Get prepared for two of the best performances of the year, both by Dominic Cooper in The Devil’s Double. The film has blasted through Sundance, LA Film Festival and finally it’s about to kick some ass in theaters. If you’re in the mood for something edgy, fast-paced, fun and controversial this is your pick for this weekend. Trust me, Cowboys & Aliens can wait, this is the film that everyone is going to be talking about…

The Plot:

The film takes place in Bagdad with Uday Hussein is given everything in the world that he could ever want in his film, Saddam’s palace. Deprived of morality, he descends into a life of extremism and force army lieutenant Latif Yahia to become his “double” –something quite common if you’re Saddam Hussein’s son. In a world entrenched in betrayal and corruption knowing who to trust becomes a matter of life or death for Latif, as he battles to escape from his forced existence.

The Players:

  • Directed by: Lee Tamahori
  • Actors: Dominic Cooper, Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier
  • Writers: Michael Thomas (screenplay) and Latif Yahia (novel)
  • Original Music by: Christian Henson
  • Cinematography by: Sam McCurdy

The Good:

  • Dominic Cooper at Latif: Cooper’s “first” character is the more straight-forward army lieutenant who is by no means a Saint, but a man trying to do the right thing when he’s ripped from his world and forced to be a part of Uday’s or have his family killed. Playing the good guy is never as “fun” as the bad-guy, but it’s the soul of the film and the reason why we care and Cooper gives a stellar performance that provides the soul for the film. But then there’s the more fun soulless side of his role…
  • Dominic Cooper as Uday: This is an even more powerful performance, one that very few actors could tackle. Uday one of the most disgusting, unpredictable, despicable characters that you’ll ever see on screen, and Cooper not only succeeds in the role, but pushes it past what anyone could have ever imagined. He balanced the two beautifully and will have you literally gagging at times.
  • The Story: Based loosely on a true story the film is disturbingly fun, fast-paced, interesting thrill-ride that never has a dull moment.

So-So:

  • Ludivine Sagnier: Her performance was never quite as interesting as her look and her character’s plotline was a bit sloppy. It’s a shame because when she first walked in front of the camera she caught my attention, but her story and character arch never really reached its true potential.

The Bad:

  • The End of the Second Act: The film builds from the start with so much plot and momentum, but at the end of the second act, it becomes a bit overly muddled. They managed to make things more difficult on themselves by adding too much story and one secret plot device (which I won’t give away now, but has to do with returning somewhere) that really doesn’t help the story or the characters, and adds a whole section of the film that no one really care about within the grand scope of the rest of the film.

Overall:

It has a couple of problems, but I didn’t care because the performances were THAT good. This is a hell of a film and one that will be talked about for years to come and hopefully will win Cooper some acknowledgement and statues come award season.

Rating: 7.5/10 for the movie 10/10 for Cooper

Check out Dominic Cooper in The Devil’s Double on July 28th!

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