Sunday, 5 April 2009

Duplicity movie review

We all know what secret service agents are like, don’t we? I mean, we’ve grown up on a diet of James Bond where the men have hairy chests, the women love it and neither complain when dirty tricks are played on each other. In fact, they come to expect it. You don’t see Mr or Mrs Smith snivelling that their spouse is shooting at them. No, you see them get over it and move on.
Ray (Clive Owen), supposedly, is the best undercover agent, probably ever. He seduces Claire (Julia Roberts) who drugs him, takes off with his secret documents and never calls him again to say “thanks.” Poor Ray can’t handle the fact that he has been duped AND dumped until a chance meeting in some foreign, exotic locale has them smouldering once more. By the end though, all of this “I don’t trust you,” “you don’t trust me” carry on becomes a little tedious.
Both secret agents are working for rival healthcare manufactures, run by competitive and ruthless CEOs : Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, who both enjoy the freedom to ham it up a little.
The plot though in who is playing whom is a little convoluted as we keep jumping from present day into the past to explain it all.
It all just seems a little try hard. It desperately wants Owen and Roberts, reunited from Closer in 2004, to ignite like Brad and Angelina, but it doesn’t quite get there. Not that it isn’t fun in places and there are enough smooches between the leads to give it every chance.
I enjoyed the ‘heist’ half of the movie more than the ‘romance’ half but even the big reveal at the end left me somewhat nonplussed. Beforehand I thought this film would be a happy compromise for Mrs Blog and myself which made its failure to deliver all the more disappointing. From both of us, only an average recommendation I’m afraid. 2 out of 5.