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|Index||184 reviews in total|
Even in a film where secrecy and espionage are at the center, it is an obligation of the screenwriter and the director to play fair. That means, even if we are misled, we understand what is going on. In a movie like Charade, we ignore the real threat and follow the wrong people, but the events role on and we understand them. Two things are hard to swallow. First of all, what the hell are they trying to do? Am I so dense I can't understand it. Secondly, the ongoing relationship between the two principle characters. How are they working together; are they working together; are they running their own operation? When we get to the conclusion (which I won't spoil) we have a really bad taste in our mouths, and it isn't bad Champagne. The romance doesn't even seem real. There is little spark that I can see, but they are like a couple of rabbits in mating season, ignoring whatever they are supposed to be doing to get together. Forget this one.
A confusing yet entertaining romantic spy flick, DUPLICITY tries too
hard to be witty but fails due to some forced dialogue and an aging
Julia Roberts (CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR) who doesn't steam up the screen
with hunk-meister Clive Owen (CHILDREN OF MEN). The two seem to try and
channel Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell from HIS GIRL Friday or perhaps
William Powell and Irene Bullock from MY MAN GODFREY. But neither
comparison is needed nor deserved. Those two older classics stand head
and shoulders above Duplicity because of their more natural flowing
and straightforward story and dialogue.
Corporate espionage is nothing new, nor is having the opposite sex bantering back and forth while falling for one another. So, in this respect, Duplicity offers nothing new to grab hold of. It does, however, have the occasional funny pun, mostly thanks to the acting chops of Owen and Roberts but not due to the circumstances surrounding the story (which is not just confusing but impossible and strung out).
Tom Wilkinson (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) shows he's still got "it" even though his role in this film is short-lived. He doesn't have much screen time but what time he does have proves why he's such a talent. His cut-throat corporate nature oozes off the screen.
Paul Giamatti (SHOOT 'EM UP) stars as Wilkinson's counterpart and equal bad-boy CEO who will stop at nothing to have the latest and greatest secret out there. The two only appear once together during a tough musical montage on the tarmac, looking like their ready to tear each others intestines out.
The romance is befuddling between Owen's and Roberts' characters, as neither has much of a spark for the other and seems only interested in appeasing corporate and self greed. In this respect, they seem more suited for a lonely rise up the corporate ladder rather than having steamy sex in hotels and apartments. The one thing the two of them DO have (occasionally) is some interesting dialogue where they try to figure out if each of them is playing the other. But that's about it.
The film locations in New York's West Village and Rome Italy is tantalizing but doesn't offer up much substance when compared with the rest of the film.
It is interesting to see Owen and Roberts together again after their exciting tryst in the movie CLOSER, but if you're looking for something comparable, you won't find it here.
I used to love the Spy Vs. Spy bits in MAD magazine. It's no secret
then, that I enjoyed this film. 'Duplicity' is a twisty, witty, globe
trotting spy's night out at your favorite Italian restaurant, with a
fine bottle of the house reserve. Of course, Julia Roberts and Clive
Owen serve it up in a wonderful presentation. They play ex-spooks
available to the highest bidder. Add a side dish of Paul Giamatti and
Tom Wilkinson, vying for your attention and we have a who's-gonna-do-it
in the grand tradition. If either of them went up in the supporting
actor category, it would be to close to call. They made excellent use
of the time and limited material they were provided with.
Owen has made great strides since his entrance onto the main stage in Croupier. He has steadily moved up the ranks and is now rubbing elbows with major star power. Not bad for a boy who seemed to misstep when overlooked as the heir to the 007 dynasty. Was it a fluke that he looked like the real McCoy (if only for a moment) decked out in a white dinner jacket for his first poolside scene with Ms. Roberts? Maybe. At any rate, Owen interacts well with Ms. Roberts and shows fine form. It appears that he is now firmly entrenched as the go to guy, the UK version of Nicholas Cage if you will. They even resemble one another.
Ms. Roberts is still A number one. She is quite cool and handles the role well. What, with a wagonload of talent on her heals it won't be long before she is bumped up to the Grand Old Dam home for yesterdays leading ladies. Don't worry about her; she will be rewarded with elegant but tempered roles from here on out, albeit in the supporting category. There she will join the likes of Faye Dunaway, Helen Mirren, and Diane Carroll who have kept a seat warm for her at the bridge table.
'Duplicity' was written and directed by Tony Gilroy. He has an impressive resume as a writer: The recent 'State of Play', 'Michael Clayton' and the 'Bourne' Trilogy, He also directed 'Michael Clayton'. The plot twists in 'Duplicity' are complicated only if you have the attention span of an action film connoisseur. In 'Duplicity', I found comedy, romance, suspense and intrigue. I also like the fact that not too much is given away early on. As an example, we do not know exactly why the services of the ex-agents are required. Gilroy does a solid job in piecing it together though (much like he did with Michael Clayton).
'Duplicity' is rounded out with nice performances from Oleg Shtefanko, as Owens' field ops assistant; and Denis O'Hare, with Rick Worthy as the ops team leaders who provide some nice comic touches.
