Julius and Vincent are unlikely fraternal twins.
Twins is a comedy vehicle designed to pair the unlikely combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito. Julius Benedict (Schwarzenegger) has lived his entire life on a South Pacific island, an orphan raised by a scientist who knew that Julius was the product of a genetics experiment many years ago. Julius is a genius, fluent in languages, tall and athletic, a real humanitarian and knowledgeable about anything that he can read in a book. When he discovers that he actually has a twin brother, and thus a real family, he insists on leaving the island and going to Los Angeles to find his brother. His brother, Vincent (De Vito), is almost exactly the opposite, because in the experiment all of the good genes went to Julius, while the dregs went to Vincent. Vincent is a small time con man, always on the run from loan sharks, who specializes in stealing luxury cars from the airport parking garage and selling them to a chop shop.
Julius discovers a picture of his brother at the orphanage.
When Julius arrives in Los Angeles, he goes to the orphanage where they were both initially placed to try and find Vincent. The nun at the orphanage tries to discourage him because she knows that Vincent is bad news. But Julius insists on finding Vincent, and is able to track him down at the county jail where Vincent has just been incarcerated due to hundreds of unpaid parking tickets. A lot of the early humor in this film revolves around the naive Julius trying to deal with Los Angeles street life and the characters he runs into while searching for Vincent. When Julius finally is able to meet Vincent in the jail’s visitor center, he tells him of their secret past and unlikely kinship. Vincent of course doesn’t believe Julius is his twin brother (who would?), but since Julius has the bail money to spring him from jail, he is willing to play brother to this muscular giant. When he discovers that Julius can actually help him out of trouble, their relationship starts to slowly build.
Julius’ idyllic life: a South Pacific island paradise and chucks to wear.
To enhance this basic plot, there are two subplots, one involving a valuable rocket launcher that was hidden in the trunk of a car that Vincent had just stolen from the airport garage. And there is a romantic interest provided for the brothers with two girlfriends played by Chloe Webb and Kelly Preston. Although Vincent tries to ditch Julius and the girls in order to deliver the rocket and cash in on the $5,000,000 that a crooked corporation is willing to pay for it, his girl figures out what he is up to and insists that they all go together. So there is a whole new set of mob-like characters chasing after Vincent, while Julius is searching for the man who knows who their real mother is, and the girls come along for the ride. This film could have easily degenerated into another shoot-em-up and chase scene type of story like we are used to seeing Schwarzenegger star in. Instead, it is to the director’s and writer’s credit that this is somewhat downplayed, so that there still is character development going on even in the last half hour. There are some funny running bits throughout, like when you see both Julius and Vincent exhibit the same exact mannerisms and the various ways that Julius responds to life in America. When Julius starts to develop a relationship with his girl friend, there is a hilarious scene on the floor of the motel where they are staying on their trip, because Julius prefers to sleep on the floor.
Julius tries to reason with one of Vincent’s creditors.
Twins ends up being one of the best comedies that Arnold Schwarzenegger has starred in and the chemistry between him and De Vito makes this film worth watching. Even in his most violent and brutal film roles, Schwarzenegger was always able to introduce a little comedy dialog, for example the line “I’ll be back” used in the Terminator movies. This film is enjoyable because the comedy element takes top billing over the violence, and you have to be impressed with his versatility in making this film work.
Julius breaks down the door to his and Vincent’s true past.
Julius provides an uplifting experience for a man with an axe to grind.
There are a lot of good chucks shots throughout most of the film and it’s nice to see an adult mainstream actor wearing them. While some could argue that Schwarzenegger wears All Stars as part of his naive persona, because he has been isolated from the rest of the world and wasn’t aware of the new high tech sneakers, if you accept the basic premise of the film, it is a real compliment to chucks wearers everywhere that he does wear them. After all, he is portrayed as genius and an athlete, the product of the best gene pool available from six Nobel prize winners, Olympic athletes, and humanitarians, and he chooses to wear Chuck Taylor All Stars, obviously the choice of superior minds everywhere! The best chucks scenes are when he does his weight lifting routines, picking up a Cadillac from the rear end to shut off the car alarm, and disarming a bad guy who is attacking him with an axe by lifting him up in the air and tossing him into the wall. And when he leaves the island to come to America, what one pair of shoes does he bring? Chucks, of course!
Isn’t it easier just to call AAA?
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