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RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes
- Director commentary
- “True Crime Family” featurette
- “The Real Devil’s Double” featurette
- “Double Down With Dominic Copper” featurette
The “true story” of Latif Yahia, a man forced to become the body double of one of Saddam Hussein’s sons.
Directed by Lee Tamahori. Starring Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Philip Quast, Mimoun Oaissa, Raad Rawi, Mem Ferda, Dar Salim, Khalid Laith, Pano Masti, Nasser Memarzia, Tiziana Azzopardi, Akin Gazi, etc.
Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) is abducted from his regular life and listed as KIA in the warzone he had been serving in. Why? Because of his resemblance to one-time schoolmate Uday Hussein (Dominic Cooper), son of Saddam. Uday needs a body double and wants Latif for the position. “No thanks!” is not an option. The deeper Latif gets into Uday’s insane world, the more he wants out. Problem is, if he leaves, his family (who think he is dead) will be executed. Decisions, decisions!
This is an odd film to evaluate. On one hand, you have wonderful dual performances from Dominic Cooper and an interesting story. On the other hand, you have Lee Tamahori. While Lee came out swinging with work like Once Were Warriors and The Edge, the majority of his output since then has left a lot to be desired. Along Came A Spider? Die Another Day? xXx: State of the Union? Next? That’s definitely not a body of work to be proud of. So where does The Devil’s Double fall? Probably closer to something like Tamahori’s Mulholland Falls. Both have great casts and a compelling tale, but neither gels into anything overly worthwhile.
Why am I focusing so much on the director? Because he is clearly the one at fault here. As I’ve stated already, the story is interesting and the cast is game. The problem is that the tone is inconsistent. The film can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be controversial biopic or simply an Iraqi Scarface. Cooper ultimately holds the film together in spite of this. His dual performance is well-worth giving The Devil’s Double a go and it is easy to see why he is a rising star in the industry. Final verdict? Come for the violence and excess. Stay for Cooper. Just don’t expect a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.
The Devil’s Double has a healthy amount of extras and the cover bears the film’s fantastic theatrical poster. All in all, this is a very nice release for a middling film. While I should probably rate it lower, I’m giving it an extra bump due to Cooper’s turn here.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars