Duplicity (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: B
This movie starts off with a fight scene between Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkenson that is all shot in slow motion. I don't think I've seen anything as beautifully shot and funny in a long time. What this fight sets up is how much their two corporate CEO characters hate each other. They are competing with each other to such a level, that they both employee ex-intelligence workers to spy on the others companies. That's where Julia Roberts and Clive Owen come in. They're ex-CIA and ex-MI6 members and they want to use their skills to steal millions of dollars from these companies. "Duplicity" is from director Tony Gilroy, who gave us the fantastic "Michael Clayton" last year. It's done in the exactly same "screw the corporate giant over" manner but this time it's with a little bit of humor and romance. The only difference is that he adds a pinch of "Oceans 11-13" coolness in for good measure. There are two problems with this movie, and ONLY two problems with it. First is that it's too confusing. I honestly, didn't have trouble figuring it out at the end, but I did have a hard time following it at times. My girlfriend however couldn't follow it at all, and she's in Mensa! The plot gets a little too intricate with exotic locations, code dialogue and time jumping. If you told the story in a linear fashion, it still would be a hard pill to swallow, but the fact that it jumps locations and time so much makes it so much harder. The other problem I had is with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. I know I'm alone on this, but I find the two of them to be so dull. I think both are lousy actors, since their body of work consists of them playing only themselves. This is no exception. But the problem is that it makes it hard to care about their relationship and how it relates to the romance of the story. But maybe it's just because I think a cactus and a toothbrush could act better. Actually I take that back. They couldn't act better, but they could act just as well. However, besides those two flaws, the movie is very good. It's fun, sexy, and hip. The supporting parts, played by Giamatti and Wilkinson, are fantastically funny. It's good to see them together again since HBO's "John Adams" series. As long as you don't mind giving a film your full attention for two hours and follow it's plot very closely, you won't be let down with this spy/thriller/romance/comedy.