Twins is a one-joke movie. The one joke it has is in playing the physiques of its two stars brawny muscle-builder Arnold Schwarzenegger and diminutive 5 Danny DeVito against each other as the most unlikely of twins. The pairing is as much a joke on the two actors physical differences as it is on the audience for giving the film the suspension of disbelief to accept this. Schwarzenegger, in playing against action man type as the gentle, kindly, almost-Buddhist Julius, is clearly having a ball and gives a performance that surprises one in actually showing that he can almost act. He has some delightful scenes entering into combat and redressing his opponents for ignoring the Rules of Confrontation, or his naively agog innocence while wandering the big city and during the romantic scenes. Although perhaps a sight gag where Schwarzenegger passes a poster of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo III (1988) and compares muscles makes the element of self-parody in his performance a little too obvious. Danny DeVito is equally engaging as the rabid, roguishly likeable conman who gradually thaws throughout. Ivan Reitman gets perfect comedy timing out of the pair. More than its single joke, Twins carries a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek sense of sincerity. The scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger explains to Danny DeVito that he is not the genetic loser and that they both need their mother is both a scene that pokes fun at and enjoys a touching earnestness.
1988 was a year that peculiarly featured twin twin movies at opposed ends of the thematic spectrum was Ivan Reitmans former compatriot David Cronenbergs darkly obsessive and quite brilliant Dead Ringers (1988), which Cronenberg had started out planning to call Twins but had been forced to change after being beaten to the title by this film. Furthermore, Twins, had it not been planned long before, almost serves as a parody of the same years vastly overrated Oscar-winner Rain Man (1988) about the similar reunification of two dissimilar brothers setting out on the great American road movie quest. Both Twins and Rain Man share exactly the same conman/naive brother relationship and even have a scene with the two of them dancing together.
For some years, there were plans to make a Twins sequel, although this never emerged. It has finally been announced tentatively for the 2010s as Triplets with Eddie Murphy as a further twin. Reitman, Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito later reteamed for Junior (1994), which is not a sequel, but casts the two actors in a similar relationship and has a similar genetic engineering theme where this time Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes pregnant.
Ivan Reitmans other films of genre note as director are: Cannibal Girls (1973); Ghostbusters (1984); Ghostbusters II (1989); Junior (1994) with Schwarzenegger as a pregnant man; Evolution (2001), which essentially replays Ghostbusters as an alien invasion comedy; and the superhero spoof My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006). Reitman also produced David Cronenbergs first two commercial successes Shivers/They Came from Within/The Parasite Murders (1976) and Rabid (1977), the revenge and brutality film Death Weekend/The House By the Lake (1976), the animated Heavy Metal (1981), the space opera Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Space Jam (1996) featuring Michael Jordan taking on Warner Brothers cartoon characters, the animated tv series Mummies Alive! The Legend Begins (1998), the psycho-thriller Disturbia (2007), the ghost story The Uninvited (2009), Hitchcock (2012) and Ghostbusters (2016).