The Devil's Double (2011)
Directed by: Lee Tamahori
Written by: Latif Yahia, Michael Thomas
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi
FILM: The Devil’s Double
STARRING: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi, Mem Ferda, Dar Salim, Khalid Laith, Pano Masti, Nasser Memarzia
DIRECTED By: Lee Tamahori
| Hughesy’s Verdict
Set during the Gulf War, this new film by Bond Director Lee Tamahori tries hard to impress with a gritty storyline based on what they call “true events” but the only truth most fans will get from watching is that this is once again one of these gangster film’s that inspire to be the new Scarface.
Unlike most films of this nature, we do not see the rise and then the obvious fall of the man at the centre of the plot because this time the big bad is already in place. Here we see the story of Saddam Huussen son Uday, a pampered young man who thinks of sex and nothing much else. With the pressure already building on Irag, Uday realises that his life may be in danger so he decides to hire a body double and that comes in the shape of Latif Yahia, a man who arrives at the “palace” and is soon seduced by the wealth of drugs and sex.
Of course this arrangement is not as straight forward as it could be. Uday is a child in a man’s body who loves to get his own way even if it means seducing underage girls while Latif of course frowns on such behaviour. The tension builds up and soon Latif decides enough is enough and decides to get out of the “job!” but Uday does not want to let him go that easy and a bloody conformation soon develops.
Fresh from Captain America, Dominic Cooper is an actor on the rise and this is his first headline feature in which he plays the dual role well which suggests that this is a man due for a big film and its thanks to Cooper that The Devil’s Double passes for watchable entertainment. There is nothing new or exciting about the whole plot that is based on the memoirs of Yaha whose character in the film is rather too bland for the viewer to get any sympathy.
Its Uday who lights up the screen and it would have been more interesting to see a film just set on this character but Tamahori is more interested in bringing out all the gangster cliches than actually telling a good story because lets be honest the source material is rich enough for a film that could have sparkled. The ill judged love story drags the whole plot down likewise when the plot involves Yaha because Cooper seems to be having more fun when is playing this depraved character who in one scene takes great delight in ruining a wedding by sleeping with the bride before the groom and then in other, mocking a father of a 13 year old girl he had just raped!
Goodness knows if what we see here actually happened but anyone who needs a quick fix of gangster genre will be in their element and while it offers nothing new to a well worn formula, there is a very dark vibe running through the running time that makes this a good but not great flick.