The Double Review

Feb 01, 2012 | 6:35am EST

The Double Blu-ray Box ArtHow do you take a film that touts its “mind-bending twist” seriously when it divulges said plot device in its first half hour? Further why would you give that information away in the sole featurette your Blu-ray has to offer when it’s quite possible that it would spoil the experience for the audience? These are just a few of the questions that rummaging through The Double Blu-ray brings to mind.

The film directed by Wanted co-writer Michael Brandt is pretty standard as far as spy thrillers go: a US Senator is killed by a vicious Cold War era assassin known only as Cassius. The CIA agent who hunted him throughout his career is called back in by the Company to work with a young hotshot analyst to track the murderer and put him down for good. But things aren’t as they seem (as they always are in these flicks) and we quickly learn that Cassius is closer to our heroes than either of them ever would’ve believed.

To be blunt we’ve run through this premise before in countless espionage films. Brandt and his partner Derek Haas literally offer nothing original in their script which is polluted with choppy comic-book style dialogue and as previously stated a dimwitted plot shift that stops the suspense dead in its tracks. As a first time filmmaker Brandt struggles with maintaining a consistent tone using a cheesy '80s rock score at dramatic turns in the story and flashbacks that attempt to expand its scope but reveal more than they should instead. Making matters worse are the phoned-in performances from the leads – Topher Grace and Richard Gere – neither whom are believable as spooks in the first place. Only Stephen Moyer in a brief but meaningful turn as an incarcerated accomplice of Cassius is exciting enough to keep you interested in what’s happening on the screen (I’d rather watch a full-length feature about the exploits of his character than anything with Gere or Grace after this).

With just a short making-of featurette that includes interviews with Brandt Haas and the three fore-mentioned cast members (which also gives the twist away…) there’s no redeeming value in this disc whatsoever. I’m thinking that all parties involved would just like to forget that The Double ever happened.

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