- Released Internationally on 18/03/09
- Released in Malta by KRS on 01/04/09
In a nutshell
Claire used to work with the CIA, but now works as a corporate spy with a huge pharmaceutical company. Ray used to work with the MI6, but now works as a corporate spy for the main rivals of the above-mentioned pharmaceutical company. Together, they’re hatching an elaborate plan to swindle the companies out of 40 million dollars.
Slick and sexy
Adopting the overall look that was perfected in the recent Ocean’s trilogy, this film oozes style. The formula is tried and tested – good-looking stars, tailor-cut suits, pristine interior decor, a smattering of European locations, and lots of witty dialogue. It almost looks too clean, and there’s hardly a hair out of place. Even the music, delivered by James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight, Signs) is a jazzy score as has become standard in such heist or con films.
Marriage and motherhood have seen the lovely Roberts slow down on the acting front, with her output over the past couple years being just voiceover work for animation, and 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War. Her welcome return finds her in as good as shape as ever, although she doesn’t get to flash her trademark smile too often this time around, and handles some of the lengthy dialogue duels awkwardly. Still, her star status shines through, and it’s a pleasure to see her back on our screens.
Her chemistry with Clive Owen doesn’t seem as smooth as it was in their last outing together, Closer, in which they were both excellent. But in this case that’s partly intentional, since their respective characters juggle a budding relationship and an innate sense of distrust and reserve. If this is how all spies in love act, they’re not to be envied. Owen continues to impress, and could probably make a shopping list sound convincing and important, but with scene after scene of droll dialogue it eventually starts to get tedious.
Who else is in it?
The two major supporting actors are wonderful to watch. Portraying the rival giants of the pharmaceutical world, Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins, RockNRolla) and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) give us two very colourful CEOs who have all to lose in the current corporate war. In one of the highlights of the film, they are literally at each other’s neck on a rainy runway in the brilliant main title sequence. Tony Gilroy, the acclaimed screenwriter who made the successful jump to directing with Michael Clayton, once again directs his own screenplay, and this time adds a layer of humour to the mix of his previous effort.
In the end
As mentioned earlier, the endless self-indulgent dialogue can be a bit too much at times, but the film is nonetheless very enjoyable and amusing overall. On original concept in familiar settings, the plot manages to keep interesting, and as a slice of stylish fun the film manages not to outstay its welcome.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/duplicity/ (High-res Quicktime)