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“The Double” - {Blu-ray}
John A. Reese
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date:
January 31th, 2012
Special Features:

See Below


"The Double" stars off with the murder of a U.S. Senator Darden (Edward Austin Kelly), recently on a TV debate, arguing that Russia is a slowly growing threat that is going unnoticed because the U.S. is dealing with the Middle East. The murder attracts the highest levels of Homeland Security since his death is identical to methods used by a Soviet agent presumed to have died a long time ago. Code name: Cassius. The CIA Director (Martin Sheen) turns to Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere), a retired CIA operative who spent 20 years tracking down the Cassius Seven, except for the original Cassius, who escaped. Of course, Shepherdson thinks it is just a copycat murder. Soon he is teamed up with Ben Geary (Topher Grace), a young FBI agent whose thesis on Cassius has attracted the attention of the CIA. Now, Geary is eager to find out who Cassius really is. However, what Geary and the rest of the CIA do not know is that Shepherdson is actually Cassius. From then on it is a cat-and-mouse chase between Shepherdson and Geary, with the former trying to find Cassius, and the later also trying but is intentionally misdirecting the search. I do not like to give out spoilers in my reviews, but this is a perfect example of a movie trailer giving away the whole plot of the film.***

If you watch the trailer you find out that Gere is the Soviet agent. Plus the name of the movie is "The Double", so that should be a pretty big hint. However, let's say that you have not seen the trailer before watching the movie. Even then the big twist is revealed at about the 30 minute mark of the film, which is way too early. However, you can argue that there is a bigger twist at the end, but the payoff was not that satisfying for me. Ultimately, the movie is another forgettable spy thriller and it has elements that we have seen before in better spy films. The trailer advertises that the film is from the same writers (Michael Brandt and Derek Haas) as "Wanted" and "3:10 to Yuma", which is a shame because this film is a big step down from those movies. It almost as if the script is just a hodgepodge from different spy movies.***

Image and Sound:

For a low budget film like this, the video quality is good. The film is shot well by the Director of Photography Jeffrey Kimball, who has an impressive resume of films like "Top Gun", "Mission: Impossible 2", "True Romance", and "The Expendables". So this is one of the film's strengths. The texture, details, and colors look good on Blu-ray and the film actually looks like it's shot with film and not digital. The audio is nice as the dialogue is clear and you get a clear sense of the environment with small sounds (creaks, rivers, traffic) that blend in with everything. Plus the score is done by John Debney (Iron Man 2, The Passion of the Christ") and compliments the action scenes well.***

Special Features:

There are a few special features on the Blu-ray. The main highlight is the audio commentary by Writer-Director Michael Brandt and Writer-Producer Derek Haas. The commentary is very technical, but there are some interesting parts about working under time pressure and budget restraints. There is only one featurette on the disc, which consists of interviews with the cast and crew. Unfortunately they are brief and do not really provide that much information. In addition, the disc also comes with the trailer which basically gives away the whole plot of the film. Nevertheless, the featurette and trailer are in HD, so that is a plus.***

Final Words:

"The Double" wasn't necessarily a bad film, but it just felt like a movie with recycled elements from other spy movies. The cast is solid and the video and audio are acceptable. There are not many special features, but I expected that since the film did not do well at the box office. This is just worth a rental, even if you are a fan of spy movies. There are much better spy movies out there than this.***


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