question that the filmmakers took into account when making Double Trouble.  You see, one of the brothers dresses in suits (very common with obvious bodybuilders), while the other one wears torn jeans that a belly-baring men's sweatshirt?  It most certainly is.  Well, if nothing else, at least that will make this movie unique.

Meet David Jade (David Paul), a super cop.  Not a police officer or detective, a cop.  David is apparently working on burglaries when he and his partner make a sweet bust and catch a cat burglar in the act. But...the cat burglar looks just like David!  WHA HOPPENED?!?!?  Meet Peter Jade (Peter Paul), David's good-for-nothing brother.  At first, it looks like it's just a coincidence that Peter is even in this movie; this is a movie about a cop investigating burglaries, and David already caught Peter in the act, so it's on to the next crime, right?  Right.  And that next crime is international diamond smuggling.  Sadly, David's streetwise and sassy token black partner died on the job that week, so David is in need of help.  That's when Captain O'Brien (James "Scottie" Doohan from Star Trek) assigns David a new partner: his brother!  No way!  Yes way.  No WAY!  Yes WAY!  NO WAY!  YES WAY!  I'm sorry, that exchange was supposed to have quotation marks around it, since it was lifted directly from the film.  Yes way.  Will these two complete opposites be able to stop the smuggling of these diamonds, or will they kill each other first?  Yes, to the first question, sadly no to the second.

It's not worth your time to nitpick the lack of acting or directing in this movie.  Director John Paragon has stayed away from directing, for the most part (although he did direct the Paul brothers in Twin Sitters, too, where the twins apparently baby sit another set of twins.  Genius!), so I think he learned his lesson after this.  The Paul brothers, also known as the Barbarian Brothers, are certainly not the most accomplished of actors.  I will give them credit where they're due; with their muscular physiques, they could have been in any number of bad action movies.  Instead, they opted to star in a bad action-comedy, which requires bad jokes and bad action.  It's twice the work, and that takes vision.  Or arrogance.  The recognizable actors in the cast (David Carradine, Lewis Arquette, Timothy Stack and Roddy McDowall) make the Pauls look absolutely amateurish by comparison, but against the rest of the film's supporting cast, they don't look half bad.

I would like to point out that Peter Jade's burglary equipment bears a shocking resemblance to Wolverine's Weapon X headgear.  I can't seem to find any stills of Jade from the movie, so you'll either have to take my word for it, or rent this VHS, because it never made the leap to DVD.  If you're still not sure whether you want to watch this, check out the trailer.  It's worth noting that the phrase "ready for the violence" accompanies a shot of David Paul punching a guy through a swing set.

Is this movie worth your time?  Definitely not, unless it's 3:30 AM and you're looking for something simple enough to follow when you're only half-awake.  The Paul brothers are not stuntmen, so their action scenes are usually less than impressive, and they are certainly not comedians, so their jokes fall flat more often than not.  But, when I was watching them awkwardly swing their barrel-shaped arms while chasing down bad guys, somehow not being hit by the bullets being fired at them (how do you miss these guys?), with their mullets flapping behind them, I couldn't help but smile a little bit.  The action is bad, the acting is bad, the jokes are bad, but the Pauls are actually kind of endearing.  I don't know how to explain it...I guess I equate their appeal to watching the Special Olympics --- you know that they're dealing with some sort of handicap and cannot compete on a professional level, but you root for them because they're clearly overcoming adversity.  That said, Special Olympians are an inspiration for us all, while the Paul brothers are just bad actors with a desire to share their muscles with the world.  That doesn't make up for this movie's numerous glaring flaws, but it's almost certainly better than New York Minute, and that alone has to be worth something.

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