Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Devil's Double

As the first Iraq war approaches, an Iraqi soldier is summoned by Uday Hussein, Saddam's son, to his palace and is requested to be his body double. When he refuses, Uday has him beaten and threatens his family, at which point he accepts and has his looks slightly surgically altered. Given everything at Uday's disposal, the double now must deal with his boss's hedonistic lifestyle and psychotic outburst, with his and his family's lives constantly at risk. With Dominic Cooper in "The Devil's Double", we have the case of one of the great dual performances, right up there with Peter Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove" and Nicolas Cage in "Adaptation." Cooper plays too wildly different characters here and pulls it off brilliantly. It is just a shame that the rest of the production wasn't up to task. Lee Tamahori's direction is lazy, uninspired, and glitzy. The film is ugly and hard to watch, but is buoyed throughout by Cooper's magnetic performance.