Movie Review: Vampire Effect

Vampire Effect
Directed by Dante Lam and Donnie Yen
Written by Hing-Ka Chan and Wai Lun Ng
Starring Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Edison Chen, Jackie Chan, Mickey Hardt

If you like Hong Kong supernatural martial arts films, you’ll probably enjoy Vampire Effect (AKA Twins Effect, since the two female leads are evidently in the same pop band). Modern-day vampire hunter gets cute new partner who clashes with his cute sister, who just happens to be dating an Emo vampire prince whose essence a vampire king wants to eat to unlock a vampire grimoire. Martial arts ensue.

You know, the usual.

Jackie Chan has an extended supporting role that’s pretty much unnecessary, except you get to see Jackie Chan fight vampires. He’s third-billed and gets about 15 minutes of screen time, so it doesn’t even make Top Ten Most Dishonest Uses of Jackie Chan’s Name on the DVD Cover list. (I’m looking at you, Drunken Fist Boxing.)

This hasn’t gotten great reviews, and it’s not a patch on the best work in the genre by the late, great Ching-Ying Lam. The romance subplot drags a bit. The pace and style of the film does rip off the Blade movies…which in turn were ripping off Hong Kong action films, which ripped off everything they could lay their hands on, so par for the course. But it’s funny, and the action scenes work, which is pretty much all I ask as a threshold for enjoyment for this kind of film.

The “sequel” Twins Effect II is evidently a historical martial arts epic with much of the same cast, but none of the same characters.

Supposedly the American DVD (I saw it on-demand) has some scenes chopped that hinder the continuity. When it comes to Hong Kong action films, continuity does not rank high on my list of requirements. I saw the version with lots of martial arts.

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