BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Double
Richard Gere & Topher Grace take action in this espionage thriller...
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Starring Richard Gere and Topher Grace, The Double tells an intriguing modern day tale of espionage with plenty of action, suspense, and drama. When a US Senator is brutally assassinated, the forensic evidence points towards one man: Cassius, Russiaís most illustrious killer long thought dead. Retired Federal Agent Paul Shepherdson (Gere) knows Cassius better than anyone alive; however, when one of the FBIís youngest agents, Ben Geary, starts putting the clues and puzzle pieces together, it soon becomes clear not all is as it seems, not everyone is being honest, and the official story isnít quite as clear as it was written.
Personally, Iím not a fan of Richard Gere. That said, Gere does an excellent job in The Double as the old-timer teaching, training, and showing the younger, less experienced Fed the ropes. Likewise, Grace too does a great job as the young, seemingly innocent and naive analyst on his first field assignment. While neither could be considered top-tier actors today, both put on top-tier performances here. Their on-screen interaction is top-notch. Likewise, Martin Sheen plays a convincing CIA Director whoís frustration and desire for closure are poignant, and Stephen Moyer turns in an outstanding performance as one of Cassiusí fellow Soviet assassins, in prison and forgotten, a deadly agent from an era almost forgotten. Together, the cast of The Double all around performs well and impresses.
Of course, the cast of The Double has both writer/producer Derek Haas and writer/director Michael Brandt to thank for the film's characters and dialogue. Both men helped bring the scripts to both Wanted and 3:10 to Yuma, for bringing this film to life. The script is very well written, with a number of shocking reveals throughout and an ending thatíll have you wanting to re-watch the film immediately (just to see if you can catch any giveaways to the twist!).
The Double comes to life in gorgeous 1080p video in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Smooth, with plenty of texture and color (thanks mostly to cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball). Likewise, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track provides a generous amount of surround effects with dialogue provided from the front channels and the filmís soundtrack and effects filling the surround speakers. From the echo of a barren hallway to the rustling of leaves in a park, the environments especially come to life here.
As for special features, The Double includes audio commentary with writer/producer Haas and writer/director Brandt which gives listeners info on the filmís script, how the duo brought the film to life on a low budget and a short shooting schedule, the cast and crew they worked with (including a plethora of big name actors and cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball), and more. A production featurette includes interviews with Gere, Grace, Moyer, Brandt and Haas and is informative, but contains major spoilers so viewers should wait until after theyíve watched the film before viewing. Finally the filmís trailer, which also seems to contain some spoilers for those wishing to catch all of the surprises from the filmís story/script.
Seemingly a hidden gem in the rough, The Double includes a talented cast with plenty of appeal, a brilliant story with lots of twists and turns, and a decent amount of bonus features. All things considered, The Double will make a great addition to the home library of fans of action/espionage fans and is at least a renter for everyone.
The Double is now available on blu-ray and DVD wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley