“Duplicity” Slowly Tragic With Wit

Genres: Drama

Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 min.

Release Date: March 20th, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and some sexual content.

Distributors: Universal Pictures


Directed by: Tony Gilroy


JJ Rating: B-


Claire (Julia Roberts) and Ray (Clive Owen) are spies that continue to have the same tumultuous relationship that rehashes the same old same old every meeting. They decide to pull a slow one on a company to get millions. Does it work? Duplicity.


By the time hit the halfway mark I figured there was something up. The end panned out in my head. There were a few surprises, but not enough to compensate for the boring that I endured for the mass majority of this film.


I thought that Julia Roberts and Clive Owen were fantastic together. They had great chemistry that was well used. However, the 2 hours and 5 minutes were a total mind rape. If someone could rape someone slowly this would be the pace it would happen at. Just like any kind of rape it doesn’t end satisfyingly. I had doubts about this film from the trailers. Though the trailers were charming and witty I had a feeling it was hiding something.


What it was hiding was a storyline that lingered too long in many areas giving me a wide birth to figure out what was going on. Now I like to feel smart, like I figured something out. However, I don’t think that that is what happened here. I think it was far too easy to figure out and that would be because the time that it took the movie to tell the story allowed it. So when the big reveal happened there was no gasp. It was more like an “OMG Finally.”


The reason Duplicity didn’t fail harder is because of the great moments it had and those moments happened with Roberts and Owen. They had scenes where they repeated lines, where they had spats that were fake, where they had witty back and forth moments and it was amazing. It’s like a man who has a great speech on paper but when he goes to give it he fails to pause at the right times or emphasize the right words. It just all falls apart because of timing and excitement. Duplicity fails because it was too slow and ruined any excitement it had because of the pacing.


Had Duplicity cut 30 minutes out and went at a fast pace the film would have been one of the best movies I would have seen in 2009 thus far. But that is not what happened. Someone swallowed pills that made them think being long winded was not only a great idea, but a fantastic idea. Whoever thought that should be let go and never asked back because movies that have great story with great actors should not be boring. It’s a travesty of the highest order.

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