Two ex-government agents turned rival industrial spies have to be at the top of their game when one of their companies prepares to launch a major product. However, they distract each other in more ways than one.
Ray works for MI6, Claire for the CIA. She burns him in Dubai. Jump ahead five years: he sees her in Grand Central and confronts her. Both now work in industrial security for corporate giants whose CEOs hate each other. Flashbacks fill us in: is it coincidence that he sees her in Grand Central? In about a week, one of the firms is going to announce a revolutionary product. Under the guise of helping that corporation's rival, can Ray and Claire work their own theft and find an independent buyer? To work together, using the corporate rivalry to their advantage, they would have to trust one another - difficult, if not impossible. Or, is one playing the other? Written by
I was lured to see this on the promise of a smart, witty slice of old fashioned fun and intrigue - I was conned. A knowing, pretentious, tedious, overlong story which suffocates under its own artifice. Starring Julia Roberts ( Claire Stenwick) ,and Clive Owen (Ray Koval), as "Duplicitous" spies, the film tries to recreate the glitter, froth and intrigue of roles made famous by the likes of Cary Grant in the 1950's, yet fails under leaden direction and total lack of chemistry between the leads.
Director "Michael Clayton" Tony Gilroy also has writing credits for The Bourne series, so his credentials are excellent. But Clive Owen seems ill at ease as a romantic, witty lead apparently yearning for the opportunity to play the more robust part he played in the under rated "International". Julia Roberts shines in one of her better performances, offering more than her obvious glamour but without the quality of script to enable her to truly excel. She seems barely bothered about enticing Owen into bed, and the word play between them consistently falls flat.
An extensive travelogue incorporating London, Rome, New York, Dubai and Geneva provides some scenic interest, as these erstwhile CIA and MI6 spies swap political espionage for industrial espionage turning into criminal espionage. At 126 minutes it is at least 35 minutes too long. Sharper editing, greater pace, and less "flab" might have made this a better picture. But we are left with it as it is, an instantly disposable, and forgettable addition to the respective parties film credits.
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