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Film review: ‘The Devil’s Double’

You get two Uday Husseins for the price of one in The Devil’s Double.

The Details

The Devil’s Double
Two and a half stars
Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi
Directed by Lee Tamahori
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: The Devil’s Double
Rotten Tomatoes: The Devil’s Double

Loosely based on a true story, The Devil’s Double casts British actor Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!) in an ostensibly juicy dual role à la The Prince and the Pauper, with the prince being Saddam Hussein’s psychotic son Uday and the pauper an army lieutenant forced to serve as Uday’s look-alike decoy. That Cooper isn’t Iraqi doesn’t give you as much pause as you might think—he manages to pass, for the most part. The real problem is that Uday, snorting gigantic lines of coke and trolling for buxom schoolgirls, proves roughly a thousand times more compelling than the beleaguered hero, who does little but whine about his luxurious misfortune. It’s like a Batman movie in which Batman isn’t even permitted the dignity of fighting crime, merely watching from the wings as a gleefully amoral supervillain steals scene after scene.


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Previous Discussion:

  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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