Directed by Michael Brandt
Starring Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen
Was this film in theaters? The answer is yes it was but very briefly. Richard Gere is one of those unfortunate actors that have sort of fallen from grace for some reason. I never felt either way about him but in the 80’s he could do no wrong. Nowadays, maybe because he’s older, he’s barely doing more than direct to video films. He still appears to be a good enough actor though, and based on this film he also appears to be open to experimentation.
In The Double Topher Grace plays a young bookish FBI agent that has become obsessed with a deadly assassin that was part of a team of assassins responsible for many epic killings in the heyday of the Soviet Union. When a senator is murdered Grace’s character believes that he was killed by the mysterious assassin, the only one of the original group of killers that was never caught. Gere plays a retired CIA agent, who is living a quiet life of isolation, that was responsible for tracking down the assassins. Gere is asked to work with Grace by his old boss, played by Martin Sheen, to track down this killer and finally complete his long unfinished mission.
Gere seems to not believe that the senator was killed by the notorious assassin but it soon becomes apparent that he does believe that the murder comes from his old foe. He is just determined to throw Grace off the trail in order to protect him. Grace is like a mad dog though, not willing to give up or be deterred.
The fast paced film has good bones and an interesting character for Gere to play but the final execution of the story is just a little to ham fisted and that’s what keeps the film from being a classic spy thriller. There are some unexpected twists in the film which are great but the actors don’t quiet seem to be able to carry these twists through to the finale of the film. It’s hard to blame these two actors though. The script just needed more work and honestly there are several scenes where the director should have worked the actors harder to bring out some important character traits that were absolutely necessary to make the twists believable. Gere took a real chance here with his outward persona but he just didn’t bury himself in the character enough. Again, the blame gets laid at his feet and at those of the director.
The Double is a fair enough one time view but it won’t be a film you’ll be recommending to your friends because it just doesn’t strike home enough to make it memorable.
The widescreen 1080p presentation here is fairly solid throughout as it should be considering it comes from a very recent print. There’s a lot of color tinkering that went into this film simply for style and it often makes the video look harsh in presentation but overall the detail levels are solid and the black levels are good.
The surround sound presentation is basic but good enough. Dialogue is crisp and clean and well balanced with the action scenes. Surrounds are used at various points but there’s not a lot as far as dynamic range. It’s a good enough home video presentation.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The single disc is packaged in a standard slim blue case and the artwork is a basic floating head situation. The heads of Grace and Gere are here but at least they aren’t ghostly floating. The shots are taken right from the film.
The only real bonus feature here are some brief interviews with the lead cast and crew. The interviews are sound bite laden and offer very little in the area of new or interesting information.
The menu system features a really terrible focus in the movie’s awful soundtrack too by the way.
The Double is good for a rent, that’s about it sadly.
Overall (Not an average) 4/10
The Movie 5/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 6.5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 3/10
Overall (Not an Average) 4/10