|Movie: Duplicity * Trailer *||In Theaters: March 20, 2009|
|Runtime: 125 minutes||Directed by: Tony Gilroy|
|MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual content||Gecko Rating:|
I’ve been excited to see “Duplicity” since I first heard about it. Not only does it pair Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in a movie with lots of snappy banter and intrigue (they did “Closer” together in 2004), but it also teams them with Tony Gilroy.
Gilroy earned a place in my heart with films like “Michael Clayton,” which he wrote and directed, and the “Bourne” movies, for which he wrote the screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for “State of Play,” the upcoming crime thriller starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck.
The trio of Roberts, Owen and Gilroy works, for the most part, and Gilroy wisely plays up the stars’ snappy banter and cat-and-mouse chemistry.
“Duplicity” is all about corporate intrigue, spies and secrets, but it’s more light-hearted than you might think at first glance. Instead of missiles and terrorists, we’re dealing with something more benign, along the lines of body lotion, hair gel and pizza crust.
The story begins with the heads of two companies, played by the great Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti, on an airport tarmac surrounded by their respective staff and entourage. The scene plays in slow-motion, as the two corporate giants fly at each other and eventually end up rolling around on the ground like schoolboys. It sets the scene for the rest of the movie, which while filled with intrigue and a twisty-turny plot, always has a comic air to it.
Clive Owen plays Ray Koval, an ex-MI6 agent who butts heads with an ex-CIA agent named Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts, with a more world-weary look than in previous films). The two former spies have joined the private sector, working in security for the research and development departments of the companies helmed by Wilkinson and Giamatti. There’s a secret new product being developed by one or the other, and we don’t get to know what it is until later in the film. But it doesn’t much matter, because the product is secondary to the goings on of Koval and Stenwick.
Their history goes back five years and has played across the globe in Dubai, Rome and Cleveland. You have to keep an eye on the screen and read the subtitles telling us just where we are in the couples’ timeline. It’s all about who’s double-crossing whom and when and where, and the film ends differently than you might expect it to end.
While overly long and a little plodding, this movie is worth a look if you’re a fan of the main players or Gilroy or romantic spy movies, in general. For me, it wavered too much between being a romantic spy movie and a dark mystery-thriller such as “Michael Claytons.” I wish it would have been one or the other.
Note to Parents: Rated PG-13, this movie is fine for kids 13 and older. However, the story is complex and twisty, and teens not into this type of genre might lose interest. Sexual content includes lots of innuendoes and sexual banter, as well as several scenes of the main characters in bed together. Language includes “sh*t,” “a**hole” and “swinging d**k.”
Photos: Universal Pictures; Copyright: © 2008 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Via Image.net.
I’m giddy over the thought of this movie. Julia Roberts is back on the screen – and in a spy thriller with Clive Owen, no less! The film is “Duplicity,” scheduled to hit theaters March 20, 2009. Check out my preview and movie stills here, and watch the trailer below. Are you as (overly) excited about this movie as I am?