Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston
Director: Ivan Reitman
Running Time: 107 mins
Twins is an American film about two estranged brothers who have lived estranged lives, one being brought up in paradise, and the other in the inner city, who reunite and set off on a road trip across the country together.
Playing on the extreme differences between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, I had a lot of fun with Twins, but most surprisingly, it’s not just that central gag that makes it an entertaining watch. Of course, that joke works well throughout, and Schwarzenegger and DeVito work brilliantly together, but there’s also a rather strong story underlying the film, with a good deal of emotion and strong character development that work well to keep it engaging and enjoyable.
Let’s start off, however, with what you came to see. There’s a lot to enjoy about Twins, but nothing more than the sheer ridiculousness of seeing the titan Arnold Schwarzenegger and the tiny Danny DeVito act as supposed twins. It’s a fun concept from the start, and the film appreciates the silliness of the premise right the way through, pushing the characters to further extremes with their differing upbringings.
Schwarzenegger plays the god-like male model, brought up on a paradisiacal island with an incredible education and deep morals. On the other hand, DeVito plays a grumpy middle-aged man living in the inner city, constantly dogged by crime and failure, all of which has led him to a pretty desperate point in his life, and the exact opposite feeling of Schwarzenegger.
Throughout, the two play off one another really well, both thanks to their characters’ immense differences, but also because the rapid energy that DeVito brings to the film is nicely complemented by one of Schwarzenegger’s more measured comedic performances – far more enjoyable to watch than the likes of Kindergarten Cop or Jingle All The Way.
I wouldn’t say that Twins is the most outright hilarious comedy ever made, and I hardly found myself really laughing out loud, however its energy combined with good self-awareness of its own silly concept makes it a very consistent film that’s really enjoyable regardless.
However, as well as the sillier side of things, there is also a surprisingly good story here. Now, it’s not the sort of thing that’s going to really hit you hard, but while the movie has fun with the extremity in difference between the two brothers, its relentlessly positive and light-hearted qualities allow it to bring forward a nice message about the importance of family, with a good degree of emotion that I really didn’t expect at the outset.
As a result, when the film moves from its more comedy-heavy opening act to a middle and final act that aren’t quite so silly, things are still engaging and enjoyable all the same, thanks to a really upbeat and pleasant story that never failed to make me smile.
Overall, I really liked Twins. I recognise it’s not an exceptional film, and it definitely doesn’t have the comedic brilliance that it aims for, but with two really good lead performances, as well as a nice story with a surprising level of depth, it makes for a genuinely enjoyable watch right the way through, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.4.