Separated at Mirth
Some may say that even before he starred in the outright comedy "Twins" Arnold Schwarzenegger had already proved himself as a funny actor with the number of action movies that required him to deliver witty and often corny put downs. But whilst not his first attempt at outright comedy "Twins" still remains Arnie's best and easily superior to what was to follow. The combination of director Ivan Reitman and reliable funny man Danny De Vito certainly assists in making "Twins" work but it is also the various storylines which help it from ever being dull.
Having known for a long time that he was created via a science experiment Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger - Predator) learns on his 35th birthday that he has a twin brother and sets about finding him. Whilst Julius is a genetically superior being who is well educated his twin brother Vincent (Danny DeVito - The Jewel of the Nile) is opposite in every way and is in trouble not only with the law but also loan sharks. Despite initially disbelieving that Julius is his brother slowly Vincent begins to believe especially as having a huge man hanging around is security against the various heavies who come his way.
"Twins" is a movie which for such a simple and easy to follow story actually has a fair bit going on and to start with is the storyline of Julius going in search of the twin brother he never knew existed. Of course the irony of this is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito are so physically different, and whilst an obvious gag it is amusing. But it is more than just a visual gag because alongside the obvious struggle for Vincent to believe that Julius is his brother there are the similar mannerisms. It's the small touches which establish that Julius and Vincent are related which makes all of this amusing, much more amusing than just the little and large aspect.
But that is just the introduction to it and alongside a storyline which sees the brothers trying to discover their mother who they thought was dead we also have the fact that Vincent is a hustler and has people after him for money. On top of that there is another crime story and a couple of girlfriends and you have a mixed bag of elements to provide plenty of farce. And to be honest whilst there is all this going on it is simple to follow and ultimately predictable and that is not a complaint as is means you can enjoy all the humour without having to really concentrate.
As for the humour well the majority of it is built around the character of Julius be it Vincent being shocked by all his muscles or the fact that he is very naive to the way of the world. And it works because it relies on Arnie to basically act a little dumb which he does so well, from the looks of excitement through to those of surprise it is Arnie who provides one laugh after another. But there is also the other side to this as with Julius supposedly a genetically superior and well educated being there is the cool and calm way he deals with things, especially the various bad guys who are after Vincent. It's not all good and at times the forced facial expressions are too much but the stiffness of Arnie's acting works in his favour.
And whilst it's hard to believe, Arnie actually outshines Danny De Vito in the comedy stakes, most likely because as Vincent De Vito is the stooge. But it is still a fun performance from De Vito as it is from the rest of the cast including Marshall Bell, Chloe Webb and Kelly Preston.
What this all boils down to is that "Twins" is by no means a great comedy, in fact there are times it borders on being a bit cringe worthy but out of the few comedies Arnie has done it is still his best.