The Double is a mess of a spy thriller that never really fires on all cylinders despite having a solid cast and a fast moving pace. The movie does manage to have several twist, but most are easily spotted which makes it hard to stay invested in the story and characters.
Directed by Michael Brandt (who also shares a writing credit for it with Derek Haas), the film stars Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen, Tamer Hassan, Stephen Moyer, Chris Marquette, Odette Yustman, and Stana Katic.
The film opens with the murder of a U.S. senator who was under investigation for being dirty and selling information to the Russians. The killer has the same signs of a Russian spy, code named Cassius, that was thought to be dead which leads CIA head Tom Highland (Sheen) to bring retired agent Paul Shepherdson (Gere) into the case.
Shepherdson was the agent tasked with tracking Cassius and his team back in the day, and the man responsible for killing many of the Russian spies working under Cassius.
Shepherdson doesn’t believe that Cassius is alive, and is even more resentful when he is teamed with young FBI agent Ben Geary (Grace) to hunt Cassius and his new team down. Geary, who appears to be fresh out of college, has studied Cassius and Shepherdson and looks at the elder agent with a tad bit of hero worship. He also questions the way Shepherdson carries himself in the field and the way he is quick to violence when interviewing a suspect.
Within minutes of the two agents starting their investigation, the mysterious Cassius is revealed, and the movie really loses anything it had going for it in terms of suspense. Instead, it becomes a film about Cassius (who is also another character from the film but I am trying to stay as spoiler free as possible) trying to get revenge on other Russian agents who harmed him in the past.
This quest for vengeance works into the hunt for Cassius so he goes along for the ride. A third act twist is meant to give the film even more suspense, but instead is easy to spot and just feels desperate.
Although I didn’t really care for the movie and lost interest early on, it moves at a pace that is quick enough to maybe entertain fans of the spy genre, and is well acted. Gere doesn’t seem to be trying very hard in the film, but knows how to handle the role.
Grace is a little out of his depth in the film, and is not very believable in the role. His character is a tad annoying at times – which made it hard to care about the choices he was forced to make toward the end of the movie.
The film looks good on Blu-ray with a slick polished feel to it that matches its high tech setting. Everything moves fast in the film, and the look of the film matches the speed of its pace. The Blu-ray comes with decent special features including commentary, a featurette on the film, and trailer.
Despite a cast of talented actors and being in a genre I normally enjoy, The Double never really worked for me, and I got very bored about halfway through the film. It tries to have some twist to keep it interesting, but it isn’t enough to make the film from being easily forgettable.
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