The Proud Twins

Reviewed by: Dagger Lee

August 07, 2005

Rating: four

Director: Chu Yuan

Adapted from the novel, "The Handsome Siblings", by Gu Long, this movie tells a story about two brothers separated after their parents' death during infancy. One of the brothers, Jiang Xiao Yu, is taken by his uncle and grows up in the Villains' Valley while the other brother, Hua Mu Juet, is taken by the Princess of Yi Hua to grow up with her. Years pass by and Mu Juet is ordered by the Princess to kill Jiang Xiao Yu. However, it seems that Mu Juet can't seem to kill his own brother as the two brothers admire each other. Not to mention that both men don’t know that they are siblings.

Chu Yuan is known for directing a lot of Gu Long adaptations for Shaw Brothers. This one is no exception. He does a fine job of condensing a novel to fit a movie and still keep the main story intact. While the beginning feels a bit rushed, everything flows in smoothly later on and has a steady pace. The ending could’ve been a bit better as it is a little ridiculous.

This is the first time I've seen Alexander Fu in a movie and he surprises me very much. His performance is excellent and brings the character to life. He is very funny in the comedic parts and great in the fighting scenes. Also, I’m glad that his character got more screen time than Mu Juet since he is an interesting and funny character.

While this movie is very good, there are a few flaws. When Xiao Yu goes outside of the Villains' Valley, I've noticed that he is much bigger than the Great Wall of China. Since he is bigger, this means that the Great Wall used here is a fake. Also, the setting for the beginning of the movie where the siblings' parents were is used once again for the finale! Last but not least, one of the Ten Villains is a cannibal. If this were true, then there would’ve been only One Villain because he probably would've ate the other villains!

Despite the few flaws, the movie is highly recommended. The story, acting, and fights are all grand. It is definitely worth a purchase if you’re a Gu Long or wuxia fan. I just wish that they would make wuxia movies like they used to.

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