Thursday, March 19, 2009

DUPLICITY - slick and twisted, but occasional longueurs

Tony Gilroy follows up MICHAEL CLAYTON with a similarly stylish corporate thriller that substitutes romantic banter for genuine heft. Clive Owen and Julia Roberts create genuine chemistry as the spies scamming corporate bosses, Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti. The fun comes from Roberts' and Owen's charming delivery of witty dialogue as they ponder whether they are really in love or just in love with the paranoid brilliance of suspecting they are mutually scamming each other. Unfortunately, the nuts and bolts that make up the procedural thriller are pretty lacklustre. I gave up caring who was actually scamming whom long before the end. Stylistically, the Ocean's Eleven rip-off kitsch seventies score and split-screen nonsense was deeply irritating. All in all, mildly entertaining, though arguably better for DVD and dinner night than a trip to the multiplex. And what of Roberts? Is this the big come-back triumph everyone's banking on? Frankly, she looked like her prettiness had been piped to the surface of her. But that's just superficial, right?

DUPLICITY is on release in Spain, Australia, Chile, Israel, New Zealand, Thailand, Iceland, Turkey, the UK and the US. It opens next week in Belgium, Egypt, France, Croatia, Germany, Portugal, Russia, the UAE, Brazil, Estonia and Italy. It opens in Greece on April 16th; in Argentina on April 23rd; in Hungary, Denmark and Japan on May 1st; in the Czech Republic on May 7th; in Finland and Sweden on May 29th; in Norway on June 5th; in the Netherlands on June 11th and in Singapore on July 2nd.

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