Based on actual events, The Devil’s Double recounts the remarkable tale of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi army lieutenant who was summoned to Saddam Hussein’s palace in 1987 and ordered to become the fiday, or body double, of his notorious eldest son, Uday.
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Propaganda film, ordered film or tele-movie ? Full of clichés, a disappointing work from Lee TAMAHORI director of the excellent "Mulholland Falls" & "Once we were Warriors". ====== Film de propagande, film de commande ou téléflm bourré de clichés ?? Grosse déception venant de Lee TAMAHORI réalisateur des excellents "Hommes de l'ombre" & "Once we were Warriors".
Great dual performances from Dominic Cooper, yes, but overall this seemed like a Gulf War exploitation flick. The whole thing made me feel a bit icky. With a larger budget, "Devil's Double" could have had higher production values than a made-for-TV movie, but as it is it's rather garish and cheap at times. Bear in mind that this is from the director of "Die Another Day" and "XXX: State of the Union." So, yeah.
Slips into by-the-number biopic territory rather quickly and after a while, the sadistic mania of a spoiled dictator's son becomes rather passe. Cooper is very good, however, and the visual effect of his double performance is flawless 99% of the time (unfortunately, the 1% is a blatantly noticeable). Ends on a note of unbelievability. Could have done with more psychological depth and less action movie cliches.
This was never likely to be some virtuoso Bertolucci-esque exploration of trapped, perverse souls. Yes, Tamahori and Cooper's psycho Uday is all loud clothes and fast cars, but as such it's a guilty pleasure. Uday was a self-parody, and the film's biggest failing is to show the double as merely a better person who happens to look the same as the original, rather than the original's possibility of a purer life.
It doesn't all quite add up, although there are a few pretty hilarious moments and I enjoyed the use of stock footage / sound design. Without Dominic Cooper, there really is nothing else to keep the film afloat.