Twins (1988)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hr 47
Release: 17.3.1989
Dir: Ivan Reitman
About: A pair of twins emerges from an experiment wherein one twin is gnomish while the other is king-sized. Separated at birth, they only meet as adults when Julius comes looking for his much shorter twin.


The Good

  • The conceit of having Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger playing twins has always been the core joy of this film. There’s something about opposites that provides a solid basis for comedy. Laurel and Hardie are proof of this and its does feel like a riff off that basic premise.
  • At the heart of this film is the theme of family. Both Julius and Vincent are missing something in their lives and it’s through their journey they discover how important they are to each other. There are some brilliant moments between the two men that make this comedy so heartwarming.
  • How well does Arnie fit into a comedy role. There’s just something about his performance that has always made me smile. Then there’s the ‘twin’ behaviours both of them demonstrate; from having an itch to the way they eat. It’s the stuff that younger viewers will enjoy.
  • This film has everything. Mystery, crime, romance and even a road movie. It has something for everyone.

The Bad

  • I do not like the treatment of Vince when details of the ‘sperm milkshake’ come out and they are trying to find out why they got split up. ‘You’re the crap Vincent.’ Brings up so many questions, including nature versus. Yes, its easy to say he’s ‘the crap’ when you see his lifestyle. However, he was brought up believing he was unwanted could also lead to his lifestyle.
    Plus, it’s really shitty and saying you have to be Arnie to be a success! Well fuck that!

The Ugly

  • Yet another film that uses male rape as a punchline. Upon Julius’ arrival to LA he heads straight to the orphanage in which counterpart was placed and he’s told that once he’s ‘disgraced’ on of the convent sisters, Vincent ran away. This in itself had me prickled. It’s implied that the action that disgraced the sister was sex and the blame is firmly placed on Vince.
    We are brought back to this event when discussing the fact that Jules is a virgin while they’re on their road trip with the two love interests. Vincent explains that he lost his virginity at 12 and that it was to the same woman mentioned earlier.
    Okay, so Danny DeVito does a great job at exuding confidence that make it believable that he’s a Lothario. It also doesn’t really matter about the appeal of the character/actor. Mainly because at 12 years old, he was underage and the sister was an adult who took his virginity. It’s rape and an abuse of power. To have it in the movie at all, without commentary, is bad enough. To then imply the sister is the injured party is sickening and worryingly feels like a commentary of what was going in Hollywood with the young actors at the time.

Final Thoughts

It wasn’t as funny as I remember it being, but its still as heartwarming by the final scene. A good Sunday night movie and one of my favourite performances of Schwarzenegger

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