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Double Trouble
Double Trouble

Jaycee Chan and Xia Yu do the buddy comedy thing in Double Trouble.
Chinese: 寶島雙雄  
Year: 2012  
Director: David Chang Hsun-Wei  
Producer: Michelle Yeh, Liu Jing
Writer: Zhang Hongyi, Yeh Sho-Heng  
Action: Li Chung-Chi  
Cast: Jaycee Chan, Xia Yu, Chen Han-Dian, Deng Jiajia, Vivian Dawson, Jessica C, Shoko, Lan Chun-Tien, Hey Girl, Chang Fei
The Skinny: Stupid and sometimes entertaining action-comedy featuring Jackie Chan's son. The lightweight action and Jaycee Chan help make up for a flabby script and aimless direction. No better or worse than your average Hollywood buddy film.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Jaycee Chan makes like his father in Double Trouble, a sporadically entertaining action-comedy that’s half competent, half idiotic and all average. David Chang Hsun-Wei directed this Taiwan-set commercial trifle about Jay (Jaycee Chan), a lone wolf security guard whose lack of teamwork earns him constant scoldings from his boss. When smarmy art thief Z (Vivian Dawson a.k.a. boyfriend of singer Jolin Tsai) plots to steal a 400 year-old Chinese painting, Jay finds himself framed for the theft and on the run. Finding Z and his catsuit-wearing accomplices (Jessica C and Shoko) would clear his name, and Jay is already on the case because he’s a “cop security guard that breaks all the rules.” However, Jay finds himself saddled with an unlikely partner: mainland security guard Ocean (Xia Yu), whose stalwart values and positive attitude annoy both Jay and the viewer. Will Jay beat the art thieves before Ocean drives him batty?

Yep, he will and the two will eventually become buddies after sparring incessantly. With bromance firmly established, the two can join forces and take down the bad guys - together! This formula is the height of unoriginality, but to the filmmakers’ credit, they never sell Double Trouble as anything other than transplanted Hollywood tripe. This is a film where a couple of simple conversations – like Jay actually telling Ocean the situation – would prevent untold amounts of conflict or distress. But nobody bothers to say anything to anybody else, plus they behave in shockingly stupid ways. After a car chase and near-death experience separates our heroes but helps Ocean reclaim the painting, he leaves it in Jay’s open-air jeep while he eats some beef noodles. Duh, the painting is stolen leading to even more shenanigans. Basically, this film is a 90-minute string of nonsensical incidents and plot holes designed solely for manufactured buddy hijinks. Jaycee’s father made movies like this. They usually had the words “rush” and “hour” in the title.

But the Rush Hour movies provided their share of dumb commercial fun, and Double Trouble is no different. Li Chung-Chi choreographed the lightweight but effective comic action, and Jaycee Chan does an entertaining take on one of his father’s familiar screen personas. Jaycee isn’t as good a stunt performer as Jackie (Jaycee is clearly assisted by wires), but he’s a better actor, managing to make his impatient maverick security guard into an enjoyable and even identifiable action-comedy hero. Xia Yu fares worse, appearing senseless and overbearing as the mismatched mainland buddy. Supporting roles are no great shakes, though dueling variety show hosts Chang Fei (as a Taiwan gangster) and Chen Han-Dian (as a tour guide) amuse with their overacting. There’s a love interest too; Deng Jiajia shows up as a mainland tourist who catches Jaycee’s eye, and the pairing is suitable if not particularly exciting. Accompanying everything is a terrible soundtrack, which mixes crap hip-hop with irritating lounge music.

Despite aping western product, Double Trouble possesses plenty of self-referential Taiwan humor. Jokes referencing the Taiwan entertainment scene, local Taiwan values and possibly even Jaycee’s family lineage dot the film, lending some respite from an endless parade of tiresome buddy banter. Sadly, said banter is not enough to distract from obvious inconsistencies, like Z’s lackadaisical approach to reclaiming the painting, or the sheer time wastage that Jay and Ocean employ simply to get from point A to point B. No matter – logical plotting is for more accomplished commercial films and Double Trouble is absolutely not that. This is a film where the sight of Jaycee Chan accidentally groping Jessica C (numerous times, mind you) qualifies as a highlight, so you can guess what you’re in for. Double Trouble is light throwaway crap, and kills time efficiently if not particularly well. At least the film shows us that “Jaycee Chan, action-comedy hero” would be a welcome future sight. Something besides Double Trouble 2 would be nice, though. (Kozo, 2012)

 

Availability:

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Panorama (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Mandarin and Cantonese Language Tracks
Dolby Digital EX / DTS EX
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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Image credit: China Lion

   
   
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