Duplicity

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:PG
  • Director:Tony Gilroy
  • Cast:Paul Giamatti, Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Tom Wilkinson
  • Release Date:March 19, 2009
  • Distributor:Universal
  • Running time:125 minutes
  • Film Worth:$9.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…essentially formulaic fare…”

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How many movies have you seen where two ruthless competitors or opponents fall in love? Well, here comes another one. To be fair, Duplicity is not quite as predictable as one might fear. It's slick, but it's also labyrinthine. Trickery and deception abound, and the action is constantly moving around in both time - 2003, 2006, 2008 - and space: Dubai, New York, London, Miami. The real problem is simply that the business world is inherently rather dull (although Tony Gilroy's previous feature Michael Clayton made a slightly better stab at concealing that fact), and so is industrial espionage. It's also of course highly lucrative, which is what prompts our two protagonists - Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and Ray Koval (Clive Owen) - to quit the CIA and MI6 and start snooping for multinational corporations.

Claire and Ray may or may not be loyal servants of archetypal fat cats Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti). Paranoia and distrust abound but, as Ray shruggingly observes, such feelings are not confined to the financial sector: "Nobody trusts anybody. We just cop to it." The pair of them, the CEOs, and just about everyone else set out to obtain and secure the formula to a revolutionary new product which could bring them enormous wealth.

There are a few mildly amusing (and cruelly cynical) moments here, such as the scene where Ray seduces a woman by passing himself off as a pediatric cardiologist en route to helping the sick children of Ethiopia. Duplicity, however, is essentially formulaic fare. Although Julia Roberts is quite good, the love scenes look exactly like what they are: famous people pretending.

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