Released October 28, 2011
Directed By Michael Brandt
Starring Richard Gere, Topher Grace, and Martin Sheen
If you have Netflix Instant Streaming, you have probably heard of this movie. It’s a straight-to-DVD flick, and for good reason. Unfortunately, I had the dishonor of sitting through it one recent afternoon. The film revolves around the happenings of a retired operative named Paul Shepherdson (Gere) and a young FBI agent, Ben Geary (Grace). A U.S. Senator has been murdered and Shepherdson is called upon by the CIA to investigate. He then meets Geary, who believes a former Soviet operative is the one who committed the murder. The action takes off from there.
The Double has many flaws. The action, which is what the film puts an emphasis on, is lackluster at best. Some fight scenes are just laughable and embarrassing. The script is about as empty as a cookie jar at a kids birthday party. It’s amazing to think that these are the same guys that wrote 3:10 To Yuma. This is a far cry from Yuma, that’s for sure. There are hardly any exciting moments in the film, aside from a mediocre car chase. The dialogue is ho-hum and you really don’t care about the characters, due to not much development early on. There is a shocking moment near the end, but once it shows itself, you don’t care, you just chuckle, thinking, “Is it over yet?”
Overall, The Double is a passable drama/spy film that doesn’t get much of anything right. The whole production feels cheap, because well, it was made cheap. The film lacks emotional depth, character development, quality action, and is put in the grave with one of the most boring scripts to date. The acting by Gere and Grace are one of the bright spots, but it only goes so far. If you want to play a joke on a friend, sure, put it in, but he probably won’t be your friend anymore. The Double is, to put it bluntly, a pointless, good for nothing mess.
1.5 out of 5