The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Double | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The Double

Directed by: Michael Brandt
Starring: Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Odette Yustman, Martin Sheen, Tamer Hassan

Richard Gere puts the cause of freeing Tibet from the horrors of electricity and secular education on hold to portray a double agent in this uninspired thriller.
Some genres just don't work on a smaller budget, the spy thriller for example. You need to be able to span the globe, utilising exotic locations for your set pieces. This is set completely around Washington, which brings up a troubling question. Why would anyone who is wanted by the CIA live on the doorstep of the Pentagon? But Brandt isn't concerned with logic, providing plot twists which seem to be pulled out of his ass whenever the script runs out of energy. I really enjoyed the remake of "3.10 To Yuma" which he penned but this is a very poor piece of writing. He seems to think spies actually operate like sixties era Bond or Napoleon Solo, leaving messages hidden in newspaper crosswords. One groan inducing moment sees Sheen inform Gere he's "going to see the president", which is code for "let's meet at the coffee vendor across the street from the Whitehouse". Yes, it's that bad.
The production value is nonexistent, most scenes taking place in out of the way locations for budget reasons. I like Gere but let's face it, does anyone choose to see a movie because of his presence? I suspect his fee could have closed off a few streets to give this movie the big set pieces it's crying out for. Back in the eighties, every cheap action movie set it's climax in a warehouse because it was cost effective. That's exactly how this movie ends and when you add in the cold war throwback atmosphere the whole project feels a quarter century behind the times.