Double Trouble is enjoyably silly
Starring Jaycee Chan and Yu Xia. In Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien with English subtitles. Rating unavailable.
Two trouble-prone security guards are forced to buddy up and learn something about themselves when a priceless art object is stolen from a seemingly impregnable place. Where do they come up with these ideas?
Likable Jaycee Chan, the U.S.-born son of Jackie, makes his first full-blown venture into Dad’s action arena as Jay, a Taipei personality who works at the museum where the story begins. By coincidence, Taiwan is being visited by a mainlander called Ocean; this goofy, food-obsessed tourist is played by Yu Xia, who won the top acting prize in Venice for his teenaged role in China’s In the Heat of the Sun. The vacationing guard literally bumps into Jay twice while the latter is running to retrieve a stolen painting from the kind of high-gloss, cat-suited thieves (models Jessica Cambensy and Shoko) we only see in movies.
Not one to call for backup, hyper Jay shanghais the slightly slow-witted Beijinger for help, although Ocean is reluctant to leave his bus tour, having already struck up some kind of friendship with a pretty photographer (Deng Jiajia). He would be less eager to rejoin the group if he spent as much time as we do with their idiot guide, played by Chen Han-tien—easily the least funny part of this venture, which is more comedy than caper flick.
Rather loosely directed by David Chang, with action scenes handled by Wen Jiang (Let the Bullets Fly), the film has the most fun playing with prejudices that mainlanders and islanders have about each other, including some language and culture conflicts. In that sense, Double Trouble marks a notably playful shift in attitude between these long-adversarial nations. Still, in the silly-yet-enjoyable fight scenes, there is a lot of balls-kicking, and who knows what that represents.