Arnie shows his range wonderfully in this light-hearted, but clever and ultimately touching comedy, using all the comic and action ability he has learned over the previous 10 years. Aiming for a younger, more widespread audience would ensure that more people would come to love Arnie, and ensuring he would become one of the greatest movie stars ever.
Arnie plays Julian, a twin separated at birth from his brother and mother in a dubious experiment. Once he reaches a certain age, he decides to go in search of his lost brother and mother; however, he is no ordinary 80s American male; he is a genius, a muscular giant with great fighting ability, naive and innocent when it comes to women, the outside world, and crime due to his upbringing in a tropical paradise. His search takes him to America, to LA, and into various humourous japes. Eventually he finds his brother Vincent, who was the ‘failed’ half of the experiment. Vincent is small, weak, and a small time crook and womanizer, but street-smart. We learn that Vincent is going to be killed by loan sharks unless he can come up with some money fast, but when Julian interrupts, beating up the bad guys, Vincent thinks he can exploit Julian as protection, even though he does not believe they are brothers. Julian is ecstatic to have found his other half and they begin searching for their mother as well as attempting to save Vincent. Over time they grow to like each other, and Arnie falls for Marnie, the sister of Vincent’s girl. The mob is on their backs, and Julian will not stop till he finds his mum.
The film works because the chemistry between DeVito and Arnie is perfect. The script is also very sharp, with plenty of jokes, room for action, and with a charming quality too while veering close to becoming a tad too sweet. The cast is good and all seem to have a great time making the film. Arnie’s one-liners are present-‘The pavement was your enemy’ and ‘You forgot the third rule in a crisis situation’, but the rest of the humour is good too especially sight gags with regards to the way the twins are so physically and culturally different, yet act the same, do the same things at the same time etc. Arnie’s singing on the plane is great too.
Overall, a good Arnie film, but one for the family to enjoy, rather than just the action fans. Arnie transitions well into a more lighthearted genre, and his unique star quality shines. DeVito is gold, Kelly Preston is gorgeous, and the baddies are a hoot. The DVD transfer is fine but there are no special features worthy of mentioning. Now that Arnie is making his way back into movies maybe he should return to some of these releases to record a commentary or documentary with the rest of the cast/crew. If anything it would entertain his fans and earn him an extra few bucks.
*Originally written in 2004