'The Double' Shockya Movie Review,Written by: Karen Benardello
Director: Michael Brandt
Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Stephen Moyer (‘True Blood’), Martin Sheen and Odette Annable (‘Cloverfield,’ ‘You Again’)
Mystery thrillers are often remembered for their action sequences and suspenseful plot points, but ‘The Double’ surprisingly leaves its mark with complex, diverse main characters. The film, which is the directorial debut of acclaimed screenwriter Michael Brandt, aims to prove that films featuring politics and crimes don’t have to solely focus on continuous anticipation. Unfortunately, Brandt’s admirable attempt to feature both intrigue and multi-dimensional characters failed to live up to his previous films.
‘The Double’ follows the return of retired CIA operative Paul Shepherdson (played by Richard Gere) to the agency after the mysterious murder of a US senator. The killing bears the trademark of the legendary Soviet assassin Cassius. To catch him, Paul must work with rookie FBI agent Ben Geary (portrayed by Topher Grace), who is so obsessed with the case that he wrote his Master’s thesis on the veteran agent and his tireless pursuit of the killer. However, after spending his entire career trying to catch Cassius, Paul insists that his old nemesis is dead. With Ben’s insistence that the assassin has resurfaced, the two agents reexamine Cassius’ past, and seemingly present, crimes. But Ben ultimately discovers that Cassius isn’t the person he always believed him to be.
The premise of the espionage thriller’s story, which was penned by Brandt and his ‘Wanted’ and ’3:10 To Yuma’ co-screenwriter Derek Haas, definitely has its merits that differentiate it from similar films in the genre. The two writers were able to create a distinctive plot that didn’t solely focus on showcasing Cassius’ brutal killings; it also details Ben and Paul’s quest to understand the assassin’s mindset, and their determination to catch him before he can kill again. While the two don’t have the same ideas on how to apprehend Cassius, who Paul doesn’t believe is still hurting innocent people but Ben does, Brandt finds the perfect balance between the two agents’ differing working methods.
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