Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mini-Review: Duplicity

Directed by Tony Gilroy
Released March 20, 2009 (USA) / April 10, 2009 (Italy)

This isn’t the first time Julia Roberts and Clive Owen have acted together. Their last collaboration, in Mike Nichols’ 2004 film “Closer,” garnered huge buzz and an Oscar nomination for Owen, and a surprising lack of mention of lead actress Roberts. Here, Owen once again has the flashier role, but it’s the chemistry they have together that really makes the film work. Owen and Roberts are a thoroughly entertaining duo of ex-government agents who join forces to pull off a huge score, tricking everyone in their path to steal a boatload of cash. The setup seems complicated, and it sure is. Some may be frustrated by the confusing way in which the plot is rolled out, but finding out is just part of the fun. Paul Giammati and Tom Wilkinson are superb as rival corporate CEOs whose companies are infiltrated by both Owen and Roberts. The score by James Newton Howard is appropriately bouncy and perfectly energetic. The script has terrific twists which excite and entertain without stopping. My only major objection is that the ending, while still great, feels a bit random and too tangential to the main focus of the film’s plot. Regardless, it’s a fantastic ride that’s a nice surprise among the usual crop of sub-par spring films.


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