Even though I have seen Twins several times over the years, I can hardly believe that trailer was real. It looks like someone trying to make a legitimate movie from a discarded SNL sketch. It looks awful. And yet I have positive memories of it? I am definitely starting to doubt the merits of my nostalgia.
Twins begins on a remote South Pacific island, where the inexplicably accented Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is told for the first time that he has a twin brother. Naturally, he assumes his brother will be a lot like him: impossibly fit, scientifically brilliant, and eager to be reunited with his family.
|Yes, I said "brilliant." If you suspend your disbelief now, this movie will be much easier to watch.|
|This is the movie that inspired the "Sounds legit" meme|
The acting in Twins, while broad, isn't as goofy as the film's concept. What is perhaps more surprising, in retrospect, is Arnold Schwarzenegger's competence in a comedic role. Sure, he'd been funny on occasion in his action movies --- my personal favorite is him punching a horse in the face in Conan the Barbarian --- but this was his first real comedy. His acting chops are clearly limited...
|Arnold, reading his lines|
|DeVito, discussing the plausibility of this script|
Twins was directed by Ivan Reitman, toward the back-half of his incredibly successful run in the 80s and early 90s. Reitman's skill set as a director seems to be allowing the talent to do their thing in front of the camera and edit it into a cohesive story later. That method works when you've got an improvisational master like Bill Murray in your movies. Replacing Murray with Schwarzenegger doesn't get the same result. One side effect of that is a reliance on much, much broader comedy in Twins than in Reitman's best films, Stripes and Ghostbusters. That's not necessarily a terrible thing, but it makes for a far more generic and formulaic comedy.
|Except for the part where the brothers prepared to crush those poor, poor children|
Reitman deserves credit for taking an absolutely ludicrous concept and making it into a watchable, even likable film. That was not inevitable.
|It could have been much, much worse|