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Brothers Vincent (rich) and Clay (poor) meet up for the first time after their father's funeral and remark on how similar they look. But unknown to Clay, who thinks his life is taking a turn for the better, Vince is actually plotting to kill him with a car bomb and pass the corpse off as his own, planning to start a new life elsewhere with his father's inheritance. But Clay survives the blast and has his face, memory and identity restored in hospital... but are they the right ones?Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The most genuinely interesting noir thriller for a decade!
Although the story arc of this film is fairly conventional (murder setup, memory trauma, induced impersonation, final double-ironic betrayal) it is the ominous mood and the spectacular, yet understated gamble that the writers and director take with the audience's expectation in making the central duo -brothers- utterly different racially and physically. It is so obvious a thing to point out, but for me this reaffirmed, via an otherwise rather easily-contrived situation and plot, the whole modern interpretation of the film noir.
The concept of all reality being a facade and prey to the unexpected warpings of fate, accident and whimsical doom-laden coincidence is a fundamental aspect of noir. With the twist of no one actually making the obvious connection between the brother's difference and Dennis Haysbert's character Clay gradually absorbing the life of his (not) dead brother without incident, the surreality of the film is magnetically compulsive and as noirish as some of the best films of the 1940s and 50s in dreamy, menacing atmosphere. I found myself deeply caring what happened to Clay on his odyssey towards a (false) identity and finally claiming it.
The whole cast is good, but in this film Dennis Haysbert shows the gravita s and dignity and vulnerability that makes him the real star of the excellent TV thriller '24'. A landmark film of the '90s gone unnoticed!
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