Entertainment, Reviews

THE DOUBLE, a Thriller on Blu-ray

Although a little lingering at times, The Double, now on Blu-ray/DVD still entertains.  The CIA spy thriller plays a game of cat and mouse that’s sure to please those that like good brain stimulation. Well acted by Richard Gere and Topher Grace it’s also a sweet treat for the ladies.

The movie surrounds the murder of a US Senator and an indication that a Soviet assassin code-named Cassius has surfaced.  Thought eliminated years ago, this murder however, has all the trademarks of the cunning killer.  Chief CIA investigator (Martin Sheen) starts working the case, but getting nowhere fast he calls upon retired operative Paul Shepherdson (Richard Gere) to work the assignment since he knows Cassius.  The trail goes cold so Paul elicits the help of an FBI Agent Ben Geary who boasts he knows all about the infamous spy. When the two team up, and with time of the essence, Paul and Ben dive into a risky plan.

Although I did like the cast very much, some of the plot points in the script are a bit far fetched. This aside however, that’s how most spy thrillers are played out.  After all, who really knows how a trained operative moves around in the real world?  The upside includes fine performances by the whole cast with Gere taking center stage with another cool as a cucumber characterization this time a relentless CIA agent.  In support, Topher Grace makes a very good sidekick and when it comes to the action he doesn’t hold back.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyJy_aA4FbI[/youtube]

Direction by Michael Brandt (screenwriter for 2 Fast 2 Furious) does go a little off center dragging the film out with a bit too much build up. This may be due to the fact that this film marks his first directorial outing. I do like his twists and turns, one of which I truly did not see coming.  The surprise helps make the film a winner pushing it to above average.  The ladies will get a lot of Gere magnetism and with Grace at his side; it’s double the ‘hunk a hunk a burning love’.

The bonus features include a featurette and audio commentary featuring writer/director Michael Brandt and co-writer/producer Derek Haas. So after you’ve watched the film, turn on the commentary and watch it again.  Even though you will already know the plot twists, it’s fun to hear how some of the scenes play out in their eyes.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An above average intriguing spy thriller that entertains.  Feature (C+), Bonuses (C ), overall experience (C+)

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:

  • Cast: Richard Gere, Topher Grace and Martin Sheen
  • Directed by: Michael Brandt
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images and language
  • Genre: Thriller, Action/Adventure
  • Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
  • Format: AC-3, NTSC
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1, Widescreen, 1080p HD
  • Sound: Dolby, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Surround Sound
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Street Date: January 31, 2012
  • Distributed by: Image Entertainment
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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com