Monday, April 27, 2009

REVIEW: Duplicity


Year: 2009
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti, Dan Daily
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

With director Tony Gilroy’s critically acclaimed Michael Clayton, it was interesting to see if he could pull off a spy-comedy movie. So and a couple of friends and I decided to check out the movie in theatres when it came out. Read on to see what I thought about the movie.

Plot Outline:
Ray Koval (Clive Owen) plays an MI6 agent while Julia Roberts plays a CIA agent. After having a rather rough past, the two think up of a "retirement" plan by attempting to sell a secret break-through formula from a pharmaceutical corporation, run by Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson). All while that’s happening, Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti) thinks that he’s the one getting that new formula, but the two spies have their own plans.

The plot for this is well… kinda confusing. In some parts I had no clue what in the world was going on. After checking out IMDb, I was surprised to see Gilroy’s name under the director section. But I guess this explained a lot, since Michael Clayton had a fairly complex story also. The movie itself moves through very slowly, with some parts being extremely boring and unnecessary. Not sure why, but I was expecting some action in the movie, but it was all talk to me. You would think that a movie like this would have quite a bit of that ‘suspenseful heist planning’ that usually fits into heist movies. Gilroy attempted to use the same techniques he used for Michael Clayton, but it simply didn’t work for me in this movie. The ending of the movie I thought was the best part; I thought it would be your typical thieves-get-away-company-loses type of ending, but it wasn't and something that I didn't remember seeing before in a movie.

With the movie’s plot being really boring, this is where the movie shines: its cast. Clive Owen and Julia Roberts have the lead roles as spy agents. The two pull off a really fun and interesting bond, bringing their spying knowledge to the relationship. Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti play the angry/hating CEO’s who are willing to do anything to destroy the competition. I also thought the dialogue in the movie was pretty good.

The movie also shines here. Although the picture quality is nothing spectacular, there’s some grain here and there and colors in some scenes felt a little muted. But some of the locations in the movie are what stand out; particularly the scenes in Italy stood out along with the scenes that were filmed in the Bahamas.

There really isn't much to say about the audio in the movie. Since the movie is basically all talk, music isn't really there apart from the occasional suspenseful melodies in various parts of the movie.

Duplicity is one of those movies you expected to be pretty good coming from the director of Michael Clayton, but all it is is a movie with a boring story. If it weren't for the cast, I wouldn't have even considered this movie. The good picture quality showcasing the different aerial shots and places around the world is great, but the audio is also pretty boring and absent.

Grade: C-


anahita said...

I was going through a bit of an omg-clive-owen phase when I saw this, plus julia roberts is my favourite actress, so I actually quite enjoyed this. I agree it wasn't anything spectacular but it had a really good script, great acting and - once it made sense - quite an original plot. and yeah, the ending was awesome.

micky said...

i liked the movie. wasnt great but it was fun

Farzan said...

Nice review, I kinda liked the movie too. I didn't think it was great, but also not bad either. I wasn't expecting much action and knew this was going to be mostly dialgoue driven since thats what the trailers seemed like. I also thought Owen and Roberts had good chemistry on screen.

Information Review said...

Good review, this movie was good but it was confusing with all the jumps back in time and all the twists and turns.

Anonymous said...

This movie is a nice comic story that is well acted and in the end it turns out to be romantic which made it an extremely lovable one. Its a movie that one can't easily forget. All I can say is go and watch it.
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