CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: ‘The Double’ Copies Lazy Performances, Silly Twists
CHICAGO – It’s ironic that a film called “The Double,” starring Richard Gere & Topher Grace, would remind one of so many superior thrillers. It is in itself a double, a carbon copy of better films that focuses on all of the wrong elements, thinking that audiences are still dumb enough that just throwing twist after twist at them will keep their head spinning enough to not realize that what they just saw not only makes no sense at all but wasn’t even remotely entertaining.
Don’t worry that the trailer for “The Double” gives away the title character because the film itself does the same by the end of the first reel. If co-writer/director Michael Brandt (who wrote “Wanted,” a film that looks downright logical compared to this one) had been content with just one twist, his thriller might have been effective, but savvy viewers will know that this is the kind of movie in which the writers don’t reveal a double agent early without having a few more clichés coded into their screenwriting program. With nothing resembling a character worth rooting for, the fact that the plot of “The Double” just gets sillier and sillier makes it one of the most annoying films of the year.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Double” in our reviews section.|
Phoning in a performance more than he ever has in a career marred by a few lazy leading man turns lately, Richard Gere stars as Paul Shepherdson, a retired CIA Agent called back to service after the death of a Senator hints that a notorious Russian madman that Shepherdson killed may be alive after all. Assisting Shepherdson in his quest to track down the one that apparently got away is whiz kid Ben Geary (Topher Grace), a supposed expert on the infamous criminal who can ostensibly be the brains to Paul’s field-tested brawn.
If you’re thinking “The Double” is going to be an oil-and-water buddy thriller, Brandt switches clichés on you pretty quickly, revealing that Shepherdson is actually the Russian in question and we watch as he eliminates those who could identify him. As Ben gets closer to realizing that his partner cannot be trusted, the film constantly changes allegiances. Should we be rooting for Ben to take down Paul? How should we feel when Paul warns Ben’s stunning wife (Odette Annable) that she and her hubby should run for the hills? Are we supposed to now like a man that we saw garrote someone in a parking garage?
Photo credit: Image Entertainment