I recommend the film as seen on the Blu-ray edition. The picture is excellent, the sound quality superb (5.1 DTS HD, digital surround). I watch the material on a 40", 120hz, 1080p high-end screen. I use headphones for all my reviewed as well. The extras however are limited to the 'My Scenes' feature mainly commentary provided by director Tony Gilroy and editor John Gilroy. That is OK, as I only use the commentary for subsequent screenings of films I find outstanding. The 'Making of' featurettes are nice, but not expected. Finally, I review all screenings directly after viewing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Movie was made and all that money wasted for endless twists and endless ending. I definitely wasted my 2 hours I cannot get back now... I guess movie has no return policy. I very much liked other movies where there was plenty of twists but this one made me lost several times and I would have to watch it again - which I planned. However, ending of the movie just made me refuse to watch it again and waste another 2 hrs of my time. Why would someone make a movie with kind of ending where the whole movie (not to say several years of two brilliant agents in the movie) is such a doom and pointless waste? I guess the movie is what it is - not a lot of people referred the movie to me anyway which got me scared. Looking at the voting results here on the website gave me quite an illusion that the movie was OK to watch. I t was until it confused the heck out of me. Terrible ending that's all I am going to say.
Yes, Julia is still a "Pretty Woman", and a woman now, not a young girl any longer. A great role for her in DUPLICITY, but I sure wish the movie made more sense or at least had a more clear ending as what was what and who was who. On the other hand, the writing is very clever and sophisticated. The best thing about the movie that there were NO special effects, no guns, no heads blown off, no car chases and no one gets killed and no faster than lightning editing. Now if only the story were more clear. The "flashback" at the end tying everything up needed more clarification, but other than that this is worth seeing, especially for MS. ROBERTS. Clive Owen does well...oh and look for a nice bit from the lady who plays Barbara, Carrie Preston. A great job.
Clive Owen and Julia Roberts star as a pair of corporate spies playing
one major final (?) game that should see them score big IF they can get
the right result and do so without being tempted to double-cross each
other. But with their chosen career paths is this actually possible?
Pitched to the public as a cross between Mr & Mrs Smith and Ocean's Eleven, it has to be said that Duplicity is not as good as either of those movies. It starts off a little too convoluted for it's own good and even though things are explained and uncomplicated in the superior second half of the movie it's all too little too late because by that time you're not really caring for any of the characters on screen.
Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson are sadly underused as the figureheads of the companies being used in this scheme and while Owen is okay at being cool and unflappable he really brings little more to the role whereas Roberts is simply unbelievable as her character veers between the slick professional to the paranoid, "emotional woman" type.
Like the characters portrayed within, it's all pretty slick and relatively cool at times but ultimately dull, unrewarding and undeserving of the two hours of your time it takes from your day.
See this if you like: Antitrust, Ocean's Thirteen, Confidence.
It certainly looks very promising: A romantic spy thriller starring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. What could there be not to like? Or so I thought. The movie, however, disappointed me all the way, or at least as far as I got. After 85 minutes I finally called it quits, as I couldn't face another 40 minutes of confusion, lack of plot and flashbacks by the bucket load. And the only regret I have is that I didn't stop sooner and used my time for something better. I found it hard to figure out what the storyline actually was, and the only conclusion I have come to is that there isn't one. I do like Clive Owen, and he's probably the only reason I watched thus far - him and the hope that it would actually get interesting at some point. OK, a few funny pieces of dialog along the way, but other than that, I could see nothing interesting about this movie, let alone thrilling.
Somewhere halfway in the movie I was thinking - Do I really care what
happens? It may be a clever movie, but it does not feel personal, you
don't feel for anybody in the movie. Luckily for me, I continued
watching the movie. And by the end of this movie I was completely
taken. It is only after the end that I realised we were completely
manipulated to feel a bit impersonal early on, and then build the
characters - who seem cold and distant - from there on. So full marks
to the direction and the script. And to the lead pair too - they do not
give you a hint. There are other things I liked in the movie too - the
way it keeps playing with you again and again and again. Like that one
key dialogue in the movie - repeated many times in the movie, but
always with a different context, where some time you know nothing,
sometime you know a little bit more than some characters, and in the
end when you actually know almost everything. If you have seen the
movie, you'd know which one, so I won't spoil it. Alright, there are
some giveaways, where you know what you see is not what is happening -
but then you still do not know the whole thing.
All in all - its a very clever movie in that it sucks you in, and makes you keep thinking even after it ends. Great achievement by Tony Gilroy in the writing and direction. I am eagerly waiting for his next ..
I just recently viewed the movie Duplicity with Clive Owen and Julia
Roberts. Having saw there performance in "Closer" and noting what great
chemistry these two have, I knew I would eventually watch this film.
I am a sucker for a good thriller. And, if u like thrillers, this movie has it all. There are so many twists, and deals, and double crossings, you almost have to take a dramamine to get through it. It does get a little wonkish and complex during the middle. However, if u hang in there until the end, you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for a simplistic action flick with a lot of explosions and very little plot, this movie is not for you. However, if u are looking for a sleek, sophisticated thrill ride of a movie, this one is for you. This is an excellent movie.
DUPLICITY CATCH IT ( B+ ) A concept about the mixing Mr. & Mrs. Smith with Ocean Eleven is quite interesting. Out of all the twisted flashbacks between rendezvous of Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, you will realize there is a smart writing underneath all that. Though the movie is quite lengthy but its Julia & Clive's awesome chemistry that kept us going. The dialogues are really sharp and sometimes underneath them there is a dark humor as well. Julia Roberts is fierce and even in age 41 she did a fantastic job being a seductive corporate spy. I really liked about the director and her that they didn't tried to put her in clothes and make up to make her look younger. Clive Owen is never been my favorite though it's terrible that he end up getting in movies with Julia Roberts, Natalie Port, Keira Knightely, Julianne Moore & Angelina Jolie. Though, he is apparently Jinx because most of his movies tank at the Box Office. Anyways just like CLOSER, he acted well this time too. Overall watch it; it's worth your time!
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