Following the success of Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman produced and directed this buddy comedy that starts with the most simple of what if ideas: what if Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger were twin brothers? That ridiculous premise fuels the entire enterprise.
The big winners of this film — beyond the audience — were its two stars. Schwarzenegger and DeVito both agreed o take 20% of the film’s box office returns instead of an actual salary. Seeing that this movie made around $216 million at the box office, they did really well — around $35 million each.
Supposedly, Schwarzenegger and DeVito were given the option of doing this movie or Suburban Commando. The stars chose this film instead, so Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd did that film. Interviews say that the cast would have switched movies otherwise, but I’d ascribe that to Hogan’s carny BS interview skills.
But hey — let’s get to the movie already. Julius (Schwarzenegger) and Vincent (DeVito) Benedict are the twin result of a genetics experiment to create the perfect child. Julius is all of the good and Vincent pretty much all the bad. Whereas Julius is raised pretty much exactly like Doc Savage, his brother grows up in an orphanage where he seduces nuns and learns how to be a hustler.
As they say, hijinks ensue when the two finally meet, including love with sisters played by Kelly Preston and Chloe Webb. There’s also a car that has an advanced fuel injection system that’s wanted by industrialist Beetroot McKinley and the supremely evil driver and killing machine Mr. Webster (Marshall Bell, the human host for Kuato in Total Recall).
Keep your eyes peeled for a young David Caruso, as well as Jeff Beck and Tony Bozzio as band members in a bar scene.
Sven-Ole Thorsen — who played Thorgrim in Conan the Barbarian and who shows up in nearly every Arnold movie — is in this as one of the Klane brothers. His resume is all over the place in awesome ways. He’s the demon in the Bruce Lee bio Dragon, he’s La Fours in Mallrats and along with playing numerous thugs and henchmen, has been in an open relationship with Grace Jones since 1990.
Other notables in Twins — well, at least to this site — include Shang Tsung actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Elizabeth Kaitan (Robin from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood and Candy from the Vice Academy series of movies), Criterion Collection co-founder Joe Medjuck, singer Nicolette Larson (who briefly dated Weird Al) and Robert Harper, who is in The Crate part of Creepshow.
There’s been talk of a sequel called Triplets that would team Schwarzenegger and DeVito with Eddie Murphy as their long lost brother. Here’s hoping that happens as this is a fun little film that is continually enjoyable to revisit.