Two corporate spies for rival pharmaceutical companies join forces to scam their bosses and manipulate the market for a new medical innovation. Adding to the intrigue, the spies, played by steely-eyed Brit Clive Owen and perennial box office winner Julia Roberts are former lovers, so things will get spicy.... More
Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti play the rival pharmaceutical company bosses (Giamatti replaced Billy Bob Thornton in the film). The film is being written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who also made highly rated George Clooney legal drama Michael Clayton as well as writing the screenplays of the Bourne films.Hide
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
There’s something intriguing about Duplicity director Tony Gilroy’s fascination with corporate complexities. First unveiled in his debut film, Michael Clayton, and again on show here, is his knack for creating tension with as little as a few classified sheets of A4, a phone bug and a fax machine. ... More
In the Bourne films, too, his scripts wove a high-tension spy narrative into a real-world setting. He could wring drama out of the mundane. He could make your heart skip a beat with merely a text message. Duplicity owes much to Gilroy’s previous thrillers, but has a bit more fun with the genre – imagine Paul Giamatti as the head of a major pharmaceutical company, and you’ll get the idea.
Unfortunately, the central pairing offers more chills than thrills, considering how icily cold Julia Roberts plays her character. Clive Owen is equally stiff. Their charmless courtship spoils the illusion and frequent romantic liaisons bog the film down in an unclear series of flashbacks. The pseudo-exotic jazzy score steers this ship towards Ocean’s 11 waters, and all the while you’re left kind of hoping that Gilroy will put on his serious hat again.
But in true thriller fashion, the story pulls itself together nearer the end. Tightly plotted, concisely edited and beautifully shot by Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood), Duplicity makes an entertaining night out.Hide
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